Yesterday, I gave myself the best Thanksgiving present possible – time. Time all morning to relax, to do some projects around the house that had been waiting for months… I even watched the parade, which I haven’t done in years! I didn’t get out of my pajamas until noon, and it wasn’t because I was sitting at my laptop for once! In fact – I made myself a no-laptop rule yesterday which felt amazing. Then, I headed to my parents’ where the evening went something like this: football, turkey, basketball, pie. Which is pretty much my idea of perfect.

I know I’m not the only one who counts Thanskgiving as my favorite holiday. And, if you ask people why, they tell you it’s because it’s about the important things. Friends or family gathered to give thanks; to stop and appreciate the blessings in their lives. It’s not about presents or pomp. It’s simple. And yet… incredibly fulfilling. Right?

This holiday season feels like it’s time to make a change. I suppose being in blogging, one can get a little tired of always focusing on things. Gift guides and what to wear to holiday parties and the latest little must-have pretties… it’s exhausting. Financially and consciously. And while I’m certainly not about to do away with these blog posts, it does seem like it might be nice to do things a little differently around here this year…

Small business Saturday is tomorrow – the day that we’re supposed to all head to our locally owned stores and discover amazing gifts for loved ones. Now – if we’re being honest – we know that this doesn’t  happen very often. Because the stuff on our lists just isn’t always there. But, the real question is… are we making the effort? Are we at least trying to discover some of these uniquely beautiful additions to the presents under the tree? Are we going to spend that little extra money and maybe drive those few extra miles out of our way to get to those store owners who are depending on us to survive?

Now, before we get too crazy, yes, big businesses are essential to our economy too – obviously. They employ locally and give back to communities as well. So, don’t think I’m sitting here trying to bash the big boys as well.

My point is this – let’s make the effort this year. Bloggers (are you listening??) instead of making your gift guides based on your highest affiliate commissions, how about we try for originality? How about we go out of our way to see if some of our favorite small shops are carrying those same pieces that you might find elsewhere for a few less bucks, but a few less bucks sure doesn’t replace that warm fuzzy I get when I buy something from my local store owners who know me by name.






I am absolutely guilty of going to my standby online shops for posts because good Lord it takes insane amounts of effort to sort through Etsy these days – and how do we even go about discovering new small shops online with all that’s out there? That’s where we need to help each other out. If you have some favorite small online stores, please leave them in your comments here today!! I will do my best to feature those that are my favorites. And if you feel so inclined, grab one of those little buttons above to put on your own blog to support the sentiment (link it to this post,  your favorite small shop, or write your own post about it and link to that!).

As for myself – in an effort to support my own locals, I’ll be spending the next few weeks shopping some favorite Seattle stores so I can feature a selection of favorites from those shops here on the blog. You’ll get to meet some fantastic store owners and places to put on your list when you come visit! And if you see something you like, I bet most of them would be happy to let you purchase them from across the country!

I hope some of you will get on board with not just saying you support small biz, but making the effort to find ways to promote it on your own blogs and in your own communities! Happy shopping!!

ps – bloggers like anna and erika are just two who i’ve already noticed support this kind of commitment, and i’m sure there are more of you. if you create a shop small gift guide, please let us know so we can link to you!


  1. CindyE

    Hi, I enjoy reading your blog- this is my first comment. This post really hit home with me. So much emphasis is put on shopping, shopping shopping!!! This Black Friday thing is so out of hand. Where will it end up and can we turn back now? We all need to try and support small shops in our hometowns – they are really up against it. Thanks!

  2. Stacy Galando

    Hi Cassandra,

    As a fellow Seattleite and small business supporter, I applaud you for shinning a light on small business Saturday. I work at a small downtown boutique and we depend on our loyal local following to stay vital during challenging economic times. We also appreciate those in other zip codes who find us on the web.

    Three cheers for the little guys and the customers that support them!

