Seattle's Child

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Shop local, shop small: How to support Seattle businesses, find great gifts

Put some local love into your 2021 holiday shopping. Here's how to get started.

Shop local, 2021:

How do we give gifts to people we love and also help each other out in Seattle? Small business is the heart of every city, and especially in the times we’ve been living through, it’s so important to shop at the stores that are in our communities.

These are the places that showcase our neighborhoods, they’re where we meet up with friends and they give so much back to our city. And unless we want everything we buy to be from a giant box store or to show up at our house in a box, we need to make sure we support them this holiday season and beyond. You probably already have a favorite neighborhood store you could stop by and support.

Shop Small” and “Small Business Saturday” (November 27) may have been invented by American Express, but it’s still a great idea, and Artist Sunday (Nov. 28) is gaining momentum as well.

[ Related: Use Buy Nothing groups to simplify the holidays ]

If you’re looking for new places to visit, I’ve put together a list of a few local businesses that you might want to stop by for some very Seattle gifts:

Shop small: getting started

One way to keep on top of shopping small is to follow along with Laura Clise and her site the Intentionalist. This website was started in the early days of the pandemic and has been helping out small businesses all over Seattle ever since. You can shop to help specific communities through the site’s lists of businesses, and there are tons of great local gift ideas. In addition, you can buy gift certificates for Seattle businesses. Introduce the receiver to a new-to-them small business and help them “Spend like it matters” too!

Shop local: Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is another place full of unique and local small businesses.

  • Eighth Generation is owned by the Snoqualmie tribe and has beautiful products designed and made by Native artists that make perfect gifts-my son loves the socks we’ve bought for him here, and I have my eye on the Whispering Blossoms ceramic coffee tumbler.
  • The Made in Washington store (they’re online and in other shopping centers, too) is full of locally made products including Sea Bear salmon gift boxes and local coffee. I love that they have Rachel and Billy the Pig ornaments: These pigs are replicas of their iconic namesakes in Pike Place Market, and proceeds go back to Seattle’s Pike Place Market Foundation.
  • Savor Seattle, a food tour company that started putting together Pike Place Market boxes early in the pandemic, has a Seattle Snack box that includes products from Chukar Cherries and Coro by Salumi. I am also a huge fan of their Iconic Market boxes that change monthly and feature produce from Frank’s Quality Produce. Some of their boxes can be shipped nationally too.

Experience gifts and shopping experiences

shop local

The Works has classes, DIY kits and more. (Terumi Pong photo)

Sip and Ship has storefronts in Greenwood and Ballard and a Sweater Weather Gift Set with coffee, a Lulumiere candle and homemade granola that feels like a very “from Seattle” gift (and you can sip coffee and shop and even mail your gifts from this store). And if you are looking for an experience gift, Lulumiere even has candle-making workshops. For a few other experience gift ideas you might try London Plane for floral classes, The Works for everything from card making to tea blending and DIY kits you can do at home. Seattle Chocolates offers a a factory tour.

Shop small: Businesses that give back

Boma Jewelry is a local jewelry business that just celebrated their 40th anniversary. Their products are in shops all over the Seattle area. Their Mountain Sunset necklace, for example, is very Pacific Northwest and a great gift for someone who loves the outdoors. In addition, they have a grant program that helps BIPOC jewelry designers, creative directors and entrepreneurs that will be opening for applicants in the first part of 2022.

Black Coffee Northwest is a coffee shop that is constantly helping out its community from school supply drives to giving out meals on Thanksgiving and pop-ups for local businesses inside their Shoreline coffee shop. They have gift certificates that you can easily buy online.

The Pastry Project in Pioneer Square free pastry training to people with barriers to education and employment. Their Pastry Kits and Goody Box subscriptions from their Holiday Gift Guide are both fabulous gifts that also help out our community. The Pastry Project has a free cookbook and tool library if you want to make homemade gifts in your own kitchen as well.

Do you have a favorite local Seattle shop? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

More holiday fun in Seattle’s Child:

Holiday events around the Seattle area, 2021

Where to find the best and brightest light displays

About the Author

Terumi Pong

Terumi Pong is a Seattle family travel writer and phone photographer who grew up in Vancouver, B.C. She is mom to twin boys and a yorkie poo pup named Scout and spends most weekends in the mountains with her family.