You Guys! It’s pay it forward Friday and today in honor of the day after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday), I’m focusing on one of my favorite activities, shopping! Lemme tell ya, I have about zero interest in staying up all night on Thanksgiving or getting up at the crack of dawn for a shopping deal. I personally have never participated in black Friday shopping other than to go to the grocery store. Maybe it’s a product of my retail days when I had to be at the store by 7am and work for what seemed like a million hours with cranky customers in my face all day. I just don’t do it. I worked in retail over 20 years ago when stores were still closed on Thanksgiving and we opened a little early, not crazy early. I can’t even imagine the madness these days.

Anyway…here’s how to pay it forward on Black Friday…it’s easy…SHOP LOCAL!!! I know it’s easier said than done in some parts of the world but if you have access to local retail then by all means, shop there. I love to shop at all of the great stores in our neighborhood. Boutiques that have things major stores don’t, gift shops with quirky, original gift items, bookstores, specialty food stores, wine shops….I can keep the list going but you get the idea. Here’s a few reasons I like to shop local:

1. I know the people – It’s always nice to walk into a place where people know you. It makes the experience that much better. I love to go to stores where I know the people who work there and better yet, own the place. I know where my money is going – it keeps the joint running, pays employees and feeds their kids. Good stuff.

2. It’s convenient – for me, being able to walk to my local places is a perk. I know a lot of you have to drive to get anywhere so convenience may not even be a factor. But I have a ton of great little shops in a small radius so I can get a lot done in a small amount of time.

3. Selection – now, I know the big stores have way more inventory but the little stores have the one of a kind stuff that you won’t get anywhere else. Some of our local boutiques carry amazing, beautifully made things that you’ll be complimented on for as long as you own the pieces. Plus, you’re not wearing the same thing everyone else is!

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good shop at the big stores, but I much prefer to keep it in the family if you know what I mean. Most of the stores I shop in around my neighborhood have online stores as well so you can shop there too! So this Black Friday, kick back, take a walk around your local shops and cross off a few items on your list…doesn’t that sound better than fighting the crowds at the mall?

Good luck!  Here’s my list of local places in Brooklyn that are available online, browse around, you might find something you love!! Happy Shopping!!

WORD Bookstores – http://www.wordbookstores.com/ – our local bookstore that just happens to be owned by one of my favorite people…they are the BEST at what they do! Local events, book clubs, gifts and great books! If you want something and you don’t see it at WORD, they’ll order it for you. Their staff is friendly and knowledgeable and very helpful!

Fanaberie Clothing & Accessories – http://www.fanaberienyc.com/ – Ladies (and gentlemen shopping for ladies)…this place rocks! They have tons of great things for the girls in your life, clothes, bags, sunglasses, and accessories…I love their accessories!! And they’re all super reasonably priced! Their stores are well put together and their staff is always at the ready to help you.

Red Pearl – http://shop.redpearlbrooklyn.com/ – This little gem has great items for you, your friends, your kid’s teacher, etc…gifts, accessories, one of a kind things. I can spend a long time in this store and I want to buy everything!

Kids Stuff – http://flyingsquirrelbaby.com/ The Flying Squirrel has everything for kids! Some new and some gently used. They have toys, clothes, high chairs and strollers, tons of gift items and stuff for your own little ones. Great selection, and super staff!

So there you have it, I could make a way longer list because we have so many great places here. Share with us where you like to shop…get the word out about a great place in your neighborhood and keep it local!!!

xo

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