Today I want to share some advice, tips and hopefully some inspiration to shop local for everyone on your Christmas list this year. But first, I’m just going to admit it. I hate Black Friday shopping. I know there are many of you who anxiously await that moment when you get your hands on those ads. You make your lists and map out your routes to score the best deals. I’m just not one of you. To quote the hilarious Heather Land (watch her videos o Facebook or YouTube if you need a chuckle, or belly laugh!), I’m over here trying to stay saved y’all! If I go out in that mess, I’m afraid I would lose my sanity and salvation, good grief! The Christmas season is, by far, my most favorite time of the year, well, Christmas and summer! I love all of the holiday festivities; entertaining family and friends; taking in all of the beautiful holiday décor; oh, and the music and treats, and…I could go on and on because it truly is the most wonderful time of the year! Dredging through crowds of fanatics just doesn’t interest me. Sorry if you’re one of them, I hope we can still be friends 🙂 ! I admire those of you who brave the insanity of the day, hopefully you scored some amazing deals.
This year, rather than shopping the large department stores and big box chain retail stores, I intend to shop locally for much of my gift giving. We all know the benefits of shopping locally, but why limit it to just “Small Business Saturday”? I decided to create a list of my favorite local (to Kansas City) shops that I plan to revisit along with others I plan to visit for the first time in hopes of finding something for everyone on my list and having a great time while doing it! Even though all of these shops are in Kansas City, I encourage all my friends near and far to schedule a date with a friend, parent, spouse or a special child in your life and venture off the beaten path to discover new shops in your own town. You’re bound to create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime (and perhaps find a new favorite shop too!). Most of my picks listed here sell online, so for all of my not so local friends, you too can shop with me remotely and bring a little bit of the Midwest to your home town!
For the foodie on your list:
Boys Grow is a local Kansas City non-profit that teaches young men in the urban areas valuable life, agricultural, culinary, entrepreneurial, marketing, sales and construction skills. The boys work on an active farm where they grow, make and sell all of their own products. Check out their website at www.boysgrow.com where you can find all of the products they have to offer.
The Sundry offers seasonal café fare, craft draft beer & locally made pantry items offered in a hip, industrial space. They are located at 300 E. 39th St. Kansas City, MO 64111
For the one that enjoys entertaining:
Pryde’s Kitchen & Necessities home of the largest selection of Fiesta dinnerware in the Midwest Pryde’s offers a wide array of culinary treats for the entertaining enthusiast in your life! Pryde’s Kitchen & Necessities is located at 115 Westport Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64111
The Pot Rack is another premier kitchenware store located in Northeast Kansas offering gadgets, accessories, specialty coffee, tea, mixes and condiments. This is also a great shop to buy for the coffee lover on your list! Located at 626 Cherokee St., Leavenworth, Kansas.
Nell Hills is a Kansas City icon featuring a combination of antiques, beautiful home décor and kitchenware located at 4101 N. Mulberry Drive, Kansas City, MO 64116.
For the outdoorsman/woman:
Rogers Sporting Goods is a family owned retail store located 1760 N. Church Road Liberty, MO 64068. Rogers has been in business for over 35 years, providing a great selection of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear at great prices.
For the bookworm:
Rainy Day Books has been an independent community bookseller in Kansas City since 1975. You can find autographed books as well as author autograph events in this quaint shop located at 2706 W 53rd Street, Fairway, Kansas 66205.
For the gardener:
Planters has been a go to for seeds, gardening items, bulk spices, coffee and teas since 1928. The original building located at 513 Walnut St # A, Kansas City, MO 64106 still exists which was built in the late 1800’s, a true Kansas City original.
For the fashionista:
Nickel & Suede is an up and coming jewelry and accessory maker making their mark on the Kansas City scene. You can find their brick and mortar shop located at 111 N. Water in St. Liberty MO but their items can be found in many shops throughout the city.
Knitted Belle Boutique is a charming Overland Park boutique offering unique, trendy clothing for women located at 7111 W. 151st Street, Suite 316, Overland Park KS 66223
TeaElla boutique is another charming boutique specializing in comfy chic clothing for women. They can be found at either of their locations 14104 W. 135th St. Olathe, KS 66062 and 4837 W. 135th St. Leawood, KS 66224.
For the Pet Lover:
Bentley’s Pet Stuff offers just that, pet stuff. Located at 6555 W 119th Street, Overland Park, Ks. 66209 and 14909 W 119th Street, Olathe, Ks. 66062.
