CHARLOTTE, N.C. — From Midtown to Camp Northend, this year it’s easier to shop local than ever before and it may be what saves your holiday as shipping issues continue to be a big problem.
There’s been a push to shop local for years. You’ve probably heard of how Small Business Saturday started: American Express launched that campaign in 2010.
But with supply chain issues crippling so many industries, this year small businesses may just be the reason you have Christmas presents under your tree.
It wasn’t even Thanksgiving and already business was popping at Vintage Charlotte’s holiday pop-up shop in the Metropolitan shopping center just outside of uptown.
"Based on our opening weekend people are very excited to get gifts early and on time," the organization's founder, Amy Herman, said.
The holiday shop is full of local vendors. Everything is local or regionally sourced and much of the merchandise is handmade or vintage. You can find handmade ornaments, candles, clothing and more.
"We have about 90 plus local vendors and all of it is local. Everything is local," Samantha Pagnatti, Marketing Director for the Metropolitan, said.
That matters this year in ways it didn't in years past and customers seem to be very aware of that.
"Our opening weekend we broke every record that we’ve ever set and it was incredible. We're sold out of a ton of stuff were calling for re-stock," Herman said.
Kirstin Hayes is a Dilworth-based jeweler who held her first-ever early Black Friday sale weeks before the actual day and she too saw a record number of orders.
The owner of Moxie Mercantile in Plaza Midwood, Michelle Castelloe, said because almost all of her store goods are from local vendors, she doesn’t have to worry about shipping issues to guarantee her shelves will be stocked.
"I think the luxury is that small makers and businesses," Castelloe said. "My local vendors are literally right here so I don’t have to wait for them to ship to me, if they can make their product they can bring it to me."
"This year is a little different because people are going to be struggling with shipping times not being able to get orders by Christmas," Herman said. "Our shop is fully stocked everything is local and regionally sourced so it’s all already here."
And there’s another reason you’ll be on Santa's nice list when you shop local- according to Farm Bureau Financial Services, for every dollar spent at a local business, 67 cents stays within your local economy.
"It's really exciting to be able to support all of these local makers and brands in such an impactful way," Pagnatti said.
Small Business Saturday is still a thing. It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and many local businesses will offer special deals that day so it’s worth shopping around.
If you want to check out VTGCLT Pop it's in the old West Elm storefront in the Metropolitan. It's only open on weekends thru Dec. 10. After that, they’re open seven days a week through Dec. 22.
: Contact Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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