23 November 2015

Shop Fort Wayne Small Businesses!

Hey friends!

Ben and I try really hard to follow some basic guidelines with Christmas shopping every year.  I was going to go all into the whys, but then I got lazy.  If you are wondering why we follow these rules, try google or ask me. ;)

Christmas Shopping Rules: Shop small business, shop local, shop fair trade, shop Made in USA, shop “ethical."  Not every item falls into all categories obviously, but generally over half of our shopping falls into at least one of those categories.

I know most of my Facebook friends do not live in Fort Wayne, but I do know a lot of people flood into Fort Wayne to come shop at our big mall, and all the chains surrounding.  I decided to put together a shopping guide that goes beyond that. Maybe you can consider visiting a few of these places BEFORE setting foot in the mall?  And please do not eat at our chain restaraunts!! You will be missing out.  

These are my personal favorites, BUT there are so many cool places!  I wish I could list them all. I did link below for a list of local downtown businesses. 

Fancy and Staple: (Downtown)  Brand new shop downtown.  It is filled with a lot of unique gift items, some local and most products made by other small businesses throughout the country.  A majority (not all) is made in USA.  It is a pricey boutique, but the items are really fun. 

Creative Women of the World: (Downtown)  The bottom of the store is all fair trade items.  Most of it caters towards women, but they also sell coffee, tea, and chocolate.  Upstairs has a lot of unique goods made by local Fort Wayne women artisans.  A lot of jewelry and some other things.

Hedgehog Press: (Northside neighborhood, near downtown) This is a print shop in our neighborhood, but the owner sell lots of fun items too.  We have bought butterfly earrings, printed coasters, cards, and notepads from here. Very cool stuff. Definitely a gem of a place!

Sweets So Geek: (North Anthony Corridor, north of downtown)  They make chocolates and cookies shaped like “nerd” culture figures.  You know, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Superheros.  Someone on our list nearly always gets something from here.  They also sell various local items made by other small businesses in town.  Like superhero and star wars stuffed animals, wall art, jewelry, etc. 

Stoners: (Downtown)  Lots of gag items and costume type things.

History Center, Fort Wayne Zoo, Science Central, Art Museum, Botanical Gardens gift shops: (Downtown)   All of these places are open year round, and do not require paying admission to shop. 

City Exchange: (Downtown)  I have not been in here yet.  They used to host a holiday pop up shop event around this time of there year that was AMAZING.  Now they semi-permanently house several small, local vendors who are somewhat testing the waters of having their own retail shops.  Check it out!

Summit Sports, Comics, and Games: (Jefferson Pointe, West Side) Title pretty much says it all.  Find gifts for all your sports lovers and comic book and nerd culture fans here.  Located in the Jefferson Pointe Shopping Mall.

The Olive Twist: (Coventry Plaza, West Side)  Fancy, flavored olive oils and spices.  If nothing else, stop here for the free samples.  Very neat shop!

The Monogram Shop: (Coventry Plaza, West Side)   This store has so many cool gifts for everyone!  They have unique toys, baby items, sports novelties, loads of stationary, and a lot of other cool things you won’t find anywhere else.
Firefly CafĂ©: (North Anthony Corridor, north of downtown) Has a small section of locally made products.  Eat lunch or a snack while you are here. 

Simply Socks Yarn Company: (East State Village, north of downtown) I went in here once, and it was awesome. Such a quaint little shop in my neighborhood.    Not into yarn? I bet someone on your list is.

DeBrand's: (Three locations)  A Fort Wayne classic.  DeBrand's make artisan chocolates.  They make great gifts.  Or you can just stop and get some for yourself. I won't tell. ;)

On small business Saturday (November 28): 
Artlink: They host the Foxy Ladies Art Posse.  This just means a lot of really cool businesses have booths set up selling so many awesome gift options.  Pottery, jewelry, stuffed toys, shaped crayons, leather wallets, greeting cards, hats, scarves, lotions…just some I remember of the top of my head.

Downtown Farmer’s Market:  The Holiday Market is so vibrant!  Some vendors I remember from last year: spices, lotions and body care, scarves, coffee, jewelry, jerkeys, cookies, so much goodness!  Located at Parkview Field.

We buy a lot of Christmas gifts between these two places.  The city also hosts “Holly Trolley” shopping on this day.  There is a trolley that will take you all over downtown to shop at local downtown businesses.  They have an excellent list of all the downtown businesses on their website! http://downtownfortwayne.com/holly-trolley/

While you are here, eat at:  (All are kid friendly.)
Caliente: (East State Village, north of downtown)  Small, authentic Cuban sandwich shop in our neighborhood. 

Acme: (East State Village, north of downtown)   Neighborhood bar and grill with solid food choices sure to please anyone.

Bravas:  (Just South of downtown.)  Local hamburger place that puts funky toppings on.  Definitely get an order of Patatas with garlic aioli on top!

Jk O Donnell's: (Downtown) Irish pub that is a Fort Wayne classic.

Pint ‘n’ Slice: (Downtown)  Pizza by the slice place downtown. 

 This list is not exhaustive, but it is a start.  Please help us keep money in our local economy, and yours!  

Shop small, shop local, and shop fair this Christmas!  You will be helping make the world a better place. ;) 

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