Why I Choose To Shop Small


Since 2010, the Saturday after Thanksgiving (also known as Small Business Saturday) is when holiday shoppers focus on supporting and celebrating local small shops. This “holiday” was created by American Express, and back in 2010, the company even rewarded shoppers with a $10 credit for every $10 they spent at small businesses. Since then, the idea has really taken off!

Living in a small town, shopping small and local is very important to me–and not just on Small Business Saturday. Small shops are the heart of our community, and according to the Small Business Administration, they’re the heart of our country too.

Did you know that small businesses account for 99.7% of all businesses in the US? Between 1993 and 2001, small businesses also accounted for 64% of all job creation activities in the country as well, so we’re not just talking about sole proprietors here. These businesses create jobs that support other families beside their own–it is truly the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors.

But here’s what you might not realize when you decide whether to shop small or go with the big guys…

  • Small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to non-profits and community causes (Source: Seattle Good Business Network).
  • When you spend your money at a small local business, more of your money stays within your community’s economy–68% versus 43% when you spend the same amount at a large business (Source: Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids, Michigan). That’s 25 cents more of every dollar!
  • When you shop small, you’re also helping your neighbors because 85% of small business pay all of their employees more than minimum wage (Source: Small Business Majority).

Small shops truly rely on Small Business Saturday to boost their sales because 29% of total annual small business sales occur during the brief holiday shopping season (Source: National Federation of Independent Businesses). But what if “shopping small” happened all year long instead of just at the holidays? Just imagine how we could collectively impact our local economies by making even a small change in our spending habits!

Today, I want to introduce you to some of my favorite small shops and their products that I love the most! I hope you’ll support their businesses throughout the year and help to make an impact in local economies and the good work our neighbors are doing.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Etsy, however all opinions are my own. Some links to products that follow may be affiliate links, and I might earn a commission if you make a purchase through that link. This usually amounts to cents, not dollars, and helps to support the projects featured on this blog. I only recommend products from companies that I have found to be trustworthy. Read my full disclosure here.

Designs by Wagoner

Brittnee (“Bee”) and Justin are business owners that truly exemplify the heart and soul of America. Justin is an active duty solider in the US Army, and the couple (along with their small children) has been stationed all across the country. Currently they are living at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, and this sweet family creates the most gorgeous, handmade, vintage-inspired wooden corbels you have ever seen! I absolutely adore the pair I have in my own home, and I’m sure you’re going to love them too!

Justin and Bee have generously created an exclusive coupon code just for our French Creek friends and family, so head over to check out all of their beautiful designs and finishing options, and enjoy a 15% discount on your order using the code FRENCHCREEK15   [Shop Now]

Terra Cottage

After Janis graduated from college with a pre-law degree, she wasn’t entirely certain that going to law school was what she wanted to do anymore. While figuring it out, she decided to embrak on an adventure, and moved to Southern California with her boyfriend, Caleb, to see what would come next. Today, she runs a sweet vintage shop in Roseville while also working on crafting her beautiful handmade beads. I have several of Janis’s gorgeous bead strands and loops, and they are the perfect farmhouse decor accessory!

Possibly what I love most about Janis, though, is her love and commitment to rescue dogs. Janis is a dog-mom to an adorable furbaby named Leo whose facial expressions in her instagram photos cannot be beat!

Rustic Eye

As I was redecorating our entryway this past January, I stumbled upon a shop where I found myself adding every item I saw to my favorites list. Little did I know that the shop owner, Traci, would become one of my sweetest virtual friends! We connected on Instagram over conversations about our shared love of farmhouse style home decor and vintage letterpress blocks, but have since revealed more of our hearts with each other and developed a true friendship.

I can tell you with certainty that Traci has a service heart. She isn’t just selling vintage finds in her shop–she is building relationships. And this isn’t just a job to her–it is very clearly her life’s work. From the way she beautifully wraps every item that she ships, to the handwritten notes she tucks into packages, to her blog posts and newsletters where she shares the truly interesting backstories about her one-of-a-kind vintage items, Traci is the real deal, and I know you’re going to love her and her curated collection of vintage finds!

To make your holiday shopping even easier, Traci has created an exclusive coupon code for our French Creek friends and family (didn’t I tell you that she has a service heart!?), so go see all of the unique items in her shop and enjoy $5 off any purchase of $20 or more with code FRENCHCREEK through 1/31/19.  [Shop Now]

Faith and Chloe

Around our home, Rob often shakes his head at the extreme number of throw pillows we’ve (okay, I’ve) amassed. I love to update them every season, and I like to tease him that throw pillows are the stuffed animals of grown women!

Faith makes some of the best pillow covers you’ve ever seen, and collecting pillow covers takes up far less space than actual pillows, while giving you the freedom to change your decor anytime you’d like. And in case you’re wondering who Chloe is–she is Faith’s beloved Yorkie who crossed over the rainbow bridge after nearly 14 years of spreading love and joy, but forever stays in Faith’s heart as her shop’s mascot. I knew Faith and I could be friends as soon as I learned about this–people who love animals are good people to call friends!

If you’re looking for some great new pillow covers to freshen up your space, now is the time to find them in Faith’s shop! She’s created a coupon code for you to save 10% on all orders between now and January 15, 2019. Just use code FRENCHCREEK10 when you shop these favorites of mine, or any other designs Faith makes!  [Shop Now]

Rustic Occasions

Just like us, Aimee Cox and her family live in a town that’s full of beautiful old Victorian homes. When remodels happen, she is first on the scene to hunt for salvaged wood that she can repurpose into her gorgeous creations.

This is what I love most about Aimee’s work (besides how obviously amazing it is)–you aren’t buying something that’s mass produced and just like what everyone else has. Every piece that Aimee creates is unique because she’s working with reclaimed boards, old moldings and trimwork from equally old houses, wood from forgotten vintage furniture, and any other salvage materials she can get her hands on. Aimee’s art has a story and a soul!

If you’re lucky enough to own one of her beautiful pieces, you truly own a piece of history, and Aimee was so kind and generous in her desire to help make that happen by creating a coupon code just for our French Creek friends and family. Use code FCF20 for 20% off your total order from Aimee’s shop!   [Shop Now]

The Wooded Lane

I love word art and typography. It has always been a favorite for me. So needless to say, when I first discovered Rachel’s creations, I was absolutely heart-eyed. But here’s the coolest thing about her signs–the frames are made from wood with magnets inside that allow you to change out the print anytime you’d like! When you order any canvas print from her shop, you have the option to order it with the coordinating wood frame, or just the print by itself in case you already have one of her frames. It’s such a brilliant idea that allows you to mix and match anytime you want to express something different.

Rachel and her husband are parents to one daughter, one son, and one very photogenic labradoodle, so be sure to get to know their family better on Instagram and be inspired by the creative ways you can decorate with Rachel’s beautiful signs!

These six shops are some of my favorites, but there are so many more out there that make up the heart and soul of our country. And as you can see from these introductions, every shop has a story. There are real families behind each one, and when you shop at small businesses, you’re making a bigger impact than you might know.

Shopping small is always going to be important to me. How about you? Are any of these shops’ creations in your home? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Photo Credits: All shop owner and product photos belong to and are the copyrighted property of the corresponding featured shop. They are used in this post by permission from and in cooperation with Etsy.

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  1. I pretty much want to purchase ALL the adorableness on this page and quit my amazon obsession #smallshopguilt ;)!! What a truly heartfelt and thoughtful post. Thank you, Kristi!! <3

    1. I know it! Small shops have the BEST stuff, and you get the bonus warm fuzzy knowing that your money is helping real families…it just FEELS good, doesn't it?!

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