Shop with local small businesses in the Upstate this holiday season
The things that keep small businesses going in typical times – loyal customers, word of mouth and a strong local economic network – have been magnified by the challenges of this year. A great way to help ensure your favorites are still around for next year? Make sure your holiday shopping is deliberate and purposeful. No matter what your budget, choose a local business you love and show them that you care by placing an order and spreading the word. Among the many grassroots businesses here in the Upstate, three entrepreneurs shared what it means to carry on in uncertain times.
GIFTED HANDS ARTISAN SOAP
Javela Singleton started Gifted Hands Artisan Soap out of a personal struggle. Now her naturally scented soaps that look like works of art are helping others in the community as well.
Singleton started the business in 2013 as she was struggling with infertility and trying to move toward a natural, healthy lifestyle. Her soaps are scented with essential oils and made with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.
“We spread the economy around a little bit,” she says.
Singleton fell in love with soap making and relied on her faith to carry her through a trying time.
“Now, I’m able to share clean-sourced body products with people, whether they have any issues or not,” she says.
Loyal customers make a direct, immediate impact on her small business.
“I really feel like supporting a small business is almost like supporting your own family,” she says. “Everything a small business does in the community is a cycle – it goes right back into the community. We have families. Anytime you support a small business, you are supporting someone’s family. It’s an ecosystem within your community.”
Find Singleton’s products at https://www.giftedhandsbathandbody.com.
There’s no need to bake it yourself this holiday season, not when Chancey Lindsey-Peake is supplying her Banana Manna breads that she calls “a little piece of heaven.”
“We’re local,” she says. “We’re homegrown.”
Lindsey-Peake says the “manna” part of her company’s name is symbolic for her and something customers often ask about. In response, she relays the Biblical story.
“I get to tell them that manna is the bread that God used to rain down from heaven to feed his people as they went out of bondage from the reign of Pharaoh,” she says.
Word of mouth brings new customers for Lindsey-Peake, who sells directly to customers online, through markets, as well as wholesale to sites like Lowes Foods. She says that loyalty and support are critical for all small business owners, now more than ever.
“We are at a time right now where, if we are ignored, we’re going to faint, we’re going to fall,” she says. “We need them to hold us up.”
Shop online at http://www.bananamanna.com.
MALLOWS AND MADNESS
Lisa Pomeroy says an online order from her confectionary, Mallows and Madness, delights her and helps her continue to buy local ingredients for her decadent treats.
With flavors like Eccentric Espresso marshmallows and Cucumber-Serrano marshmallow crème, Pomeroy has a specific audience in mind – think grown-up s’mores or cocktail floaters – but kids enjoy them, too.
“I gear this toward adults,” she says. “I like off the cuff, unique flavor pairings.”
Whether it’s at a market, an event or crafting a special monogrammed order for a corporate holiday gift, Pomeroy says including ingredients supplied by other local businesses keeps the joy going, a feeling that entrepreneurs share.
“It’s super important to me to be conscious of things like that,” she says. “When I get an order, I can’t even tell you how I appreciate that.”
Order online at https://mallowsandmadness.com.