Think Outside the (Big) Box: Shop Local on Small Business Saturday

by November 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm 2,342 0

"Borderstan", Think Local First DC, Think Outside the (Big) Box

Click to get the list of businesses: Above are some of the participating stores in this Saturday’s shop local event. (Luis Gomez Photos)

See Monday’s post, Think Local First DC Leads the Charge for Independent Businesses, a Q&A with TLFDC Executive Director Stacey Price.

From Ashley Lusk. Check out Ashley’s blog Metropoetrylis and find her on Twitter at @arlusk. You can email her at [email protected].

Think Local First DC, Think About the Big Box

The Think Outside the (Big) Box retail tour is Saturday, November 26, noon to 7 pm. (Courtesy Think Local First DC)

At Borderstan, we’re big supporters of independent business, and we bet that most of our readers are too. That’s why we invite you to step outside the big box retail stores on Saturday, November 26, and start your holiday shopping right here in DC.

Think Local First DC (TFLDC) has created a local “tour” to maximize your shopping. From noon to 7 pm on Small Business Saturday, you can visit participating local retailers for refreshments, samples, specials and the newest gifts of the season — get the list of participating stores. In addition, TFL has a great incentive for you to do your holiday shopping locally: If you spend $50 or more during the holiday season at an independent store, you register to win a $2,000 local shopping spree.

Let’s be real: some of the options available at these local stores are going to cost a few bucks more than the gifts you would find at Target or the future Walmarts of  DC. But what you get in return is often a unique, one-of-a-kind gift, real customer service, and a great relationship with your neighborhood business owner — and more of your dollars going back into the commmunity.

So, to get you started, we’ve done our research at some of the local businesses in Borderstan that are participating in the Small Business Saturday tour and suggested a collection of presents for your whole family.

Did You Know? Reports show that the average consumer will spend over $700 on seasonal merchandise and gifts over the 2011 holiday season — for everyone $100 that you spend at local retailers, $68 will return to the local community. Spend that same amount at a national chain and it drops to $43. Locally owned businesses reinvest in the local economy at a 60% higher rate than chains and Internet retailers.


  • We respect the fact that Frank Asher at OLD CITY green doesn’t start selling Christmas trees until the day after Thanksgiving and that’s why you should start your tour over at his place to pick up this year’s holiday tree.

Logan Circle/U Street

  • Your mom once rocked mod-60s gear like a champ; show her how much you respect her fashion choices by glamming her up in polyester elegance once again at retro-chic Junction.
  • Save a little room for yourself and hit up stores like Lettie Gooch, Redeem and Current Boutique to help curve your holiday eating–you’ll want to fit into the fun and hip clothes in time for that New Year’s party.
  • So your significant other knows only the semi-permanence of Ikea? Why not surprise him or her with something that looks a little more…enduring…with a vintage piece from Miss Pixie’s.
  • Your best friend coupled off hardcore this year when he moved in with his significant other–show how supportive you are of their co-habitative bliss with a snarky gift from Pulp.
  • Nothing says you’re sorry about the loud dinner party more than the gift of a premptive snow shovel to your landlord. Pick one up at Logan Hardware and use this 50% off coupon for anything over $30.

Adams Morgan/Woodley Park

  • You can’t find everything in Borderstan, so hit up Skynear to pick up eclectic furniture that doubles as artwork for your little sister who is living the dream in RISD.
  • Your parents will be so surprised when you replace their retro recessed lighting with beautiful vintage fixtures from The Brass Knob.
  • When your cousins notice your cute leather skirt from Carbon, you can look super-smug by telling them about the eco-friendly and sustainable history of the designer. Draw from the “Turkey Bowl” for savings while you sip mimosas and enjoy healthy treats at this stop on the tour.

Participating Stores in the Borderstan Area

The full list can be found at the TLFDC website.
  • MidCity: Ben’s Chili Bowl Gift Store, Current Boutique, Junction, Lettie Gooch, Logan Hardware, Miss Pixie, Pulp, Redeem
  • Shaw: OLD CITY green and Seasonal Pantry
Borderstan Media, LLC, is a member of Think Local First DC.


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