Shop local this holiday season at stores like Crafty Goodness and Room Service, as well as the fun Cleveland shopping events mentioned below.
Happy Thanksgiving, Clue Into Clevelanders! I hope you have a great holiday with family, friends or relaxing at home.
Of course, the day after (and even Thanksgiving night for some stores) kicks off the holiday shopping season. Before you get swept away in the craziness of shopping for gifts, I suggest making a trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art to see Brian Ulrich’s Copia: Retail, Thrift, and Dark Stores.
Scott and I went last week for the Museum’s Buyer’s Remorse Party where Ulrich led a tour through his exhibit and spoke about his photography series.
The zoned out faces of shoppers in contrast to the delicate portraits of thrift store workers were striking. And although the photographs of abandoned malls and big-box stores were surprisingly beautiful in their quiet desolation, they were also incredibly sad and had a clear impact on exhibit goers.
For me, the series was a perfectly timed reminder of the importance of buying local.
At times, that means gifting experiences. For fans of Cleveland theatre, check out All I Want for Cleve-Mas, Part 1 about tickets you can give for local holiday shows.
Or you can gift museum memberships, certificates for some of the city’s amazing restaurants, or tickets to Indians Snow Days and the Frozen Diamond hockey game at Progressive Field.
If you’re looking more for a tangible gift, there are plenty of stores and events inspiring Clevelanders to shop local:
Cleveland Craft Coalition's Black Friday party is just one event in the coming weeks where you can find unique and local handmade gifts.
Cleveland’s Buy Handmade Events
This city has an amazing community of artists and shop owners who champion handmade, local goods. Unique and funky clothing, jewelry, baby goods, artwork and home decor can all be found at these events from Black Friday through December (updated 12/6):
You can also check out locally made products year-round at stores like Crafty Goodness, Dredgers Union, Room Service and Salty Not Sweet (to name just a couple of my favorites).
Yelp Shops Local Pledge
Finally, head over to Yelp to learn more about their Shop Local campaign. Across the country, Yelp is challenging communities to make an effort to support our cities’ great local businesses and encourage others to “Shop Wisely. Give Locally. Yelp On!”
As part of the campaign, Yelp Cleveland is hosting Shopping Crawls in Cleveland Heights (Dec. 4), the Near Westside (Dec. 10) and Lakewood (Dec. 17).
You can also take the 30-day pledge. From Nov. 25 through Dec. 24, check into the Yelp Shops Local event page, see that day’s task and use the hashtag #YelpShopsLocal on Twitter and Facebook to keep everyone across the country in the loop on how you’re shopping local.
Dine and shop with NEO Food Tours on Dec. 1 and 8.
Shop-and-Dine Holiday Tours
On Dec. 1st and 8th, NEO Food Tours is offering Shop-and-Dine Holiday Tours of the Cleveland Heights and Ohio City neighborhoods. In addition to showcasing the neighborhood’s restaurants, the tour will make stops at locally-owned retailers.
For instance, on the Dec. 1st Ohio City tour, the newly opened SOHO Kitchen & Bar will host a pop-up restaurant in Room Service (other stops include Campbell’s Sweets Factory, Bar Cento, Salty Not Sweet, Dragonfly, Something Different, and BonBon Pastry & Cafe).
If you’d rather explore the eastside on Dec. 8th, Cleveland Heights Mayor Ed Kelley will lead the Cedar Lee tour, stopping at the Heights Art Gallery, Abrash Gallerie, Lopez on Lee, Taste, Revive, The Wine Spot, and SweetieFry.
NEO Food Tours is also offering an extended Black Friday special. Go to neofoodtours.eventbrite.com, use the code BLACKFRIDAY_6011 between now and Nov. 29, and save 10% on the General Admission price.
Tickets include food and drink at every stop, as well as tax, gratuity and a donation to a local organization (the Cleveland Heights tour will benefit the Heights Emergency Food Center and Ohio City will benefit Ohio City Incorporated).
These are just a few of Cleveland’s local shopping events this holiday season. If you know of any others, please leave a comment below with more info!
For another great post about shopping local, check out The Chef’s Widow’s My Favorite Things (she also has a pretty sweet giveaway of CLE stuff).
Disclosure: I work with NEO Food Tours doing outreach to the community on our monthly food tours. However, I started working with them because of my love for promoting the community’s dining and shopping establishments and as always am sharing opinions here that are 100% my own.