If you celebrated American Thanksgiving yesterday, I hope it was a good day; with good food, tolerable family, and few arguments with Racist Uncle Bob. Which might not be so easy given our recent election (not linking, you’re all adults and can Google it yourselves if you don’t know), but anyway. (One thing we’re thankful for: relatives that are 1000+ miles away. Just saying)
Anyway. I am gainfully employed for (at most) the next 2+ months, so I had fully expected to be working today. Thanks to the magic of “severely overstaffed”, I was able to take today off. I have worked on “Black Friday” for several years when I worked in retail, so I remember the joy of going into work at 4:30 AM the day after Thanksgiving and staying until 10PM when the store finally closed for the day. Then doing that again the next day, and the next day for the entire weekend. I would rather claw my own eyes out than go shopping today.
This year, for both of the people who read this, I thought I’d make a gift/shopping guide and a pitch for Shop Small Saturday. These stores are ones where 1)I know the owners, either IRL or online, or 2)I have shopped there before and would recommend them highly. So here goes, in no particular order…
1. Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find is a lovely comic shop in Charlotte, NC. They have grown over the past…almost 35 years into a larger storefront, an online presence, and a comic convention (HeroesCon). Heroes is where I first found, and fell in love with, Love and Rockets. If you’re anywhere near Charlotte, go for a visit. You’re welcome.
2. Evil Supply Company. Do you, or any of your giftees, like writing? Letters, journals, etc.? You’ll find everything you’ll need except for writing implements here. There are stationery sets, notecards, stickers, posters, patches, pins, journals, planners… Every month, Atticus Q. Redghost, Esq. puts out a subscription package with all sorts of things inside, around a different theme every month. You can sign up for one month, or for a year. The service is awesome. Now that I am mostly gainfully employed, I will be buying some things for myself once again.
3. Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins. Like the website says, everything related to fiber arts: weaving, spinning, dyeing, knitting, crochet, tatting… everything. The sales staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and love their crafts. If you’re near Boulder, go visit.
4. The Scarlet Letter. If you like reproduction samplers, the history of embroidery, or would like to learn more, here’s the place. The store is on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin, where there used to be breeders of Shetland, Navajo-Churro, Jacob, and some other rare breeds of sheep. I discovered the embroidery store when I went for a fleece shearing/sale years ago.
5. Sweet Libertine Cosmetics. Mineral eyeshadows, blush, concealer, face powders. The colors are beautiful, the names are awesome, and the company is run by a lovely knitter. She offers samples with every order and the service is outstanding.
That’s all I have time for today. If you know of another online company that you’d like the rest of us (or both of us, to be honest) to know about, speak up in the comments. Don’t be shy. And try to get outside this weekend.