12/172013

Tips on How to Shop Local in Phoenix this Holiday Season

By: Hayfa Aboukier

During this lovely holiday season, when you are trying to find the perfect unique gift, supporting local might very well be the best option out there. Not only are you boosting your local economy, you are also boosting your awesomeness in the gift giving department.

Many people, including myself, have varying definitions for what it means to support local. Whether that means it has been locally sourced and locally made OR it simply means buying from local vendors, supporting local is something I encourage all to dabble in.

Local Holiday Shopping Hayfa Aboukier 5

One organization, Local First Arizona, “empowers individuals to build the life they want in their local community.”  Recently, Local First Arizona introduced their new membership option that goes beyond business membership, it is becoming a “Localist”. Through the Localist membership you get discounts and freebies affiliated with local businesses around the state of Arizona in addition to other perks. Not a bad deal!

Even just days away, I have to be honest with myself (you might too) that procrastination might have to be another New Year’s resolution. Don’t worry, there is plenty of time and lots of wonderful things you can purchase locally that will make you look like the next best thing since Santa Claus.

As you find yourself in these last minute throws of holiday prep, here are a few ideas to nudge you in the direction of locally grown gifts.

Phoestivus

Phoestivus is a fun evening set in Downtown Phoenix focused on the opportunity to purchase gifts from 100+ local vendors. Tomorrow, Wednesday, December 18 from 4:00pm-8:00pm, you can come out to the Downtown Public Market, eat dinner from one of the many food carts, and shop for all your holiday gifts. Follow the link here for a full list of the vendors.

Local Vendors

There are far too many local vendors to outline here, but I did catch a few that recently caught my attention.

Boothill Bronze Works

Photo from Boothill Bronze Works.

Boothill Bronze Works:  Douglas Covert, a mentee to Paolo Soleri, owns a fine art bronze foundry where all art pieces are cast in the ancient art of “lost wax bronze casting”. You can find him at the Downtown Public Market showcasing some of my favorite pieces, the wind bells. This is the perfect gift for the outdoor lover. Who doesn’t love a little music in the air?

Local Holiday Shopping Hayfa Aboukier 3

H2E Design: Nicholas Cappele, founder and principal of H2E Design, focuses his work around creating essential oil blends, soy-based candles and bath products specifically devoted to health and wellness in addition to his interior design work devoted to creating sacred spaces using basic feng shui principles. Sometimes a little pampering is all someone wants or needs around this time of year.

Refresh Glass

Photo from Refresh Glass.

Refresh Glass: Refresh Glass, founded by Ray DelMuro, diverts thousands of wine bottles from going to the landfill, and instead turns them into functional pieces including drinking glasses, candle votives, the self watering planter (my favorite), and much more. This product epitomizes local and sustainable as a result of its locally sourced wine bottle collection, waste diversion, and repurposing.

Make your gift using local materials

Nothing says love like slaving away and handcrafting your holiday gift. The great thing about homemade gifts is that it looks a lot harder than it actually is AND it impresses all recipients and bystanders.

Local Holiday Shopping Hayfa Aboukier 1

Infused Syrup Gift Jars using locally harvested honey from Absolutely Delightful Honey. You can always throw in a few additional local honey based goodies from their shop to make a themed holiday gift!

Local Holiday Shopping Hayfa Aboukier 4

Homemade preserves using local fruits found at the farmers market. Currently, citrus is hitting peak season so a marmalade or chutney is the most cost effective and local option.

Bake something delicious such as holiday cookies or truffles and package them up all pretty.

Learn to knit and make a scarf. You can buy yarn from the market, which is made from local sheep fur.

Whether you shopped at the market, hit up local vendors, or made your gift at home using local materials, enjoy this holiday season and spread the cheer with your badass gifts.

Photo Credit: All photos by the author unless noted otherwise. Lead image by mattbuck (category) (Own work by mattbuck.) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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