Tag Archives: Local First

Shop local stores in the Phoenix area for the holidays

Shop Local For The Holidays

We all know major department stores have big holiday sales, but so do local stores.

Local stores also have the added bonus of being good for your conscience. They’re greener – many of their products aren’t shipped in from all over the world – and they help the local economy more than chain stores. See our recent Local First Shift Arizona article.

If you’re looking to shop local this holiday season, here’s a few Phoenix-area shops to help you on your search for the perfect  Hanukkah, Christmas or Christmakkah gift.

1. Souvia Tea

Souvia Tea is stocked with more than 140 teas and gifts for tea lovers. Souvia Tea is part of Local First Arizona’s Buy Local Week that offers deals on local products from Nov. 26 to Dec. 5.

15414 N. 7th St. Ste. 8
Phoenix, Ariz. 85022
(602) 938-1216

2. Natural Paws

For the month of November, Natural Paws is discounting all Web sales 10 percent and offering free shipping. Natural Paws is part of Local First Arizona’s Buy Local Week that offers deals on local products from Nov. 26 to Dec. 5.

3. Pink House Boutique

Pink House Boutique is a one-of-a-kind co-op bursting with home décor, recycled, new and vintage clothing, and much more. The boutique also features local designer Bri Bridge.

7009 N. 58th Ave.
Glendale, Ariz. 85301
(623) 298-1766

4. SeeSaw Designs

Find unique stationary, prints and calendars at SeeSaw Designs.

6125 E. Indian School Road Ste. 2009
Scottsdale, Ariz.  85251
(480) 284-4987

5. Embellish Home

Give the gift of embellishment from Embellish Home. The store offers everything from decorative crowns to whimsical tea towels.

5202 N. 7th St.
Phoenix, Ariz. 85014
(602) 277-1499

6. Frances & 7. Smeeks

Here’s a double dose of local. Frances and Smeeks, both owned by the same woman and located on the same stretch of Camelback Road, are chalk full of everything from vintage candy to clothes to paper goods.

Frances
10 W. Camelback Road
Phoenix, Ariz. 85013
(602) 279-5463

Smeeks
14 W. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 279-0538

8. Sphinx Ranch

For the foodie in your life, look no further than Sphinx Ranch. The shop specializes in gift baskets, but you can pick up anything from Arizona wines to chips and salsa produced locally at their store.

3039 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, Ariz. 85251
(480) 941-2261

9. Maria Funicello Jewelry Designs

If your gal likes to shine, check out Maria Funicello Jewelry Designs. These beautifully crafted silver pieces are sure to wow her this holiday season.

10. Etsy.com

Etsy.com is the perfect place to shop several shops at a time. Just use Etsy’s Geolocator to find sellers in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Flagstaff, Tucson and many more cities. You can find practically anything from a local seller on Etsy, from aprons to jewelry to soap to home furnishings.

Here’s a few Arizona Etsy sellers to check out:

Petite Bonfire – Sewn goods, Tucson
Wing Flash – Jewelry, Tucson
Rose & Root – Soaps, Phoenix
The Tom Kat Studio – Party supplies, Chandler
Jason Hill Design – Artwork, Phoenix
Mommy’s Little Monsters – Children’s clothing, Phoenix
Nesta Home – Home decor, Phoenix
Pink Dandy Shop – Bath and cosmetic products, Phoenix
Spinup Yarns – Yarn, Flagstaff
Red Canyon Glass – Glassware, Flagstaff

Visit Local First’s Web site for a list of local shops and Tucson shops participating in Buy Local Week.

Downtown Phoenix Shopping

The Goal Of Shift Arizona Is To Get People Shopping Locally, Boosting The State’s Economy

In an effort to jolt the state’s economy back to life, Local First Arizona is encouraging Arizonans to shift 10 percent of their purchases to local businesses.

Ten percent might not seem like a lot, but when even a small amount is fed into a local economy, it can grow exponentially. The shift can be made anywhere from banking, food, products or services.

This year-long campaign, called Shift Arizona, is modeled after an economic impact study performed in Grand Rapids, Mich. The study showed that a 10 percent shift by all residents would create 1,600 new jobs, local wages would increase by $50 million and $130 million would be fed into the local economy.

This study is driving Shift Arizona to strengthen Arizona’s economy and foster civic pride along the way.

“A vibrant, robust local business community is what I look forward to,” as a result of Shift Arizona, says Adam Goodman, president of Goodman’s Interior Structures and a Local First Arizona member.

Taking part in Shift Arizona isn’t only about shopping at local boutiques, it’s about buying locally made products and purchasing services provided by locally owned companies, says Kimber Lanning, founder and director of Local First Arizona.

Lanning suggests making a few simple shifts, such as dining at local restaurants, frequenting local theaters, or stopping at a local coffee shop every fifth time you grab a cup of joe — she understands that Starbucks habit is tough to break.

