Kent Up Close, Shop Local with Heather Daniel Waltz, Main Street Kent

Kent Up Close: Shop Local this Holiday Season

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Purchasing local helps support and grow local businesses and when you shop local you are individually stimulating the local economy. During the Christmas season of 2010, I decided to avoid the malls and department stores and focus on shopping in Kent. I successfully bought 100% of my gifts locally that year and I’ve never looked back. How do I do it? Kent’s small business owners make it so easy! As a member of Kent service clubs and someone who works with non-profits, I’d like to add that nearly all of the local businesses I frequent are regular supporters of community fundraisers, further giving back directly to the citizens of Kent.

Teachers/Party Hosts/Coworkers:

Peppermint Bark from Popped!
Peppermint Bark from Popped!

My go-to gifts often come in the form of edible gifts. All of my kids’ teachers get chocolates or popcorn from Popped every year and sometimes get a gift card for Tree City Coffee if they’re local or a bag of Scribbles roasted coffee.

Kids eating lunch at Tree City Coffee
Mom/Sister-In-Law/Best Friend:

Original artwork and jewelry at Troppus Projects

I usually have to go no further than Carnaby Street Style for everything I need for the women in my life. Check out their insulated coffee (or wine!) cups, cozy winter hats and scarves. I also love getting gifts from Gracy Lane (jewelry and fun serving dishes are two favorites). Troppus Project has art they can wear in the form of hand made earrings.

Comfy winter hats from Carnaby Street Style
Comfy winter hats from Carnaby Street Style

Husband/brother/Dad:
GV Artwork in Acorn Ally is a great addition to town, I’ve already picked out some great shirt and hoodies for the men in my life. McKay Bricker Gallery has a wonderful, ever-changing variety, such as hand-carved keychain toothpick holders, belts, and bags.

Off the Wagon

The Kids:
Look no further than Off the Wagon and Red Letter Days. There are so many games to choose from, toys, and crafting kits. I’ve also purchased the gift of Art Classes from Handcrafted. My kids each get an individualized ornament every year, usually from Sue Nelson Designs or The Works.

Red Letter Days

Those difficult people:
We all have a challenging person to shop for! While gift certificates are a great gift for the really tough people, they don’t have to be boring or from large chain stores and restaurants. Try gift certificate for a night out at Laziza, Treno, or Barrio or maybe tickets for a show at The Kent Stage. Musicians may love a classic turntable or a gift certificate from Woodsys.

For that special person:
Please, please, please visit Squirrel City Jewelers! They carry an amazing variety of local and handcrafted jewelry. It’s like nothing you can find at a mall! I love the individually hand-made watches, footprint and signature jewelry, and all of the necklaces, earrings, pendants and rings made by hand by a variety of artists, including the shop’s owner.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some Kent gems, so take a visit downtown and look around! I bet you’ll find some great gifts and in buying local, you’ll support a local family and our city!