My Pressure-Free Plan to Shop Local for the Holidays

I’ve always known the benefits of shopping local for the holidays, like supporting my local economy, fostering the arts and enjoying better customer service – but this year, I’m turning that knowledge into action.

My challenge? Shop local for as many Christmas presents as possible. After reading my list, I feel confident that I can do this for at least half.

(the pressure-free part)

Since I don’t need added pressure during the holidays, my goal is simple: enjoy the process.

That means no guilt if I end up at a big name store in the end.


To do that, I’m turning my gift list into an adventure. I want to get out and see what my city has to offer; for some parts of town, it’s been a while, and I’m excited to explore the local boutiques, restaurants and probably a few coffee shops along the way.

… but not until after Thanksgiving. 🙂

Note: I’ll be Tweeting my adventures using the tag #YOUshoplocal. Cheers!

Photo by jessgrrrr

Check out Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk, coming January 2016 from Delacorte Press/Random House. Visit her author site here.


1 Jennifer M. November 13, 2012 at 2:53 am

I was reading the post I linked above (which has comments closed) and I love your information! However I had a question about pricing. So I sell knit beanies on Etsy and they typically take about 3 hours to make. By your calculations, I should be selling them for $148!! While I would love to make that much, I can’t imagine anyone paying that much for a knit beanie. Do you suggest just throwing that high pricetag on there and keeping my fingers crossed or should I keep prices down where the typical buyer will pay?

I should add that I have done research and found beanies for 6-8 times that amount at NYC department stores, although I have a hard time believing those same customers shop on Etsy. Lol. I have mine priced around the $30 price-range and even then I can’t seem to get any bites. I’ve also tried doubling that to the $60-70 price-range and no luck at that price-point either. How do you figure out what will sell? Is it just trial and error or do you always go strictly by that formula you made? Is there a point where you just figure you have a dud product that won’t sell?

Sorry for all the questions. I just have not been able to figure out how to make an Etsy shop profitable despite doing just about everything I am told will make a successful shop. I can use all the help I can get at this point! Lol. 😉

2 Melissa November 28, 2012 at 10:17 am

Dear Jennifer,
Thanks for your comment. I do not have an etsy shop, but I will ask my etsy friends and see what kind-of advice they have to offer.

More to come!

3 Jody weyers November 19, 2012 at 1:18 am

If you need help or suggestions on some great local places let me know. Been trying to shop local the last few holiday season…..or if you want a shopping buddy. Happy holidays!

4 Melissa November 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I’d love a buddy! Are you ever free during the day? I’d probably go on a weekday when my kids are in school. I’ll be in touch after Thanksgiving. Enjoy the holiday!

5 Bethany Fuson November 21, 2012 at 12:01 am

If you’re shopping local this weekend – remember that the Crafting Cartel starts its Indoor Winter Market at Kavarna on Saturday. Helllooooo delicious coffee! 😉 Great local, handmade and juried artists.

6 Melissa November 28, 2012 at 10:13 am

Good to know! I’d definitely like to check that out.

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