5 Places to Shop Local this Holiday Season

The holiday season is right on top of us and, as a stereotypical male, I have been known to procrastinate on my gift shopping. With the ease of online shopping and the complications caused by the pandemic, many of us have turned to the convenience of online shopping more this year than ever, including me.

What if you could purchase your holiday gifts and give back to the community at the same time? I am talking about shopping local this holiday season. Supporting our community by buying local helps create jobs, improves our local economy, and the experience itself can create memories that last much longer than the gift itself.

Instead of just discussing why buying local is important, I wanted to try to give you a couple of local shops that may have that perfect gift you're looking for this Christmas season. Put on your mask and keep your money where your heart lives this holiday season!

Here are 5 places to visit over the next couple of weeks to get a great gift and support our local community at the same time.

  1. Sisset’s Home and Patio - Sissets.com - Of course, a landscape company would recommend a Patio and Garden store, but they are so much more. Choose from hammocks to lounge in, umbrellas to stay cool under, or garden accessories to gaze at. This store is a one-stop-shop for sprucing up your outdoor living space. If you enjoy the ease of shopping from home, they have online shopping and you can get your gift delivered straight to your door. Pro Tip: This shop is located very close to the next local shop, Plantstay, so hit both back-to-back!
     
  2. Plantstay - The Gainesville Plant Shop - Plantstay.com - Staying on brand with The Master’s Lawn Care, give the gift of a new plant from this local indoor plant shop. This shop focuses on the sale of interesting, less common, and sometimes rare plants. Plantstay is located in the heart of Gainesville, Florida, and is owned by two former employees of The Master's, Bren and Steve. Visit the store virtually or in-person to find the perfect living gift this holiday season!
     
  3. The AUK Market at Curia on the Drag - theaukmarket.com - A visit to the Curia Complex is perfect for any time of the day. You can grab a coffee from the shop, a meal from the food truck, and enjoy the large outdoor space which is perfect for social distancing (and you can bring your four-legged friend). The AUK Market, located on the Curia property, is a curated shopping experience showcasing vintage home goods and clothing as well as handmade jewelry, art, and accessories. If you aren’t able to stop by in-person, online shopping is available.
     
  4. Hearth & Heart- hearthheart.com - Locally owned and operated with two locations in Gainesville (Oaks Mall and Butler Town Centre), this is a one-stop-shop for anyone on your gift list. From apparel and jewelry to home goods and decor, you can spread your holiday cheer with a unique gift that will create memories for years to come. Pro Tip: Online orders over $50 include free shipping!
     
  5. Embers - Prime Steaks Wood Grill - embersofflorida.com - Give the gift of a fine dining experience at a locally-owned restaurant known for their extensive wine collection and exceptional steaks. The ambiance the restaurant creates is perfect for making lasting memories. As a matter of fact, this is the place where I proposed to my wife. Gift cards can be purchased online and delivered directly to the recipient. Pro Tip: It’s been a long 2020, give your special someone a reason to get dressed up and out of the house, you can’t go wrong.

Holiday shopping is a bit different this year, but, by shopping locally we can help our local businesses survive and remind each other of what our community has to offer. We are in this together. Happy Holidays!