Shopping Season in America

Okay, I know I should be pushing my own company at this time of year, but there are so many great options for this shopping season, I just had to let everyone know.

True, the bones of the turkey are barely simmering in the pot for tomorrow’s soup, but the big box stores will be opening up at 10pm and midnight tonight to get a jump on Black Friday. I have nothing against the big box stores, but I am a believer in small businesses (because I am one) and in things Made in USA (because that is what I do).

This is not a rant against everything non-USA, but our economy is on life support, the folks we elected can’t get along and there are people here that are living paycheck to paycheck.

There are many hard working people in this country that are making wonderful items for you to buy as gifts this holiday season.  Beautiful handmade products that you can not only buy to help out the economy of a family right here in the great ol’ USA, but in turn this family may go and buy products from the business that you own or work at.

One of the great places to look for people that sell their crafts and pieces of artwork are at Etsy.com. Everything from jewelry, photography, paintings, metal crafts and more. Do yourself a favor and just click on the link to see amazing products from people that just want a make a living doing things that they love! Please remember that while you are out waiting in line for hours at the big box stores, small businesses are in line waiting for you!

Some of my favorites are The Quilting Diva, she make the most amazing quilts and fabric items that you have ever seen… SpoonFudge, enough said, you will thank me later and Boxnmor, amazing crafts with wood!

American Express is having a Small Business Saturday for November 26th. If you spend $25 dollars or more at a Small Business, AE will give you a $25 credit! How amazing is that. They are paying you to shop at a small business. It is a win/win for everyone. Go to the link above and register now to take advantage of this great offer!

And when you take a break from all these great shopping ideas, try going to a non-chain restaurant for lunch or dinner. Yes, I enjoy Outback and Applebee’s too, but we need to broaden our dining palate every once in a while. One of my favorite apps on my iPhone (I am sure it is on other platforms too) is Yelp! Whenever we are thinking of a new place to try, we pull out the app and look for a place that we have never been before. We are more times than not surprised the great food in our very neighborhood that we have never tried before.

So there you go… My ten cents worth of advice how we can not only help our economy, but help our friends, neighbors and even ourselves this holiday season. Use the information or not, but if you see me having dinner at Wood Fired Pizza in Tampa, or Café Cibo in St. Petersburg, be sure to say, “Hello!”

And by the way, I hope you don’t mind a little pushing of Tracy’s Soaps as well!

Happy Shopping and helping America!

Tracy Knauer

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