We’re getting more excited each day for November 29, also known as Small Business Saturday®. This year, Etsy is proudly partnering with 209 independently owned boutiques whose shelves are stocked with Etsy sellers’ wares year-round to put on in-store trunk shows with local Etsy sellers as part of the big event. We’ve already introduced you to three participating boutiques; now, let’s take a tour of three more.
For a full list of boutiques that will be hosting trunk shows on November 29 — and to find one in your area — visit etsy.me/shopsmall.
When Andy and Emily Linn’s City Bird line of Midwest- and Great Lakes-themed gifts, artwork and accessories started to outgrow their Etsy shop (and online store) five years ago, the siblings responded with a rather bold move: they opened a brick-and-mortar store and lined its shelves with their own work, along with merch from makers near and far — such as Adam Rabbit‘s chunky crystal jewelry and accessories and home goods from Heist. Eventually, both ditched their day jobs in order to man the business full time. “Working with local makers is one of our very favorite aspects of owning our shop,” Emily says.
The pair’s big leap also had consequences well beyond their own four walls. “When we opened five years ago, we were the second retail store on our street, but today the surrounding blocks have blossomed into a retail shopping district that attracts local and destination shoppers alike. Participating in and watching this growth and development in our neighborhood has been both exciting and inspiring,” Andy says.
“Gallery meets living room meets shop”: that’s how Kelly Lynn Jones of San Francisco’s Little Paper Planes describes her Mission District boutique, the brick-and-mortar home for the online art and design destination she launched a decade ago. “I love the intersection of art and design, where function and non-function come together,” she says. “And I often choose pieces that will have a dialogue with the other items I have in the shop.” Among the Etsy sellers whose work is part of that dialogue: The Little Canoe‘s whimsical art prints and paper goods, and handmade wood pocket knives and folding mustache combs from Minifab.
Jones has also dedicated the back part of her space to a four-week artist-in-residence program, and she doesn’t have to look very far for participants. “My neighborhood is home to a diverse group of people — with a concentration of artists — and my street is comprised of only local small businesses. We all look out for each other and support one another; I also live in the neighborhood, so I am really invested in what happens here and spend my money here,” she says. “I love being able to support my art and design community. Paying artists is such an amazing feeling.”
“Gather is all about community,” says owner Michelle Smith of her Cary, North Carolina, gift shop/coffee shop/co-working-space hybrid. “It is a place for locals, makers, and entrepreneurs to gather, meet, collaborate, showcase their work, teach classes, and support one another.” That integrated approach mirrors Smith’s feeling about shopping small. “By shopping small, you are helping to create a vibrant neighborhood,” Smith says. “When a micro-entrepreneur is able to thrive as a business owner, they encourage other small businesses to open up alongside them. And if they are stocking locally made goods, they help support even more micro-entrepreneurs by giving them another channel to sell their wares and make a profit.”
It helps that the work Smith stocks, like botanical-print tops from Pittsboro, North Carolina-based Etsy seller Flytrap, is good enough to stand on its own merit. “Many of my customers come to the shop specifically because they know they will find beautiful local goods,” Smith says. “Then there are others who just happen upon the shop and the concept for the first time. It is neat to watch them experience and fall in love with the space, and then learn, almost as a side note, that the majority of goods are made locally. It’s the icing on the cake.”
Participate in Small Business Saturday in your area: etsy.me/shopsmall #shopsmall