Avoid the Mall & Shop Small!

We know some folks look forward to the Christmas shopping season because of all the great deals to be had on big-ticket items at big-name stores. Don’t get us wrong: an LG Blu-ray Player for only $38 is a pretty darn good deal. However, if it means we have to spend an hour finding parking, 20 minutes being jostled around by fellow shoppers also eager to get their little hands on the latest gadget, and then God-knows-how-long in the checkout line,…well, we can think of quite a few other ways we’d rather spend our time  — and money! — this holiday season.

We have a few recommendations for how you can enjoy shopping this Thanksgiving weekend and avoid having to curse at that guy in the sedan who just took the last $@#%&^! parking spot.

Plaid Friday – Friday, November 23rd
The name Plaid Friday celebrates the diversity and creativity of independent businesses. Plaid Friday is the fun and enjoyable alternative to the big box store “Black Friday,” and it is designed to promote both local and independently owned businesses during the holidays. The movement was conceptualized in Oakland, CA, a city known for strong “shop local” campaigns. Plaid Friday brings back the nostalgic times when shopping for friends and family was a pleasurable, leisurely activity. We hope that you choose to shop at your favorite new, local, independent bead store this holiday season (*hint hint*)! Or, if you don’t happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area, we hope you will spend some time at your favorite small, local shops, and that you choose to wear plaid while doing so to show your support of the movement!

Small Business Saturday – Saturday, November 24th
Small Business Saturday is a day for everyone — from the business owners who create jobs to the customers who buy locally — to support small businesses that invigorate the economy and keep communities thriving. When you shop at a local, small business, not only are you supporting that particular establishment, but you are also supporting the other establishments within that community! Think about it: the gals at Blue Door Beads get their coffee at Gaylord’s Caffe Espresso, buy their lunch at The Posh Bagel, Baja Taqueria and Sparky’s, and go to see a movie after work at Piedmont Cinema. By supporting BDB, you’re allowing us to support the other small businesses in our neighborhood. The beautiful cycle continues! Small Business Saturday is now in its third year, so please help this year be the most successful one yet!

One of the many gorgeous beaded creations from Blue Door Beads’ very own Martha Preble featured in her Etsy store, ArtfulHummingbird.

Etsy Sunday (we just made this one up!) – Sunday, November 25th
Didn’t find what you were looking for on Friday or Saturday? You will be hard pressed NOT to find something perfect for that impossible-to-please someone on your list if you visit www.etsy.com. For example: Blue Door Beads’ manager, Lydia, has a good friend who loves all things hippo-related.  All Lydia had to do when searching for a gift for her was type in “hippo” in the “Search” box, and up popped hippo greeting cards, hippo-printed fabric, stuffed plush hippos, hippo t-shirts, and even a crocheted hippo baby hat! There are oodles of finished gifts on Etsy, but crafty folks like us can also find unique supplies perfect for jewelry-making, such as teeny tiny glass bottles perfect for filling with beads or beach glass and using as pendants! Etsy even features gift cards, which they have dubbed the ideal “choose-your-own-adventure gift.” By shopping through Etsy, you are supporting a wide range of independent, multi-media artists, many of whom are just starting to sell their handmade wares. Not only will you be doing your part to support DIY artists, but you may very well get to be someone’s first sale! You can also choose to shop local by entering a city and shopping through Etsy stores located in your hometown. Searching for shops based out of Oakland, CA yielded 21,443 results alone. Talk about a wide selection!

We hope you enjoy shopping small this Thanksgiving weekend — and throughout the holiday season!