A Few Places to Shop Locally

So, I’m all for buying local and supporting local but (/whine) Walmart makes it soooo easeeeey(/whine). It’s true! There’s some devil inside us that wants easy and cheap and quick and for me, the “I’ll think about that tomorrow” attitude! I finally snapped at myself today and said something on FaceBook, got a lot of suggestions (coming up below!)

Shopping locally is like eating locally, you have to have the right attitude. The righteous ‘tude that what you are doing is good for yourself and it’s as much about the process as it is the joy of giving, and just as much about centering within your own moral compass as it is about supporting the local craftsman.

But how to find them? Have you ever googled “fudge in Rochester MN”? Tons of

Jeanie D suggested using a locally-filtered Etsy session, which I did and immediately found a present for my husband.

Suggestions included calling for assistance via FaceBook, where I do have a lot of local artisans as friends but I also have the people I buy presents for friended, so that’s an option that will take even more time to navigate.

Here is a local artist’s directory. Similarly, you could visit SEMVA. I’ve gone there the last three Christmases to shop for my family and usually have a lovely time and rather interesting choices to make. Plus their website also lists a number of local artisans. A friend of mine, Deb, runs an etsy shop from just a few miles south. Thistlewood Manor has a number of sewn items, soap and weaving and oh. There’s another present I’ve found.

I like to give food – mostly since so many of us have most of what we need, but we keep running out of food! Here is a link to LocalHarvest, which is customizable to your city and state. Many of us have noticed that the local HyVee grocery stores are carrying local products, both green groceries, meat, cheese, and soap over in the soapy section. The People’s Food Co-op also offers local products.

Many craft shows are going on between now and the first of the year. THAT you can google for yourself. But then there are a number of people who are upcycling and holding craft shows and similar gatherings. 2 Bargain Babes is holding resale shows in people’s homes, not only giving hostesses personal discounts and other goodies, but teaching people about resale and reuse. I owe Ina and Holly a post of their own – wonderful people I met this last weekend.

Northshield Barter and Trade is a facebook group for people who live in Northshield, while Calontir Merchants cover the needs of the people to the south of us. It’s good to support local merchants – esp if you can tap into SCA-mail to deliver goods to your home. Many of these merchants also will send things to you via mail, of course! We study the middle ages, but don’t necessarily want to live there all the time.

I suppose it boils down to being deliberate in living, in not only agreeing but putting into practice some of the slogany-truths that come across on the interwebs. And about choices – I can agree and then go through the process of shopping locally.  You will see more of that here, I’m sure, as I emote about my self-determined journey here. But I refuse to come to the Dark Side! I don’t care how good your cookies are!


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