Woof gang bakery and grooming needs little explanation, they provide grooming, pet day care, bakery items, basically anything to care for and pamper your pet. Located at 11876 W 135th St, Overland Park, KS 66221
For the Hipster:
The Westside Storey is a hip boutique carrying casual streetwear, accessories, home décor & gifts with a Kansas City theme. Located at 1701 Summit St, Kansas City, MO 64108
Charlie Hustle is another Kansas City icon specializing in vintage inspired casual ware, mainly t-shirts in KC and collegiate themes. All items are made in the USA too! Check out their website for all of the locations you can find them at, they also have pop up locations periodically around the city.
For the Chocolate Lover:
Christopher Elbow Chocolates are the perfect gift for anyone on your list that has a sweet tooth and appreciates the artistic quality that this world class, Kansas City native chocolatier. His creations are an amazing feast for the eyes and palette. His treats can be found at his brick and mortar shop located at 1819 McGee Street, Kansas City, MO 64108. You can also purchase online or visit one of the retailers throughout the country that are luck enough to have his work on display in their shops, the list of those shops can also be found on his website www.elbowchocolates.com.
Laura Littles Candies is another delightful maker of all things sweet, the fudge here is unlike any I’ve ever had. It’s worth making a trip here just for a piece of it! Laura Littles also has gift baskets and arrangements premade for simple and delicious gift giving. The shop is located at 2100 W 75th St. Prairie Village, Ks. 66208.
For the collector:
West Bottoms is one of my very favorite areas of the city to visit, especially on First Friday Weekends when all of the shops are open. The atmosphere in both the West Bottoms and Crossroads districts is so fun and unique, if you live in KC and haven’t been here, you are missing out! There are numerous shops to chose from for collectors of antiques, home décor, vintage pieces, art, food and restaurants. Located in the historic Kansas City West Bottoms and Crossroads District.
River Market Antiques is a 30,000 square foot building located in the historic River Market area of KC and is home to over 100 dealers. Located at 115 W 5th St, Kansas City, MO 64105
Urban Mining was the pioneer in the First Fridays concept in Kansas City offering unique furniture and home décor items. Urban Mining is open only one four day weekend per month and is located in the historic Meyer building in the heart of midtown. 3923 Main Street, Kansas City, Mo. 64111.
And of course, for the tots on your list:
Brookside Toy & Science has provided Kansas City children and families toys and educational fun since 1964. Some proclaim it’s the best toy store ever! Brookside Toy & Science is located at 330 West 63rd St. Kansas City, MO 64113.
Zoom, located on the Country Club Plaza, offers quality toys for all ages. They don’t have a website but they are located at 300 Ward Pkwy, Kansas City, MO 64112 and the link above will direct you to their Facebook page.
Want a unique gift for families or those hard to buy for folks?
Make memories! That’s the beauty of the holiday season, making lifelong memories with family and friends. Do you enjoy ice skating? How about a festive, family game night? Why not take the family on a local trip before Christmas. When you do, capture tons of pictures to create a photo album (or better yet, a photo book!) to give as a gift to all that attended. You make memories, have a great time and have a gift that will be enjoyed for years to come. You can do the same if you took a family trip throughout the year, even kids will like looking through pictures that they can actually touch rather than scroll through on a device.
After you’re finished hustling and bustling around town….
Don’t forget to RELAX! You hear people say it all the time, don’t let the holidays stress you out. It’s true. By getting stressed out you aren’t doing yourself any good and you lose your joy. Not to mention, you probably aren’t much fun to be around when you’re stressed out (sorry if that hurt, I said it with all the love in my heart! 🙂 ). Take time to enjoy the little things that make you happiest, enjoy a cup of coffee listening to Christmas music. Make your own or buy a special bath salt or bubble bath, take a long relaxing bath. Whatever it is, make time to do it. You (and those around you) will be glad you did.
Giving at it’s best….
One of the most important, in my mind, is to support a local charity. No need for explanation here. It feels better to give than to receive, you will be blessed beyond belief when you help those who need a helping hand or encouragement. This year, I plan to shop at stores that support my chosen charity, Boys Grow. This non-profit teaches young men business, agricultural and life skills as they work (and get paid!) on a local farm where they grow, sell and market all of their products. If you’d like to learn more about Boys Grow, click the link. If you feel so inclined to donate, you can do that on their website too.
Thanks for joining me on my little venture around Kansas City today, I know there are many more shops that are worthy of being noted, there’s no possible way I could name them all. If you have a favorite small business, PLEASE share it with me, I’d love to visit it if I haven’t already! Even if you don’t shop at one of the local businesses I’ve mentioned here, I’m hopeful you support other small businesses this holiday season and shop local.
Until next time,