How-To Guide: Shop Small + Local for the Holidays

One of the things we get asked about the most is our pricing. We aim to price our pieces fairly for the amount of work (it’s a lot!) that goes into making them, but we understand that well-made, handcrafted goods are a bit more expensive than something similar that you’d buy at a store.

If you understand the value of shopping small and local, but you’re struggling with how to budget to buy handmade items around the holidays, we want to help. We’ll be sharing a complete gift guide to our favorite Nashville brands in the coming weeks, but until then, we’d like to help you out with some tips for shopping small and making it affordable this holiday season.

  • Aim to buy fewer, better things. First and foremost, you need to have the mindset that you don’t need to buy lots of gifts for your loved ones, but rather one really great gift that’s made to last. If your friends and family are the type to appreciate well-made goods, then they’re sure to understand the value in something handcrafted and made with care.

  • Budget and plan ahead of time. Many of us set out to do our holiday shopping at a mall, without a plan in place or specific items chosen ahead of time. This usually leads to blowing your budget, buying lots of things that you’re not sure if your loved ones will even like, and generally just flying blind with your shopping, so to speak. Instead, set a budget ahead of time and promise yourself that you’ll stick to it. In that same vein, you should also make a list of what you’d like to buy each person ahead of time so that you can put some extra thought into each present.

  • Hit a makers market. If you live in a city with a designated holiday makers market, this is the best way to shop for lots of locally made goods in one place. You’ll also know that they’re all high-quality, because most markets vet the maker submissions and only accept the best ones. In Nashville, our favorite makers market is Porter Flea.

  • Shop independent boutiques. Lots of independent boutiques carry wares from local makers, so if you’re not sure where to go (but you know that you don’t want to go to a mall), these are great places to start.

  • Put thought and care into your gift wrapping. You may feel self-conscious about how few gifts you’re giving out (especially if your friends and family are the types to go overboard on gifts), so putting extra care into the presentation will make each gift feel more special. If you’re worried that your loved ones won’t quite understand the story behind that piece of wall art or that handmade bag, take the time to attach a handwritten note describing who made the item, where you bought it, and why it made you think of them.

  • Encourage your crew to shop local, too. If your friend group normally does a secret Santa or another type of gift exchange, suggest that everyone buy a locally made gift this year. It’s a fun way to support the local maker community, do some good for the environment and make sure that everyone gets something they’ll actually like!