(Photo by Holly Quinn)
Here’s some good news for independent retailers and restaurants in a tough year: American shoppers spent nearly $10 billion at those establishments on 2020’s Small Business Saturday. That’s up from 2019, per American Express data reported by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
That figure also reflected a change in method of sales, with 56% of shoppers buying online, up more than 10% from 2019.
Christmas is just over two weeks away. That’s still plenty of time to finish gift shopping, but cutting it close when it comes to shipping. One way to avoid high overnight shipping charges is to buy local. There are lots of local businesses to choose from for holiday shopping — see our Cyber Monday local guide. But this time, we’re focusing specifically on makers who are members of the NextFab makerspace in Wilmington.
Some use the NextFab studios, including a high-tech wood shop, 3D printing studio and laser cutters, to make their products. Others, like entrepreneur Yemina Isreal, primarily use the makerspace to make items to display their products.
Keep in mind that since these are individually made items, some shops may not be able to accommodate orders for delivery by Christmas — but who doesn’t like a card with the promise of a surprise gift arriving sometime in the middle of a bleak winter?
Here are nine local small businesses to support this season:
- The aforementioned Israel founded Addi Naturals, a line of all-natural, handcrafted personal care products, including beard butters, hair conditioners and bar soaps.
- Made to order home decor using Evaleen Lamb’s “secret recipe” method, including personalized wall art. No longer taking orders for arrival before Christmas, so you’ll have to be creative if you want to give one of these pieces for the holiday.
- There is still availability of some of Cherné Bishop’s line of jewelry, hair accessories and clothing, including items with her high-fashion Crown Me logo.
- Ron Fierro takes photos and turns them into laser cut wall plaques. Items in the Etsy store are currently on sale. As these are custom made items, check with the shop about holiday turnaround time.
- Eric Zippe sells fine art prints of his photography — everything from a Vegas “neon boneyard” to Delaware snow landscapes to his haunting tree silhouettes — with prices starting at $15 for a frameable postcard-sized print.
- Handmade Afrocentric ear, nose and hair jewelry by Gwen Barker, as well as handmade “destination” charms representing different islands and countries in the diaspora.
- Andy Lanning offers handcrafted wood furniture design, including custom projects. These made-to-order pieces will likely arrive after the holidays.
- Fine artist Linda Celestian uses NextFab to create laser cut designs for jewelry, with multiple designs in stock, along with prints of some of her paintings and collages.
- As of this writing, there is a beautiful handcrafted Volcano Lava River end table available in John Moore’s Etsy store. If that’s too pricey (or if it’s been sold), the shop also offers several low-cost gift options like laser cut coasters and wall decor.
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