Shop Local – December 19th, 2018
Hey guys! Rachel here.
I hope everyone’s been staying warm and enjoying the nice days here and there! We have been busy here in the office getting our 2019 Visitors Guide finalized and sent off to print. We’re excited to get it circulating near and far. Did you know that if you call/email us we’ll send you a free copy in the mail? If not, please give me a call or shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to add you to our mailing list!
Anyway… let’s get back to it. How many of you are procrastinators and are out and about frantically shopping for gifts the week before Christmas or even Christmas Eve? Or are you more of a planner and you’ve had your gifts thought out, ordered, and wrapped for quite some time now? Still – last minute gifts CAN and WILL pop up. And if you’re like me, you just can’t ever seem to find that stopping point… “It’s the first week of December and I’ve finished my Christmas shopping!” came out of my mouth a couple weeks ago and somehow I’ve managed to find a few more gifts here and there.
Alas, whichever category you fall into, here’s a bit of advice: SHOP LOCAL! You wouldn’t believe the unique, sentimental gifts you can find at our local boutiques and shops! My co-worker and I went out on a special mission and therefore, find some of the best hidden treasures in our area.
Shop Local by City
First, we visited some body care specialists in Herrin. We found a wonderfully smelling all-natural Goat’s Milk Body Care line from DermaCare Body Boutique. This item would be perfect for someone with sensitive skin, or who doesn’t like a long list of ingredients in their body care. The scent isn’t too overwhelming, so men can enjoy the line too!
Then we headed over to Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio where we happened upon some packets of bath fizzies and embroidered hand-towels. We could already smell the bath fizzies when we picked up the packages, so we knew these would be perfect for men or women who love long showers and need extra relaxation! The hand towels were something we weren’t expecting to find at a beauty/make-up shop, but we were pleasantly surprised when we did (and at how cute they were!).
We also stopped in to check out the beautiful hand-made jewelry at CottingTree Beads; a gift perfect for the special lady in your life!
After that, we strolled over to Carterville and visited Live Simple Boutique and found a wide range of clothing: from shirts to cold-weather accessories; you could find something for anyone on your list in here. We checked out Irons in The Fire Mercantile and found more things we actually wanted for ourselves here….. but we resisted the urge. This place is filled with beautifully hand-crafted items!
Next was Crown Brew Coffee Company. They have the coolest mugs, stickers, ground coffee or whole beans in small pouches perfect for the coffee connoisseur in your life! Next time you stop in, be sure to try my personal favorite, the King Charles III (iced). If you like Earl Grey Tea, you’ll love this yummy concoction!
We checked out the new Perfectly Posh Boutique in Downtown Marion, and WOW! Such beautiful clothing and accessories in a wonderful space! They even have a baby/kids clothing section that has adorable items. Just a couple blocks away, is The Southern Illinois Mercantile Company, and they literally have something for everyone that’s locally sourced from all over the region! Side note: don’t forget to indulge in some ice cream while you’re in there.
Roots & Wings Flower Company in Johnston City is one of my favorite small flower shops! They always have the cutest home décor, best smelling candles, and all kinds of accessories and trinkets.
Shop Local For the Foodie
Another great option would be gift cards from your favorite small-town restaurants. Try a few of these options to get you started for the foodie in your life!
Herrin – Newman & Company
Carterville – Rise Above It Bakery & Café
Marion – The Vault Café on the Square
Johnston City – Michael’s Ristorante
In addition, for a full list of all of the shops, boutiques, restaurants, etc. Williamson County has to offer, head over to www.visitsi.com and check it out!
Lastly, the best part of the entire experience were the individuals working in the shops, and the amazing customer service experience we received at each place! Above all, they are passionate about what they do, what they sell, and it comes through which makes the shopping experience that much more memorable. Whether the items were hand-made, sourced locally or from afar, the message comes across. This one-of-a-kind experience can be found when you shop your small-town, locally owned shops and boutiques.
Side note: when you shop local, most shop owners tend to have their furry companions tend to the store with them. This is my friend, Paisley, from CottingTree Beads. She was keeping an eye on passersby while we shopped the store.
So, to wrap things up, good luck shopping, happy gifting, and have yourself a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
If you have any questions, you can certainly call our office at (618) 997-3690.