So much local shopping to love. No mall required.

November 24, 2012 | Uncategorized

So it’s Small Business Saturday, but even if it were just any other Saturday, there are so many small businesses here in New York’s Capital Region (where I am based) to keep you from ever needing to darken the doorstep of the dreaded mall. Or Walmart.

I know, sometimes you just can’t get something anywhere else, but most days you can. I usually make it my mission to get through the Christmas season without ever going to the mall. I challenge you to do the same. If it’s too late and you’ve already stood on line for 12 hours to get a half-price electric toothbrush, pick yourself up and start over.

Or, better yet, drive down to Bethlehem for a little local shopping that’s sure to leave with you armfuls of unique gifts you know won’t be duplicated by anyone else in your family. (And if you can’t get to Bethlehem, a lot of these folks have Etsy shops, so check the links below.)

Every Saturday through Dec. 22 at the Delmar Farmers Market, you can find a collection of organic, homemade, and homegrown foods (think artisan cheeses, beautiful fresh Brussels sprouts, winter squash, and more), stunning dried flower arrangements (also homegrown and made without dyes), handmade jewelry, hand-dipped candles, delicious-smelling soaps, pottery, mosaics, collages, and so much more. Just head to the Bethlehem Central Middle School on Kenwood Avenue between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Drive around toward the back left side of the school, and enter over there.

Here are a few things I picked up last weekend at the Delmar Farmers Market:

Peyster Street Designs jewelry by Ricky Talmage. Actually, these earrings were purchased previously from Ricky. Last week I bought a stunning necklace with a polished blue gem, a freshwater pearl, and a compass charm. But, alas, my son gave it to his girlfriend before I could take a photo. Lucky girl. Go to Ricky’s booth at the Farmer’s Market, or visit her Etsy shop HERE. Her designs as so beautiful you’ll find it hard to choose just one, and you’re likely to end up keeping what you buy instead of giving it away (which is what happened with those earrings below.)

These soaps from Tandj Soaps by Theresa Novish smell so good it’s going to be hard to part with them. Well, the Nag Champa soap in front is mine, which came free when I bought the others and the cedar soap dish. All sorts of awesome smells — from Christmas scents (peppermint, cinnamon, etc.) to standards (lavender, lemon, oatmeal) to interesting (Chinese dragon blood, clary sage, rain). I was thinking of making a spiritual soap mix for myself with nag champa, frankincense and myrrh, and minimalist. Theresa has an Etsy shop HERE, but she also has a brick-and-mortar store in Troy at 271 River Street.

I don’t have a link or even a name for the dried flowers below, but if you go to the Farmer’s Market, they’ll be right next to the entrance. Such beautiful arrangements and wreaths and big, lovely bunches of eucalyptus. Breathe deep.

The collage cards below are going to end up framed in my house somewhere. Or at least some of them will land on the walls. One in particular is meant for a friend. You can find lots of handmade note cards, plus prints and more over at Nicolette Callaway‘s table. If you want to see more of her work, which features lots of animals and colors and some cool hidden designs here and there, visit her Etsy shop HERE.

After you hit the Farmer’s Market, head over to the Delmar Reformed Church for the Fair Trade Bazaar and then go down the street to I Love Books, Perfect Blend, and around the corner to Peaceful Inspirations. I’ve posted about some of my favorite items from those places in a post over HERE. I’ll be back early next week with my favorite online Christmas shopping haunts. Happy shopping.



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