Local First Arizona’s website provides a list of locally owned businesses to help make your transition easier.

However, buying local doesn’t mean completely changing your routine, Lanning says.  Many chain stores, such as Target and Walmart, stock Arizona-made products like Shamrock Farms, China Mist teas and Hickman’s eggs, Lanning says.

Local companies care about and support other local organizations, charities and businesses, while a national company will support the local businesses near its headquarters, Goodman says.

Buying local will affect much more than just that one business; it will create spending throughout the community, Goodman says. He adds that his own business is looking at what it can do to spend more money locally.

Shift Arizona also is dispelling the myth that local stores are more expensive than national chains, Lanning says. Oil changes and pet food are often cheaper at local stores, she says.

In a continuingly tough economic climate, Shift Arizona is championing using your wallet as you would use your vote.

“We’re at a point in time where the discussion amongst our elected officials revolves around whether we want our taxes raised or our services cut, but in reality, through our purchasing power, citizens can grow the economy without spending any more money,” Lanning says. “We just need to make our money shift to a more locally based economy.”

Lanning says Arizonans can boost the economy not by spending more money, but by spending their money a little more thoughtfully.

Local First Arizona Champions Buying Locally - AZ Business Magazine June 2010

Local First Arizona Champions Buying Locally

Today, people generally recognize the importance of shopping locally and supporting our region’s independently owned and operated businesses. But that wasn’t always the case. As recently as seven years ago, the concept was nearly unheard of in Arizona. But in 2003, Kimber Lanning, of the independently owned and operated Stinkweeds music store, started Local First Arizona, then called Arizona Chain Reaction, in an effort to bring the community together and support each other.

“People weren’t really connecting,” says Lanning, who lives in and loves the Phoenix area.

That love of Phoenix compelled her to start a crusade for local, independent store owners. That crusade turned into Local First Arizona, a statewide organization aimed at helping to strengthen local communities in Arizona, bring them together and encourage them to support one another. And she did it one person at a time.

“I just started knocking on doors,” Lanning says of her start-up approach to educating local residents about the importance of celebrating the uniqueness of independently owned businesses in their very own neighborhoods versus the chain stores.

In 2006, she applied for 501(c)3 nonprofit status and changed the name from Arizona Chain Reaction to Local First Arizona to better reflect the goal and mission of the organization — to help people understand the benefits of buying locally and to build a better sense of community.

“I think neighborhoods are finally realizing how important it is (to buy locally),” she says. “It’s like it finally just dawned on us that we can create diverse and unique cities … we can control this.”

It is part of Local First’s mission to educate people on the facts about the real benefits of shopping locally. Studies show that for every $100 spent in a locally owned business, approximately $42 stays in the state. If that same $100 is spent in a chain store, just $13 of it stays right here.

In 2008, Lanning created the Small Wonders maps, pocket-sized guides — one each for Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale — that list unique shopping and dining destinations in the three defined areas. Lanning printed 75,000 copies of the Phoenix version, and downloadable versions of the maps also are available at www.localfirstaz.com. She says the buzz around the maps has been incredible.

“They’ve really taken off,” Lanning says. “Now is the best time to promote independent businesses.”

Indeed that remains one of Lanning’s biggest challenges, managing the rapid (“almost too rapid”) growth of her concept, along with securing funding. But she hasn’t let the latter stop her.

“With any new concept, it’s difficult to secure funding,” she says. “So I’m running it like an entrepreneur would, rather than relying on grants.”
Local First currently has 1,800 members, but Lanning has high hopes for the future.

“As I’ve gotten more involved, I’ve realized things we need,” she says.

She hopes to develop awareness for the adaptive reuse of existing buildings to ensure sustainability, increase business-to-business support, grow membership to 5,000, and develop a diversified staff that can offer programs, benefits and support for the state’s locally owned businesses.
Lanning, whose very own personal business, Stinkweeds, resides in the Central Corridor, is thrilled as she talks about the recent growth and development in the Downtown area.

“I am overjoyed to watch the city growing into itself,” she says. “It’s phenomenal. I feel like I’m in the right place at the right time.”

But Doug MacKenzie, director of communications at the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau, thinks it’s more than just a little luck. He credits Local First and Lanning with driving the unique farm-to-table food product and for helping Phoenix become a culinary destination in its own right — complete with amazing farmer’s markets and unique events. One such event was the recent Devoured Culinary Classic at the Phoenix Art Museum, which Local First spearheaded and co-sponsored.

MacKenzie says that due to efforts by Local First, locals and visitors to the Phoenix area have the opportunity to “really experience the authentic and native foods of the region and the Southwest. Local First is great for promoting our culinary scene.”

More than just promoting local dining establishments, Local First also seeks to bring together communities, neighborhoods and people — one door at a time.

www.localfirstaz.com

Arizona Business Magazine June 2010