Photo courtesy of Voxphoto, Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Voxphoto, Creative Commons

Yeah, I know. Sounds like a silly title. If you’re purchasing a gift for someone, you already have a purpose, right? Today I’m thinking beyond the purpose of finding a gift someone will like enough not to return. That the act of buying a great item in itself helps someone else – either directly or indirectly.

Now, I’m not completely opposed to chain store shopping. There are a few of them WAY too conveniently located for me not to hit them once in awhile (okay, maybe a LOT). However, my super smart friend Jessica recently wrote a blog on conscious consumerism that struck a chord with me. It’s here. You should read it. (You should read everything she writes, actually.)

I realized that, while I try to shop locally and support small businesses (wherever they are located), my main goal is to be thrifty. However, I am a lazy thrifty shopper. I largely go where the bargains are readily available – clearance racks at chain stores. That’s definitely a behavior I will strive to crush! Local shops have sales racks, too, yes?

Since I have yet to begin my foray into holiday shopping this year (no comments from the peanut gallery!), I asked my friends to suggest local businesses (in the Charlotte/Fort Mill area) and small artisan-type shops who ship globally. In addition to those types of shops, I have also included web sites where your purchase of unique items goes to help a charitable organization. I’ve made a list below for your convenience.

You might already have completed all your holiday shopping. Good for you, overachiever (I kid. Sort of.). If you haven’t, click away! Even if you’ve finished all your holiday shopping, there are always birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions to buy for.

Please feel free to add your favorite shopping haunts in the comments section, too. I’m always on the lookout for new places to find great stuff! 🙂

Local businesses:

The Sleepy Poet

The Boulevard at South End

Paper Skyscraper

City Art Works

Birds of a Feather Boutique

Sillie Lillie Events and Prints

Etsy shops and charitable organizations that sell really cool stuff:


Yellow Heart Art

Wine to Water

 Rafiki Exchange

Fields of Hope