Shop Local And Take Your Holiday Gifts To The Next Level

Shop Local And Take Your Holiday Gifts To The Next Level

There are two types of people when it comes to holiday shopping: those who plan and those who procrastinate. Whether or not you’ve made a list and checked it twice, local businesses are the perfect place to find gifts for your friends and family. From gift shops in Arlington to pop-up-shops appearing around the DC metro area throughout the holiday season, you’re sure to find one-of-a-kind gifts.

Shopping locally is the best of both worlds for consumers and small businesses. However, if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, it may seem easier to fill your cart on Amazon and call it a day. While shopping from online corporations can be convenient, the holiday season is not the time to settle for fast delivery and somewhat mediocre products. There is no better way to show your friends and family that you care than giving them unique gifts. Local shops like The Urban Farmhouse in the Bluemont neighborhood of Arlington prioritize matching the right gifts to their shoppers for every special occasion.

“Part of what we love to do here is figure out who the person is buying for and what they like to do. A passion of ours is finding the perfect gift,” owner of The Urban Farmhouse Sarah Allen said.

At The Urban Farmhouse, there is no shortage of holiday cheer. No online shop or retail outlet can compare to the personalized service that the staff offers to each customer. Every piece in The Urban Farmhouse is curated by Allen, which makes it easier for shoppers to find unique gifts created by local artists.

“I’m always collecting ideas in my head, so I’m always looking for new art and new artists. The same with everything else we sell, obviously, we try to find things locally…. We always have new stuff. All the way through the holidays, I feel like every couple days I’m opening boxes,” Allen said.

Two the Moon is another local store in the Arlington area that provides a selection of gifts for every occasion. The owner for the past ten years, Johanna Braden, values the business of members of the community.

“If you’re supporting a local community, you’re supporting the people that are working here. A lot of our products are either made in the United States or they’re local. It’s easy to support amazon and big box stores, but it takes a little more time to come in and support small businesses,” said Braden.

Year-round stores aren’t the only options to find exceptional gifts this holiday season. Falls Church and DC host various holiday markets that highlight small businesses. Earlier in December, the Holiday Gift and Craft Show in Falls Church showcased artisans, like Haruko Greenberg, the owner of Pottery Nomad. Her pottery is truly something you can’t find anywhere else. Greenberg, as the wife of a diplomat, had the unique ability to learn different ceramic techniques all around the world.

“Whenever we went somewhere I tried to learn how to throw. I went to art school in Houston, Texas to do ceramics. I also went to a ceramic studio in Japan. So, [I learned] here and there, not just one place. In each place I found a teacher and a place to practice pottery. That’s why it’s Pottery Nomad, it’s a mixture,” said Greenberg.

After her husband retired, Greenberg returned to Falls Church and decided to create an LLC to sell the pottery that she had created in her free time. Now, Greenberg creates pottery for Rare Bird Café and Botanologica in Falls Church. These opportunities to expand her local business have given Greenberg the ability to connect with her community.

“I met many new people through my work and it gives me a strong motivation to make pottery with each person holding my mug in mind,” said Greenberg.

Shopping locally strengthens the community by providing local jobs and encouraging economic growth. Even if you’ve completed all of your holiday shopping, you can still support these small businesses year-round.

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Katelynn Cox
Katelynn Cox, Reporter
Katelynn Cox is a senior beginning her first year on the Sentry. She is a leader in Yorktown’s FCA and enjoys spending her free time outdoors. Having previously taken other Journalism classes, Katelynn is enthusiastic about using her passions of writing and reporting for the Sentry.  

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