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If You're Going to Buy Stuff Anyway, Buy Local! Why?...

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Hello Lovely People!

If I am correct I think many of you have already started your holiday shopping. As I said before, I want to use this platform as a means of sharing information and positive, interesting things going on in my world. Every choice we make in life - the stores we buy from, the people we interact with, and the words we speak - has an impact. It's become trendier in recent years to "Buy Local" and as an independent, one-person small business owner, I just want to add my 2 cents on that topic before you start your holiday spending.
We live in a very interesting country where giant corporations have, on several occasions, swooped into small towns and crushed family-owned local businesses. It is also a country that proudly boasts about the American dream and our ability to make our lives what we want them to be to the best of our ability. I didn't know as a kid that I would become part of a family of small business owners. My parents, my brother, and I are all working for ourselves doing our own things in our own ways. It's exciting to feel like I'm contributing to the world around me with the things I make!
A lot of people tell me that handmade gifts are the best. Remember when you were 10 and made your mom a macaroni necklace and she thought it was the most amazing gift ever?? There's something to be said for that - for giving a thoughtful gift that you or someone made from the heart. Something original, something unusual, something exciting! It's hard surviving as an artist and an herbalist. It's not the most profitable or stable career, but it's what I feel called to do in my heart. These are not things most people gravitate towards when they choose to spend their money, but for other people these things are a very essential and important part of life.
Maybe this year you could try something different. Maybe instead of giving your money to corporate conglomerates you could set some aside to support your local economy and the "little people". I see at times folks are turned off by the price of some art, but remember, that is someone's job and they need to survive, too. Unfortunately at this point in time herbal medicine isn't something our health insurance companies are willing to provide for us, but our prices are fair. If someone you know loves drinking tea, why don't you buy it from me instead of Bigelow or Lipton? I promise to give back to the community, to contribute to local culture, and to continue conducting business in the kindest and most compassionate way possible. I put my heart and soul into what I do, and I do it with honesty. I really appreciate your support, and I am genuinely happy to share my creations with you and the people you love.
If you're reading this, you're already on my website, so look around and see if there is something you think would make a perfect gift. If there isn't, I'm happy and open to commissions and collaborations to make things custom and personal.
If what I make isn't your cup of tea (no pun intended!), here are other suggestions I have from amazing people I know and love:
My friend Bri Barton just published a 2nd edition of her coloring book and offers it sliding scale from $10-$20: https://everybodycolors.com
My friend Jeannie Francis owns a shop called Spirit to Sole Connection at 23 N. Centre Street in Merchantville, NJ where she sells tea, herbal extracts, salves, bath salts, crystal elixirs, local art, jewelry, handmade soap and more. Here is the online shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/spirittosole
2 doors down from Jeannie is a lovely person named Deborah who has a shop called Aradia's Treasure at 19 N. Centre Street in Merchantville, NJ. She sells crystals, divination tools, spiritual gifts, jewelry, tarot and oracle cards, and much more. Here's the online shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AradiasTreasure
My friend Yona Yurwit makes intricate and detailed illustrations which creatively challenge social norms: http://www.yonayurwit.com/shop/
My friend Jackie Maloney makes entrancing art that explores dreams, plants, animals, people, and the depths of the universe. You can buy very affordable prints here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/JacquelineMaloneyArt?ref=l2-shopheader-name&section_id=19838237
My friend Robyn Mello and her band The Radicans make beautifully inspired music. You can purchase their digital EP and give it as a gift: http://theradicans.bandcamp.com
Robyn also works for Philadelphia Orchard Project, a non-profit connecting with the Philly community, planting edible food forests in and around the city. You can plant a tree as a gift in honor of someone you love! https://www.phillyorchards.org/donate/plant-a-fruit-tree-in-celebration/
My friend Katie Bentley is a magical artist and creator of a community written zine (short magazine) that I and many of my friends have contributed writings, poems, and visual art to. You can read about it here: http://turnofthewheelzines.blogspot.com. For copies available for purchase e-mail: turnofthewheelzines@gmail.com
My friend Marlon MacAllister wrote a novel called Meld Resistance that addresses community and sustainability. Buy a copy from Marlon if you enjoy literary adventure: https://www.facebook.com/marlonmacallisterwriter/?fref=ts

Happy Shopping!



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