    Stacy Galando

  3. Nina

    Hi, I love your bog, and especially your post today. As a small business owner, and online retailer, oftentimes thinking small will net better results for the consumer. Small businesses usually go the extra mile to engage with their customer, provide a quality product, and follow up when necessary. I consider it a pleasure to interact and learn from my customers. Thank you for being part of a coummunity that encourages your readers to give big by shopping small.
    Best wishes,

  4. Phyllis

    Hi Cassandra – Thanks for this post! I recently made the transition from working for major retailers to becoming a designer/maker and a small business owner. My online store launched a few weeks ago and I have also been going to many of the local shops in Seattle to ask if they would be interested in carrying the Boot Keepers that I am making in my Ballard studio. The shop owners and employees I have been talking to are just amazing and such a pleasure to work with. I’m so proud and grateful to be a tiny part of their stores. As much as I would love a little bit of light on my own shop,, I also want to highlight Butter Home . This is the cutest little gift shop upstairs at the Melrose Market in Capitol Hill. Highly recommended!

    Thank you for supporting local and small businesses!

  5. Jennifer

    I think that this is a great post with an important message, Cassandra! After starting my own business this year, I’ve been especially conscious of doing all of my holiday shopping in local boutiques,on Etsy, or at craft sales. While supporting our communities and entrepreneurs is great for the economy (and the environment), it’s also extremely rewarding to know that you’ve made a difference in someone’s livelihood. I’ve received the best customer service of my life this way.

    My business, Keaton & Co., specializes in custom monogrammed table linens. It’s hard to get the word out sometimes, so any initiative like this is so beneficial for us. Thanks for shedding light on a great cause!

  6. Andrea

    A close friend of mine makes beautiful jewlery from really interesting beads and other textural materials. She has a small shop here in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she showcases her designs and also offers fun “how-to” jewlery making classes. I’m really proud of how she’s built her business and also love her fun and fashionable jewelry!

  7. Pingback: Shopping Small « Inspiration Affirmation

  8. Calley

    While I did I bit of big company shopping (apple store for some big purchases), I did my best to shop small in Seattle yesterday and today! Mrs. Cook’s, Health Mutt, Formulary 55…still have a few shops downtown that I need to browse (helllllo Watson Kennedy!)

  9. Nathalie Gagnon

    Thanks for reminding us to shop small businesses (There’s a great quote that says buy from a MOM and POP shop so your money goes to buy ballet lessons instead of a CEO’s 3rd vacation home!).

    I love etsy. I really love the art of Vanessa Valencia (A Fanciful Twist). Her Blog is one of the most positive ones I have ever encountered. Merci!

  10. Lisa

    Thanks for the awareness raising Cassandra. I always like seeing someone else’s take on supporting small business. For all the etsy folks and start-ups the small retailer can be a natural next step in getting product into the hands of consumers.
    I look forward to your gift guide for the holiday showcasing small business.

  11. Marcy

    Love your thinking Cassandra! I’m also suggesting that people remember to shop at the sites of their favorite bloggers. A great way to support small business, too!

  12. Amy Kaffka

    First off – love your blog – keep up the good work!!

    And second, POSH in Chicago is an AMAZING little shop – it’s right around the corner from where I work, so I can get in trouble! 😉 It’s my oasis in the city – a place that always plays old music and sells beautiful and thoughtful things. Check it out!

  13. Neda

    Hi Cassandra, I’ve been a reader since starting a small blog last year (Peony Park) and launching an online boutique last month { }…I know this comment isn’t timely but just wanted to say thank you for posting about small businesses. It’s so nice coming from you, since you have plenty of great sponsorship…going the extra step for new businesses takes effort and is extremely thoughtful. Amazingly, you made me comfortable about self-promotion with your open passion about the cause. 🙂 Thank you! xx Neda

  14. Ruth

    I just want to say that I love how you’re so original in your posts and bring so many thoughtful topics like this to your readers. I think that buying presents from local stores is so needed, especially in this economy. It’s heartbreaking to walk through the city sometimes and just see the FOR SALE signs in storefronts where I used to shop.
    I’m from Buffalo, NY, and one of my favorite shops there locally is a shoe store called ShoeFly in the Elmwood district. Also, NEO is great for buying things for your home.
    I’m excited to hear more from you, and happy holidays!


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About Cassandra LaValle

Cassandra LaValle is the founder and editor-in-chief of coco+kelley where she explores trends in fashion, decor and entertaining, highlighting pieces that exude classic design and glamour. As a designer, she consults clients across the globe on styling their homes and private events from her offices in Seattle.

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