Small Businesses Encouraging Shopping Local for the Holidays

According to stores in West Duluth, more people are shopping local and going more sustainable by thrifting and repurposing gifts.

DULUTH, Minn.- As the holiday shopping season gets in full swing, small businesses in the area are seeing more customers shop local for their Christmas gifts this year.

It’s the busiest time of the year for retail businesses, kicking off with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday last week.

“I really believe that people come here to just fine really unique and different things that they can’t go to your average store,” said Linda Stephan, a vendor at Duluth Antique Marketplace, “and there is such a variety.”

Local businesses like Duluth Antique Marketplace on Grand Avenue are getting in the holiday spirit. “Well, it’s just such a variety. There’s close to 50 dealers here,” Stephan said.

“So everybody has their own take on Christmas different little decorating ideas, gift ideas,” she said. “We have some clothing we have some housewares or dishes cooking we sell a lot of Pyrex.”

Meanwhile, just across the street Soul Sisters Discount Store has been seeing more people donate gently used clothing and accessories to be sold.

“A lot of people are just into recycling and going green and repurposing and that is what it’s all about,” said co-owner Treasa Aubol.

Anything not sold on the floor is donated back to the community through resources like CHUM, the Damiano Center, or the Hope Center.

Through December 17th, they are also accepting unwrapped toys for all ages for Duluth Salvation Army’s Toyland Express.

According to Aubol, more customers have been going green with their gifts under the Christmas tree this year.

“They’ll come in and they’ll buy a shirt and repurpose it into something else or a dress and repurpose it into a shirt,” she said. “We have a lot of crafters and they like to recycle clothing that way or use the material to make something else out of it.”

It’s a holiday boost in traffic staff at both storefronts said is crucial. “Well it definitely helps keep our doors open a lot of people are struggling right now including small business owners,” Aubol said.

For some of the upward of 50 vendors hunting and thrifting for trinkets to sell at Duluth Antique Marketplace, Stephan said, “I mean this is some people’s livelihood.”

But most of all, they say a gift can mean even more when it’s more original — and comes from the heart.

“Rather than just going to your average little store and just picking out something that everybody else is buying, you get something really different and it’s like you put some thought into your shopping,” said Stephan. “People put a lot of care into picking out items to sell here.”

Categories: Business, Community, Minnesota, News, News – Latest News