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I'm taking the Pledge this Holiday Season.

So like everyone else this time of year, I've been bombarded with tons of

mailers, emails, Facebook ads, heck even text messages about Black Friday Deals and Specials. And it's tempting, I get it, Amazon, Target and I have been in a torrid love triangle for years.


But this Holiday Season I'm going to change it up. Instead of shopping with the click of a button or just giving a gift card so you can pick out you're own damn gift. This year I'm going to put the sincerity and meaningfulness back into gift giving all while helping local entrepreneurs and small business owners.


I am PLEDGING TO BUY LOCAL ONLY this holiday season. Small Business Saturday is great, but why stop there? When you buy local your money isn't going towards paying some big box retailers CEO's yacht. It's paying for someones kid to get glasses, or it goes towards their car payment or even helping to keep the electric on. That money is going directly into the hands of your neighbor, a friend and their family. It's staying in the community!


And there are so many amazing and unique things created by some talented individuals that are all around us! Whenever I've given a handmade gift I usually hear the words "That's so cool, where did you get this". You don't get that with something you've bought from Walmart. It also shows you care and have put some thought into your gift.


And a lot of these artisans have great stories behind their products. House of Swank Clothing has the softest, funniest t-shirts. John and his wife Jessica started their business making shirts in their kitchen and selling them in local bars out of a suitcase while John played his homemade Fritocaster guitar. Fast forward 10 years later they now own a brick & mortar shop in downtown Raleigh where they not only carry their awesome shirts, but other local artisans items as well. How cool is that?!?


And guess what... you won't have to travel to the mall struggling to find parking and fight the crowds, along with many small local boutiques and stores check your local events listings for pop-up shops & markets where these creative real life elves sell their goods. Here are just a few I found in my general area...


Nov. 29th Holiday Pop-Up Night Market at Pine State Coffee (Raleigh, NC.)

Nov. 30th Holiday Pop-Up at Transfer Co. (Raleigh, NC.)

Nov. 30th Makers Market (Fuquay-Varina, NC.)

Dec. 1st A City Market Christmas (Raleigh, NC.)

Dec. 6th-8th & Dec. 13th-15th Merry Little Christmas Festival (Wilmington, NC,)

Dec. 6th Holiday Market at the Farm! (Angier, NC.)

Dec. 8th Boylan Heights Artwork (Raleigh, NC.)

Dec. 14th The Holiday Mill Market (Fuquay-Varina, NC.)

Dec. 14th Holly Springs Holiday Bazaar (Holly Springs, NC.)

And to get you started on gift ideas here are a couple local favorites that never disappoint that are just a fraction of what you'll find at these markets and local shops...

Oak City Soap Co. "Luxury soap for Dirty People" they make some awesome smelling soap and bath bombs. oakcitysoap.com










Wicks for Wags "Candles for a Cause" these amazing smelling candles make you just feel good when take a whiff and in knowing that a minimum of 10% of the proceeds are donated to animal shelters and rescue groups around the United States to help and protect animals in need. wicksforwags.com








SKPink "Bad jokes by Good People" they makes hilarious cards, buttons & coasters. My favorite is "Taco Dirty to me". facebook.com/SKPinkart










For the guy in your life, Unrefined Roots makes cigar ashtrays, cigar cases, cutting boards, pens and so much more out of reclaimed wood. Talk about a one of a kind gift! unrefinedroots.com








Macarons, so delicious, so hard to make so thats why I buy them instead of making them! Little Blue Macaron is a great option if you are looking to give these yummy treats as the perfect stocking stuffer. littlebluemacaron.com










Talk about a piece of jewelry truly being a work of art! Any girl would be thrilled to receive a cuff or necklace by HHP Designs under the tree!

facebook.com/HeathersHodgePodge










Now, you may say Cristy I have kids and that's not gonna fly. Yes, its hard finding homemade toys (if you know of someone let me know). But if you're going to buy them I implore you to look for local small toy shops verses big box.


So, who's gonna join me in supporting our local artisans and small business owners by taking the pledge to shop local only this year!?!


-Cristy

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