By MyFM's Ray Auger - Recently I attended Boston’s Christmas Festival and was reminded of the importance and joy of buying local from local artisans who paint, whittle, blowtorch, stitch, hot glue, bake or brew handmade products. Why so important to support local artisans? For one thing it keeps your money in your community. For every $100 spent locally, roughly $70 stays in that community. You’re also supporting your artisan neighbors who in turn support the community around them. And the most important aspect of buying local in my opinion? You’re giving the gift of uniqueness. The gifts you are now giving all come with an interesting story. This guy donates a guitar to a local school for every 40 tshirts he sells. That woman uses driftwood from your favorite Cape Cod beach to make her art. This local brewery started in a garage as a two-woman operation… their kids go to school with my kids! And so on. This year choose local. Choose to support a community member who sweats for their craft. Someone who contributes to our local community. Thank them for their art and hard work. This gift-giving season choose to give a story to a loved one.
There are countless local artisans with so many creative and unique gifts to offer. Below are just a few. Click their names to visit their Facebook pages.
PS – Please don’t forget our local business owners this year. Although they may not be selling local products (yet in some cases they do offer consigned goods), their contributions to the local economy are equally important. Some of my local picks include Rubber Chicken Comics in Bellingham for all your comic book and related item needs, The Nevermind Shop in Upton for albums and collectibles, Hogwash ‘n Rhinestones for vintage country/western apparel and accessories with their own unique branding, Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra creates beautiful music from some of your favorite classical and modern pieces and Country Bumpkins in Mendon for antiques, crafts and primitives. And for a plethora of unique and local items pay a visit to Many Creations by Laura in Whitinsville or Bernat Antiques and Brick Mill Marketplace, both located in Uxbridge.
PPS - Locally owned restaurants! True artisans in their own rights. Gift cards from local eateries make great gifts! Pepperoncini's and Depot St. Tavern in Milford, Devlin's in Bellingham, Rome Restaurant in Franklin, Badabings in Millis... they support your kid's youth baseball team... support them in return.
PPPS - (I could go on and on... last one... I think you get the point.) Local musicians! We have somevery talented musicians in our local area who produce original music, instument lessons and band swag that you can purchase for the music fan in your life. Bad Marriage, Jennifer Tefft, Gay Perkoski, Roadhouse Strangers, Starr Faithful, If We Go At All, Matt Zajac, just to name a few.
Just a few of our talented local artisans...
Tim Rice Photo - Photographer based in South Eastern Massachusetts. It is simple, I am a witness with a camera... recording memories. Weddings, Bands, Portraits & Lessons.
CraftRoots Brewing - CraftRoots Brewing reconnects craft beer with the land, linking family farms & craft maltsters in our super-fresh brews from locally-grown hops and malt.
Hen’s and Chicks Cookie Company - We believe in a better cookie! We offer delicious homemade cookies with real, wholesome ingredients, made to order. Always made fresh, never frozen!
Brozzian - Brozzian manufactures gourmet spice blends and dip mixes. Every Brozzian product is all-natural, has no preservatives, no MSG, and no artificial flavors.
LIT Craft Beer Candles - 100% Soy based candles with unique scents. Made from recycled Craft Beer Cans. Great gift ideas for the avid beer drinker.
Flora Biodesign - Connection to nature through design and sustainable fashion.
Peter Willis Photography - I am a photographer with eight years experience. I specialize in sports photography, architectures photo real estate photography, nature
Two Trick Pony - Two Trick Pony offers eco-friendly paper goods including a huge selection of greeting cards.
Buzz 10 Honey - "Take a friendly look into a bee hive". Invite me to your School/Club/social gathering so I can teach you the benefits of honey bees and small scale beekeeping. I have appeared on YouTube and local television. Buzz 10 apparel available for sale.
Mama Mac Creations – Homemade accessories
Salty Jewelry - I make hand stamped cuffs, and I am adding stuff as I get inspired like stamped keys and dog collar tags.
Hooked on Cass – Homemade custom crochet items
The Bearded Ginger Workshop - Custom bean bag toss Cornhole boards and pallet flags
I Heart Button Art – Button art