Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is looming over the horizon. It’s easy to focus on the deals that large corporations tempt us with today, on Black Friday, but I’m here to convince you to hold onto your precious dollar and spend it where it really counts: supporting small businesses.
Small Business Saturday is a movement that encourages people to shop local on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Spending money locally is a great way to support artists and creators while keeping money within your community. Here are some small business that I love, and that I think you’ll love too!
Westward and Woven
This company is near and dear to my heart because it’s my own! I originally worked with my roommate Brooke as part of her company The Knitting Circle Co., and I learned a lot about knitting and my own creative preferences during that time. When Brooke decided to end KCC in order to focus on her other pursuits I opened Westward and Woven. I make everything from knit mittens, beanies, scarves, and headbands, and am hoping to expand to other woven goods such as earrings and macrame.
Dirt Chalk Bags
I am a huge fan of Julianne’s work with Dirt Chalk Bags. She makes beautiful chalk bags and pots that have held up wonderfully at the gym and the crag, and she also creates toiletry bags, blankets, and pencil cases! Julianne puts effort and love into every stitch and it shows in the products that she creates. This is truly one rad company.
The Art of Traveling
The Art of Traveling is a one-stop-shop for custom artwork. Brooke can paint anything on anything – she makes backpacks and purses with Disney characters on them, floral tennis shoes, outdoor travel journals, custom Christmas tree ornaments, and full size paintings that range from abstract art to landscapes with everything in between. She even painted a mural in Tallahassee! Now that’s what I call a #girlboss.
If you’ve read my Trash Talk post about reducing waste in the bathroom then you already know all about Yomibee. My all time favorite natural, aluminum-free deodorant is created by this awesome company. If you live in Tallahassee (or anywhere in the United States) and you aren’t using Yomibee on your pits then you need to get your act together.
Nick Richter of Drifter Crafts makes climbing necklaces out of used trad gear. I have a number three nut for a necklace and I constantly get asked about it or complimented on it.
Julie Guyot Studio
Julie Guyot makes stunningly beautiful pottery pieces that are functional for everyday life. Her colorful and nature-inspired creations can be found in Railroad Square Art Park or at various pop-up shop locations in Tallahassee (follow her on Instagram to stay in the loop about where she’ll be next!). My personal favorites are her floral mugs and bee coffee scoops.
If you’re looking for a stunningly beautiful painting to keep for yourself or give to a loved one then reach out to Kristen Valle. Her artwork has made my jaw drop to the floor time and time again. Every brushstroke and pencil mark is so intentional and full of talent. Go ahead and snag a commission from her now, because before too long her paintings will be on display in a museum somewhere. Check her out here and here.
Anna is a wonderful human being and an even more wonderful photographer. She shoots everything from portraits to landscapes and has a knack for capturing moments that other people might overlook. I for one tend to be a little camera shy, but during my session with Anna she made me feel so comfortable and confident. You can find her work here and here!
Maryann rocks my world once every two months with her amazing massages. John got me my first massage with her for a birthday present and it was so life-changing that I’ve been seeing her ever since! She works at Ardan’s Salon in Tallahassee and tends to book up fast, so be sure to reach out to her at least a week before you want a massage.
Tallahassee Rock Gym
This community rock gym has been my home away from home ever since I moved to Tallahassee. I discovered rock climbing during my first semester at FSU and it has been a huge influence on who I am. Almost everyone I know – my boyfriend, my best friends, my roommates – I met through this little gym and through climbing I have gained a sense of confidence and awareness that I might not have had otherwise. TRG has my heart, and if you haven’t been there yourself I highly recommend you check it out.
Lucky Goat Coffee
Tallahassee has it’s fair share of coffee shops, but one of my hands-down favorites is Lucky Goat. Their menu is full of flavor and yet simple enough that a coffee newbie like myself won’t get intimidated while trying to order. Also their specialty coffee is fair-trade certified and responsibly sourced.
My new go-to casual restaurant in Tallahassee is The Bark. Formerly known as Bread and Roses Kitchen, this colorful dive bar sells funky vegan food and almost always has an event going on – whether it’s a live band or karaoke. Their beet burger and tofu banh mi are my two favorite sandwiches, but I also highly recommend checking out their brunch menu on Sundays.
Ology Brewing Company
I’m not a huge bar fan but I absolutely love Ology. This tiny brewing company has super creative brews and free pretzels (need I say more?). I love this bar so much because there’s something for everyone: dark beers for my boyfriend, hoppy IPAs for my roommate, and fruity sours for me. Also, did I mention the pretzels? Cause they have pretzels. Really, really good pretzels.
Sweet Pea Cafe
This restaurant was the first place I ever went to in Tallahassee so whenever I go there now I’m hit with a happy nostalgia. Even without those warm fuzzies I would still frequent Sweet Pea Cafe because their vegan food is off the charts.
Was this helpful? Have feedback for me? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All photos in this post were taken by the respective businesses and used with their permission, with some exceptions: photo of Tallahassee Rock Gym by Noah Mobley, photos of The Bark and Ology taken by me.