Remember when Black Friday happened after Thanksgiving?
This year it seems that nervous big box retailers are doing everything they can to jump the gun and offer Black Friday deals as early as possible. Is that really necessary? Is it really a deal? I've never been one to get out of bed at some ridiculous hour to stand in line in the freezing cold to push and shove my way to a "deal". For years our family made the trip to the downtown department stores on the day after Thanksgiving. Not really for the deals, more to support our downtown shopping district, enjoy lunch out with the kids and check out the decorations.
I like to shop local and being an independent shop owner I am acutely aware of what it takes to support an independent business. In the past two years there has been a growing movement to dedicate the Saturday after Thanksgiving to small business. The movement is called Shop Small. The idea is that small, local business contribute far more to your local economy than big box retailers. We tend to support other local business as our suppliers, we employ your neighbors and more of the money you spend with us stays in the local community.
Added to those efforts this year is the idea that you can and should shop local for those on your holiday gift list. For example, instead of the hot new toy that was most likely made in China, why not purchase an enrollment in one of our museums programs for kids? Instead of a shirt and tie that was stitched in some third world country why not get Dad a gift certificate for some lawn work from the guy around the corner? You get the idea.
If you live in my neighborhood and you are shipping packages to friends and family I recommend that you use Barry at The Shipping Depot in Shoppers Plaza on Rt 8. Barry and his staff are the friendliest people I know and they always go above and beyond to satisfy their customers. http://www.theshippingdepotonline.com/
The Hartwood Restaurant and Whispers Pub have been a favorite place to send our customers for lunch for years. My daughter worked there through high school and although the kitchen staff has changed the owners are still dedicated to providing a unique place to eat with excellent food. Located on Harts Run Road in Glenshaw, I know anyone on my gift list would love a gift certificate for a meal there. http://www.hartwoodrestaurant.com/
Another excellent lunch spot is the B&Z Deli at the corner of Harts Run and Saxonburg Blvd. Casual dining with sandwiches made to order and take-out available. I'm not really sure if they offer gift cards, but a ready made meal is always welcome over the busy holiday season. http://www.bzdeli.com/
Speaking of ready made meals, pop into A Fare To Remember in Shoppers Plaza, right next to The Shipping Depot when you are visiting Barry. You can stock your frig or freezer with delicious, gift worthy, meals to share with family and friends. http://fareathome.com/
I absolutely love Sarah that cuts (and colors) my hair at Super Cuts in Gibsonia. Unless they are bald, everyone on your gift list gets their hair cut. While the salon may have a name that seems like a national chain, most are franchise stores that are locally owned.
Obviously I also want to recommend that you purchase gift cards from local specialty shops, like your local quilt shop, that would be of interest to people on your list, but I also want to use this space to allow you to make additional suggestions of independent business that you recommend. Make a suggestion by leaving a comment. None of the business I've mentioned here ask me to advertise for them, I'm just a satisfied customer.
For our part in Small Business Saturday we will be offering free demonstrations in the shop from 10:00 - 4:00 featuring all American made products. If you are in the area, stop by, bring a friend, and shop small!