By Christina Chastain
There are so many benefits to shop local. Let me just name a few. When you shop local: more of your money will be kept in your local economy, you create local jobs, you invest in entrepreneurship, you help the environment, you nurture community, you encourage expertise, and you conserve your tax dollars! So when flitting about this weekend looking for the last of your holiday gifts (or if you’re just getting started), consider one of the below local shops where you’re sure to be able to check everything off on your holiday list!
Left Bank Books opened in 1969 by a group of graduate students at Washington University who wanted to create a place where one could find all kinds of literature. Left Bank is the oldest and largest independently-owned full-line bookstore in St. Louis, and offers a full-line of new and used books, gifts, cards, magazines, toys, and services. Their mission is to spark public conversation by curating an intelligent, relevant, culturally diverse selection of books.
Inspired by the concept of uniting house and garden, Bowood Farms includes an enticing selection of home and garden gifts that are inspired by nature and bring the outdoors in. It all comes full circle with the addition of Café Osage, a breakfast and lunch spot where you can sit outside among the plants as you dine on organic, house-made selections. No matter what brings you to the big chartreuse doors, you will definitely enjoy the experience!
Bridge Bread is a social enterprise designed to provide job opportunities for people experiencing homelessness. The goal of the program is to help the disadvantaged engage in a financially rewarding effort that enhances self-worth, promotes dignity, and enables them to help themselves. Did we mention, their baked goods are phenomenal!
Urban Matter is a home accessories & gift boutique featuring local makers & artisans, curated treasures and made-by-hand goods. They also offer design services, custom lighting, house made leather goods, and a unique indoor/outdoor event space.
Flowers & Weeds is a floral studio, urban flower grower, and greenhouse in South City St. Louis run by a group of creative women with green thumbs and big brains.
Anew Nature is a furniture restoration and custom design company that provides leadership and training to men who have served prison time for felony offenses. It serves dozens of interns every year, equipping them with workplace culture skills, tool literacy, professional communications, and training in carpentry, woodworking, welding, painting, and masonry.
STL Style has grown from a basement t-shirt shop to a bona fide force in the local scene. Now, after more than a decade in business with a talented team of cohorts and bustling full-service retail and custom design shop on Cherokee Street, they are taking their unrelenting love for St. Louis to a whole new level.
The Novel Neighbor is a charming and unique space that carries new adult and childrens’ books, as well as unique works from local artists. They offer an amazing community space for book clubs, classes, author events, after-school activities, tastings, parties, showers, and more!
sammysoap is a job creation machine for adults with intellectual disabilities disguised as the world’s best soap company. They exist in support of human health, a clean planet, and disability wage equality.
Artisan earrings, scarves, and even masks are among the eclectic treasures you’ll encounter in this fair-trade store that helps makers from around the world find a market for their creations.