Monday, November 8, 2021

Not Just a Mom: Small Shops

 Hello there and happy Monday!  I am back today after a WONDERFUL weekend in Chicago with my two best girlfriends. It was exactly what we needed: a chance to spend 3 uninterrupted days together eating, laughing, resting, etc. I came away from the weekend feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the week ahead. I need girls getaway weekends more often-- hah! Today the Not Just a Mom crew are sharing our favorite small shops! 

Ironically over the weekend my friends and I were talking about how so much of what we buy nowadays comes from Amazon: our clothes, makeup, shoes, random household items, etc.  None of us really loves the idea of giving Jeff Bezos any more of our money-- he has enough as it is! We would love to support more small shops whenever possible. Now I realize very few of the people who visit my blog live close enough to shop at any of the in-person stores I'm about to share, but maybe by recommending one here it'll spark a thought of "oh hey, we have a store just like that in my town!" Here are my favorite local stores:

Toy Mania-- This small toy store is walking distance from our house and has the sweetest staff. They are very friendly and helpful, they even offer to shop for you and text pictures of potential items. For example, one of my sisters wasn't able to get to the store before Liam's birthday. She called and said "what should I buy for a 2 year old boy who loves trains/cars/trucks and is within ____ price range?". They got her cell phone number and texted her pictures of 8-10 different options.  She picked one, paid over the phone, and they gift wrapped it. All she had to do was pick it up on her way to Liam's party. They make everything easier and I love the idea of supporting their small business. 

Park Road Books- This is a small bookstore in Charlotte that tries very hard to bring authors in for meet & greets/book signings. You can buy signed books and even join a book club if you are looking to meet other readers. I will say the prices unfortunately do not compare to Amazon, making it hard to justify spending that much more sometimes. But when you know it is going to help an independently owned store that has been around for generations, that helps a little!

Y2- Does my yoga studio count? It's small and local, so let's pretend it does. I've been going here for almost 15 years-- which feels like a crazy long period of time to be going to the same gym! They do online classes if you want to try one from wherever you live. Rian is my favorite teacher. 😊

IVL Collective-- This is my favorite store for leggings, hands down. They are a little on the pricey end (similar to Lululemon), but I love the idea of supporting a small, female run company. The cut of the leggings is the best of any I've tried, the material is buttery smooth, and they try to use recycled materials whenever possible making them better for the planet than other brands. Not to mention the styles are cute! 

Purlisse-- This is my favorite makeup brand by a landslide. I have received several of their products in my Ipsy bags over the years and have fallen in love with every single one of them. I'm not sure if this counts as a "small shop".. but it's smaller than Cover Girl, so I'm counting it. The brand was founded by a Chinese-American woman with a focus on bringing Asian wisdom and modern philosophy to deliver a results-driven skincare collection. I swear by all of these products! I usually buy them from Amazon but just realized shipping is free over $25, which all of the products I buy are. Next time I'll skip the middle man. 😉

Most of my other favorite small shops are all food related!  We love all the small local ice cream shops (Golden Cow Creamery is our favorite). We love several local restaurants. But as for shops, that's pretty much it. 
Next month we are writing about our favorite holiday movies, so be sure to come back! And if you wrote a post that matched our theme today, please link up with us below:

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  1. What a fabulous toy store and I love that they have such amazing customer service too!

  2. So many great ideas. The toy store looks like fun! I’m glad you were able to get away for a bit! Fun :)

  3. I love your encouragement to find similar shops in our own areas. And yes, the yoga studio absolutely counts. I think another link up should include some of our favourite local food places.