Recent studies have found that small businesses recirculate their revenue locally at a much higher percentage than the big box stores. The figures vary but in each case, local retailers trump the big chains in terms of giving back to their communities.
One study put the return at 52 percent for small businesses compared to 14 percent for national chains. Researchers came to this conclusion: “If residents and visitors were to shift 10% of their spending from chains to local businesses, it would generate an additional $235 million a year in local economic activity, creating many new opportunities and jobs.”
So this holiday season, why not be part of that shift researchers are talking about. Shop local. Here are a few places to start:
Soletta Shoe Boutique. 390 N. State St., Suite 116. 503.210.4125. Lucky for you, owner Carrie Elliott loves to shop…and her fashion forward sense means everything in her store is sure to please the recipients on your list. In addition to a sophisticated shoe selection, you’ll find handbags, jewelry and scarves culled from some of the finest designers both local (like a handmade chocolate ivy rose gold necklace by Grayling) and afar (like an Italian leather handbag with beautiful detailing by JJ Winters).
Accessories From the Heart. 220 A Avenue, Suite 100. 503.675.1144. Remember that statistic about local businesses giving back to their community? Owner Carol Winston walks the talk. When she’s not volunteering for the Rotary, Chamber, Lake Oswego Business Alliance, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, or the Arts Council she’s tracking down the perfect gift to make your shopping easier. Inside her store you’ll find over 100 vendors represented including some bigwigs like Brighton, Versace and Kate Spade as well as artists who design exclusively for Accessories From the Heart like Deb Funches and Dina McNalley (jewelry), Sarah Fenwick (photography) and Patricia Rogers (artwork).
Holiday Gallery. 510 First Street. 503.675.3738. This is your one-stop-shop for unique gifts featuring handcrafted art by 30 local artists, many of whom reside in Lake Oswego. The wide selection guarantees that you’ll find something just right for the person on your list. Choose from a variety of mediums: paintings, Ukranian eggs, fiber art and weaving, ceramics, stone and metal sculpture, furniture, collage, photography, paper and poetry, hand-bound books, and printmaking. The Gallery is offering a special promotion through December 23–find one of 60 signed white porcelain stars hidden throughout Lake Oswego and receive ten percent off your purchase when you bring it in (you get to keep the ornament too!). Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through December 23. Reception held each Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Graham’s Book & Stationery. 460 Second St. 503.636.5676. Paul and Teri Graham have a volunteer track record that speaks to how invested they are in the Lake Oswego community. They’re also invested in making your holiday shopping more merry and less harried with a wide assortment of gift items for everyone on your list. High on the cool factor is a line of upcycled products from Alchemy Goods. The company takes reclaimed bicycle inner tubes and old advertising banners and morphs them into classy gifts that will be an added bonus to the green person on your list. Choose from wallets, purses, luggage tags, toiletry bags and a Mercer Shoulder Bag with just the right compartments for storing your iPad, cell phone, journal and valuables—a perfect school or work companion.
The Oilerie. 438 1st Street. 503.675.6457. The Oilerie is a great stop for the foodies on your list. And the best part is you get to try before you buy. Sampling is encouraged. The Oilerie Duetto pairs one bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil with another of Aged Balsamic Vinegar complete with recipes to put your gift to use right away. The store can also package the olive oil and vinegar you choose in a festive pair of Santa Pants topped off with their holiday chocolate covered almond “olives” or local hazelnuts.
Lucky Me Boutique. 385 1st St, Suite 115. 503.636.9595. The cold weather has put Pandemonium faux fur scarves, hats, gloves and neck warmers on many shoppers’ lists this year. Owner Marie Lerud is also seeing a big demand for reversible shawl capes with a variety of color combinations that make them a versatile, stylish gift. And if you’ve got a Department 56 collector on your list, Lerud carries ornaments—aren’t you lucky!
Paper Caper. 16829 65th Avenue. 503.620.9460. From stocking stuffers to hostess gifts you can check a lot of people off your list at this store. Kray-zee Bells harken back to old-fashioned school bells custom designed to encourage recipients to ring for a hug, a smile, beer, the remote, coffee, money or chocolate. Selfies is a photo album designed to get those “here’s looking at you kid” pics off the devices and into a book. The kids on your list will love (the above) plus snow globes, erasable crayons and all kinds of markers–scented, glitter and brush. A good selection of Tea Forté and wine charms make perfect thank-yous for the holiday hostess.
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