Ideas for Shopping Small + Supporting Local

Now more than ever, we’re trying our best to shop small and support local. These businesses are truly the lifeblood of our communities and I thought it might be helpful to share a few different (and fun!) ways that you, too, can support the local spots you love. This obviously includes monetary support (i.e. buying something) and also a few other ideas that won’t cost you a dime (but will still make a big difference). So let’s dive right in!

Restaurants + Bars

Man, I cannot wait for the day that we’re able to visit some of our favorite spots around town for an actual dining experience. In the meantime, we can still offer support by…

  • Ordering takeout or delivery – we’ve been doing this about once or twice a month. It makes for a fun date night at home. Pro tip: If you do order food and you’re socially savvy, give them a shoutout!
  • Lots of restaurants in Tennessee are also offering to-go cocktails with your food order. For example, we recently ordered Mexican from Rosepepper and had the option to add on some of their amazing margaritas… it’s a no-brainer and saves you a trip to the liquor store.
  • Need a gift for someone out of town? Be sure to check out the local options near them for delivery! For Mother’s Day, we ordered a beautiful charcuterie board for Dan’s mom from Goat Sheep Cow in Charleston, SC. They delivered it right to her door, just in time for happy hour.
  • Buying gift cards for later use offers an establishment immediate monetary support, and gives you something to look forward to post-quarantine!
  • Leave a positive review for your favorite spots on Google Reviews, Facebook, Yelp, etc.
Apple & Oak offers shipping and contact-free curbside pick-up! One of my favorite places to shop in Nashville.
Vintage Turkish rug from Apple & Oak: hallway-tested, Barbara-approved.
Plants are therapeutic. I love to support my local plant shops like Gardens of Babylon!

Retail

Most local retail stores are offering reduced shipping costs or even free curbside pick-up. If you need a gift for someone (or if you’re just doing a little shopping for yourself), definitely check with your local favorites and see what they’ve got going on! Here are a few things to keep in mind…

  • Be patient. Small businesses are just that: small. And sadly, many of them have had to cut down to skeleton crews just to keep functioning… so it wouldn’t take much to overwhelm normal processing/shipping times. I think this entire experience is a nice exercise in patience so in any situation, let’s be sure to offer support and a little more grace to one another.
  • If you need a gift for any occasion (birthdays, babies, anniversaries, etc.), make sure to ask about gift wrapping options. If it costs a few bucks, you’ll be offering additional monetary support AND they’ll be taking all the work out of making the gift pretty for your recipient!
  • Score something cute to wear from one of your favorite local retailers? Again, tagging on social media or posting a positive review online goes a long way.
  • Here are just a few of my favorite retailers, both local to Nashville and beyond:
    • Apple & Oak (Nashville, TN | gifts, amazing vintage rugs and much more)
    • Old Made Good (Nashville, TN | local artist selling original works, vintage clothing, furniture, gifts and more)
    • Vinnie Louise (Nashville, TN | clothing, baby, gifts)
    • Finnley’s (Nashville, TN | women’s clothing, gifts)
    • Gardens of Babylon (Nashville, TN | one of my favorite local plant shops)
    • Hunter & June (Nashville, TN | local pet store with THE cutest items for your four-legged friend)
    • XOMandysue (Newport, CA | online, husband & wife-owned clothing boutique for women – use code ERING35 to get 35% off!)
    • Nectar Sunglasses (Charleston, SC | super stylish sunnies – use code EBGABRI to save 15%)
    • Old Whaling Co. (Charleston, SC | the most delicious body butters, candles and much more)
    • Rewined Candles (Charleston, SC | some of my favorite candles of all time)
    • Emerson Sloan (Houston, TX | I used to work here! The most fun party supplies, gifts and much more)
    • Maggie Louise Confections (Austin, TX | adorable chocolates – great gift idea!)
    • Alice & Wonder (Chicago, IL | women’s clothing and cute gifts)
    • The Foggy Dog (San Francisco, CA | Barb’s leash, collar, bandanas and several toys are from here – amazing quality!)
Old Made Good (O.M.G.) is one of my all-time favorite Nashville spots.
Manny came from Old Made Good and was the PERFECT addition to our updated dining room!
Pet portrait by my insanely talented friend, Lacey (Hennessey in the Home). She truly does it all, folks.

Groceries

There are quite a few options for sourcing food items outside of your big-box grocery stores…

  • Check your local farmer’s market. The Nashville Farmer’s Market is currently offering pre-ordering online for curbside pickup, so you can help support local farmers and vendors when you shop.
  • Support your local butcher! They also tend to sell things like fresh eggs, milk, cheese and more.
  • Socially distance at a pick-your-own produce field (strawberries are in season right now!)
  • A lot of restaurants are also offering take-and-make meals that you can throw in the fridge or freezer. Supports them and simplifies your life!
Family “porch-rait” by the talented Justin Fricke.

Local Artists + Performers

There are quite a few ways to support our local artists and performers… many of whom rely on social gatherings/events or tips to make ends meet. These folks are putting it all on the line to follow their dreams and it is so important for us to support them during this difficult time. Here are a few ideas…

  • In the market for some new jewelry? Research local makers. Two of my favorites are Cosmic Charlie’s and Laura Cox Collection.
  • Want to get some updated family photos taken? Hire a local photographer! Justin Fricke recently took some incredible “porch-raits” of Dan, Barb and me and I know we’ll treasure them for years to come.
  • Need a unique gift for someone, or looking to up your art game at home? Commission a local artist or buy something from their website. My dear friend Lacey of Hennessey in the Home packaged up the most beautiful mosaic piece for my mom for Mother’s Day and it was a huge hit!
  • If you’re watching finances, I totally get it. Luckily, you can still do small things that make a big difference for these folks. Liking/posting on social media goes a long way. If there’s an up-and-coming performer you’re digging, follow them on Spotify or YouTube and share your favorites.
  • Do it for the ‘Gram. You can certainly practice social distancing in a mural pic… just make sure to tag the artist(s)! Find some of my favorite Nashville murals here.

Despite the challenges this pandemic has presented for everyone, it has been really empowering to see businesses (especially small and local) get creative and come up with new ways to function and thrive. At the end of the day, our support means everything to them. These are just a few ideas and I’d love to hear if you have more – drop them in the comments below. And as always, many thanks for being here.

Cheers,

E

Leave a Reply