Move over, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. After more than a year of getting hammered by the Covid pandemic, small business owners deserve all the love they can get this year on Small Business Saturday.
The day, launched by American Express back in 2010, was first conceived as a way to encourage shoppers not to forget their local small businesses during the holiday season, and to remind them how important they are to their local economies. According to the 2021 American Express Shop Small Impact Survey, 67 cents of every dollar spent at a small business - whether it’s a retail store, restaurant or another company - stays in the community.
And this year, after watching so many small businesses be forced to close their doors while on-line giants like Amazon and Wal-Mart actually grew their profits, it seems especially important to spend local dollars at local stores. The American Express survey shows that 56 percent of small businesses say this year’s Small Business Saturday is more critical than ever, with 78 percent reporting that their ability to keep their doors open in 2022 will in part depend on holiday sales.
Luckily, locally owned stores in Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy have a wide range of unique products which make thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gifts, and offer shoppers plenty of opportunities to support their local businesses without sacrificing either quality or choice. And since this community is also rich in artists, craftsmen and “makers” of all stripes, adding a local flavor to the production of their goods as well as the ownership of the stores.
An added bonus? When you give a hand-crafted gift made by a local artisan, you are not only supporting the arts, you are also avoiding the carbon footprint produced by all those online purchases that require long-distance shipping.
We took a look at a variety of options if you are looking to support local artisans with your holiday shopping this year.
Caleb Meyer Studio
8520 Germantown Ave.
This shop offers custom made, handcrafted gold and platinum jewelry. The son of a custom gold jewelry designer, Meyer studied at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design and the Gemological Institute of America. His gallery also displays fine art American crafts in wood, hand-blown glass, pottery and silver.
8432 Germantown Ave.
Next to The Spice Rack, Threadwell offers embroidered monograms to personalize a wide assortment of gift items, from tote bags, pillow cases and sweatshirts to any item you bring to the shop. Any item you purchase in the shop to be monogrammed must be ordered by Dec. 10 to have it by Christmas Eve. The deadline for items that you bring in to be monogramed is Dec. 1.
8405 Germantown Ave.
Wooden Toys and Sculptures now showing at Gravers Lane Gallery. Germantown native Dona Dalton’s whimsical sculptures have been exhibited at the Philadelphia Craft Show, Woodmere Museum, the Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts, and prestigious galleries across the country. Many of Dalton’s sculptures will be cavorting in the window of Gravers Lane Gallery. More than toys, they are designed as keepsakes to be cherished for generations by children and adults of all ages. Her subject matter includes cats on wheels, birds and “I just love animals,” Dalton said. “I started as a toy designer and now I am doing larger wooden sculptures.”
7101 Emlen St.
Established in 2014 by Tina Dixon Spence as an e-commerce business, Buddha Babe is a Philadelphia-based luxury design studio focusing on accessories for babies, toddlers and the home. Items are designed, cut and crafted in West Mount Airy from natural and organic cottons in bright and cheerful patterns. The result is a line of items that provide comfort and style. Buddha Babe features: Blankies, swaddles, bibs, clothing for babies and toddlers, wellness products, gift sets, baby cards and baby books. In store and curbside pickup available. Closed Mondays & Tuesdays.
Wendy Concannon Fine Art Photography
Located at the corner of Germantown and Willow Grove, Concannon’s gallery features a wide range of art and photography, from colorful contemporary prints featured in home decor magazines. The Gallery is open Saturdays, 11-5 or by appointment.
Viva Leaf Tea Company
6730 Germantown Ave.
Located next to Malelani Cafe, Viva Leaf Tea Company provides healthful, locally grown teas. Owner Christa Barfield left a career in healthcare to develop her own brand of tea, which she grows on a small Pennsylvania farm. Her blended teas address a variety of common health issues, including pain management, appetite control, insomnia, metabolism booster and immunity booster. Her monthly Honey & Tea Subscription is a gift idea that will be appreciated throughout the year.
From Bali to Us
8532 Germantown Ave.
Located at the corner of Germantown and Evergreen Avenues, Laura Cohn’s own contemporary batik paintings are part of her annual Holiday Pop-Up celebration of handmade crafts from Bali.
107 Easton Rd, Glenside
Germantown artist Andromeda Cook is one of the featured artists this month at Moody Jones Gallery.
Supporting local and small businesses doesn’t have to be limited to Small Business Saturday. There are scores of local artisans who will be selling their wares this season at a variety of local outlets.
Mt. Airy Arts Garage 12th Annual Holiday Art Market
7054 Germantown Ave.
Located at the corner of Germantown and Mt Pleasant Avenues. For five consecutive weekends, this juried show will feature fine art, jewelry, handcrafts and photography with live music and food.
Noon to 7 p.m. on Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays; 11 a.m. to 5p.m. Nov, 20 through Dec. 18.
Allens Lane Art Center Fine Art & Pottery Sale
601 W. Allens Lane
This is the 5th Annual Fine Art and Pottery Sale at the Center. Aptly named “The Artful Gift,” the sale features pottery, tiles, paintings, sculpture and more created by 25 teachers, students and guest artists. See something you like? Take it home! Proceeds benefit exhibiting artists and programs at the Center. Visitors are required to wear masks and observe social distancing. The number of patrons allowed to enter will be limited in compliance with CDC guidelines. The early bird catches the best artful gifts. Dec.3-11, Noon to 7 p.m.
Northwest Artists Holiday Show
8855 Germantown Ave.
Located at the Center on the Hill, the show features the paintings of Mt. Airy watercolor artist Marcia Jonz and her students. Original paintings, photography, drawings, greeting cards, and more will be on display and for sale. A reception Friday, Nov. 26, 4-7pm including delicious treats and live music. RSVP required for opening reception. Call 215-247-4654. A percentage of sales supports the Center on the Hill. Nov. 27 through Dec. 17: Monday through Friday, 10 to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 to12.
Woodmere Museum Gift Shop
9201 Germantown Ave,
woodmereart.orgThis is a little shop with big ideas. You’ll find hand-crafted jewelry by local designers, including Abra Couture, John Wind, Andrea Abrams-Herbert, Cynthia Murray, and Sara Hodge. They also have hand-painted scarves by Kathy Robinson, ceramics from Young Kang, and wooden sculptures by Dona Dalton. And what could be a sweeter gift than honey from Erdenheim Farms in Lafayette Hill?