Tag Archives: chicago events

Small Business Saturday: Shopping Small in Chicago

Shopping

Have you heard of Small Business Saturday? Started by American Express in 2010 the goal is to encourage us to shop at local, small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Kind of the antidote to big box stores and Black Friday fever.

shop-local-chicago

One of my goals this year is to do as much shopping as possible at local stores or from small business in Chicago. To attain that goal, here are three places I’ll be spending my money. Maybe not on Small Business Saturday, but definitely before Christmas.

1. Milk Handmade

Milk Handmade’s main store is at 5137 N Clark Street in Chicago but they recently won the Block 37 Pop-Up Shop contest and will have a shop in the Block 37 stores at 108 N State Street (second floor!) for two months.

milk-handmade-pop-up

Photos courtesy of Zapwater

I went to the Milk Handmade Pop-Up shop opening and saw at least 10 things I wanted either for myself or as gifts.

milk-handmade-items

Almost all of the items sold at Milk Handmade are made by Chicago artists as well so not only is the shop itself local but the items are local, too! And Hallie, the owner, puts up little signs telling you about the artist and where the items came from.

Milk Handmade is also doing a collaboration this season with Care for Real where you can bring gently used clothing donations to the store to get discounts and freebies! I’m really looking forward to doing our sibling name drawing at Thanksgiving so I know who I can start shopping for!

2. One of a Kind Show – December 4th – 7th

The One of a Kind show is a weekend long pop-up shop to end all pop-up shops. Did you ever go to craft fairs at the mall when you were a kid? Or maybe a street art fair? This is like that on steroids.  More than 600 vendors will have booths with items such as housewares, food, clothing, and jewelry.  You can see some of the items on their Instagram feed.

Last year was the first time I went and I was in awe. It takes place on one floor of the Merchandise Mart which itself takes up an entire city block. There is a $12 cost to attend but that ticket covers entry for all four days of the show.  Last year I knocked out over half of my gift shopping in one fell swoop so the ticket cost was totally worth it.

Not all of the vendors are Chicago-based but many of them are. And most of the items are handmade and you get to meet the creator in person.

3. The Fig Tree 

Located on Madison Street in Chicago’s West Loop (1037 W Madison, to be exact) The Fig Tree is an awesome place to find gifts. I wandered in there on my way home from work one day to find a bridal shower gift and wanted to buy one of everything for someone!

fork-set

I ended up buying the bridal shower gift and my first Christmas gift. The selection changes seasonally so if you see something you should get it right then because it might not be there if you wait!

The Fig Tree has accessories for both you and your home, kids clothes, toys and books, and a quirky assortment of cards and random items. And I personally thought everything was reasonably priced.

And since this store is in my neighborhood I’ll definitely be supporting them!

There are myriad other independent local stores in Chicago, though. Two others that come to mind are One Strange Bird (the owner and I go to the same dog park and she’s amazing) and Does augmentin have sulfa in it.

So, this year don’t forget about shopping local whether you’re in Chicago or not.

What’s your favorite place to “shop small”? 

By the way, I was not asked by American Express or any of these stores to write anything. I just like to share the love. Although, I will say that Milk Handmade plied me to with drinks and cupcakes at their pop-up shop opening but that was just to attend, not to write anything nice about them. 

Zoloft and short term memory loss

Zoloft and short term memory loss About Me

Last week I pretended to be an awesome socialite and went to two, count ‘em, TWO evening events in the city!

The first was the Bonfire Wines Launch Party at The Grid last Wednesday evening.

Bonfire Wines Launch Party Chicago

Bonfire Wines invited me to attend for free and overall it was a fun time. Free wine will always get me in the door. I tried both the red and the white, named Ember and Ignite, respectively, and both were good and slightly sweet. If you don’t like dry wines then these wines are for you! Another unique aspect of Bonfire is that the wines come in pouches instead of bottles or boxes. Perfect for packing if you need to take wine on a little trip, right?

Next, Jill from HOT PINK Style invited me to come with her to the Cheeky Chicago Birthday Party. I follow Cheeky Chicago on Twitter and they are always announcing great new deals and partnerships around the city so I knew this was going to be a good time. And since $20 got you drinks, desserts, a goody bag, and a fashion show from LOFT I didn’t want to miss it.

Cheeky Chicago Birthday Party

The drinks were amazing (go buy Vanilla Cinnamon Bailey’s STAT), the company lovely (In addition to Jill I also hung out with Samosa Pop, Hallways Are My Runways, and Stylish and Scatterbrained) and the fashion show intriguing. The goody bag was filled with food (um, okay) and the desserts were few and far between, but there was also a photo booth and a free make-up touch-up station so all in all it was a well-done event.

Of course, this meant that by Friday I was pretty wiped out. Still, to feel like a social butterfly for a few nights was fun! The crazy thing is that you could literally go to an event (or multiple events) every night in Chicago. I don’t see myself become that much of a party animal, but you never know!