Thanks to Kristi Trevarrow for her guest blog piece on Pure Michigan shopping. We love to hear from our audience, so please visit our guest blogger information page to learn how to submit your own story.
As the reality of my ever-growing shopping list set in, I decided to practice what I preach and do my holiday shopping in my downtown. Working in a downtown district, it is easy to be spoiled by the wide variety of businesses, each offering their own distinctive array of goods. It struck me that many of my friends and family might not be aware of all the great things to be found so close to home, so why not put downtown “under the tree” this holiday season.
With a chill in the air and wallet in hand, off I scurried from shop to shop in search of twinkling treasures. Exceptional gifts, inimitable objects and bright, smiling faces welcomed me at every stop on my shopping tour. I could hardly contain my excitement as I marveled at the fantastic items found right in my own hometown. My holiday shopping list became shorter at every stop, while the number of packages steadily increased.
I encountered handmade items of all kinds including candles, soaps, mittens, toys and chocolates. I always have good, yet ill-fated intentions of making my own gifts, so this was a welcome find. The merchants were happy to share the stories behind these items – how they were crafted, where were they made and most interestingly, why they chose to offer this product to their customers and neighbors.
A stop by my favorite bakery for a minute of rest and a white chocolate cocoa inspired me to expand my local shopping mission to include my holiday entertaining needs. Faster than you can say Kris Kringle, I ordered handcrafted artisan breads for my holiday table. Just down the street, I stopped at the florist and ordered my holiday centerpiece. And all of this in less than a morning and just a few steps from my door.
I walked out of every store knowing that I didn’t just find a wonderful gift or item, I made an investment in my community. So when you’re out and about, caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle, remember, shopping local is the best gift you can give yourself.
Kristi Trevarrow is the executive director of the Rochester Downtown Development Authority. If you have some tips on shopping Michigan-made and local, or just want to let Kristi know what you thought of her story, leave a comment below.