According to a survey by Prosper Insights, the average consumer will spend around $935 in gift purchases during the holiday season. As our culture becomes increasingly aware of how this money is distributed throughout the economy, small businesses and fair trade shops have seen steady increases in sales. Not only do purchases from these establishments give back to the community in a way that helps grow the local economy, but many find value in the selection of these products over mass-manufactured items when it comes to letting those in their lives know how they feel.
Thankfully for Corvallisites, we have innumerable options for the buyer that wants to keep things local. Below are some of our favorites, and we encourage everyone to take a look around town for that special item before heading to Amazon or other major retailers.
Many Hands Trading
SW Madison Ave., 541-738-0808
For fair trade, Many Hands Trading selects suppliers carefully by supporting independent artisans and small family-owned domestic companies, and by researching overseas fair trade companies. Gifts for literally anyone on your list. Literally.
First Alternative Co-op
South Store, 1007 SW 3rd St.,
541-753-3115; North Store, 2855 NW Grant Ave., 541-452-3115
This grocery cooperative is certified fair trade or locally made. For specialty gifts they have locally made soaps, candles, jewelry, greeting cards, and wine… not to mention all manner of holiday treats.
The Golden Crane
114 SW 3rd St.
There’s a reason the Golden Crane has called Corvallis home since 1980. The eclectic boutique is truly a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, offering everything from handmade jewelry and scarves to vintage women’s clothing and cultural decor you won’t find anywhere else in the valley. Owner Ruby Moon tries to source all the merchandise locally or from the U.S. with new inventory arriving daily. Expect to see many special sales now through Christmas, including everything in their backroom.
Peoria Road Farm Market
33269 SE Peoria Rd., 541-207-3327
Locally grown fruits and veggies are not the only things this farm market offers; they also hold a periodic, locally sourced Craft Bazaar.
110 SW 3rd St., 541-753-9276
One of Corvallis’ unique landing pads, Stash is home for lovers of all things yarn. Sourcing products locally as part of their business model, for a new pattern, hat, or colorful yarn balls, just stop right in!
328 SW 2nd St., 541-754-6338
This local, holiday season exclusive, art gallery not only circulates local art, it gives a percentage of its earnings back to arts programs in local organizations. For 2016, the recipient is Crescent Valley High School.
The Arts Center
700 SW Madison Ave., 541-754-1551
The Arts Center brings in local art and uses the profits and donations to support art education outreach and art for youth in high-risk situations. Art is never a poor investment, as every dollar in an artist’s pocket is a dollar spent on the health of our culture.
227 SW 2nd St., 541-754-7668
With a wide variety of local authors in addition to the usual fare, this local bookstore is a dream for any lover of the written word (they also have music, magazines, and greeting cards).
145 NW 2nd St., 541-754-1424
A local favorite, this is a fantastic store with local vendors for jewelry, clothing, and special artistic gifts for everyone.
Schmidt’s Garden Center
1299 NW 29th St., 541-257-5523
For the garden lover, Schmidt’s home-grows their plants and their new coffee selections are locally sourced. Sort of like a small zoo, only with plants and a much better gift shop.
This online shop has a gift for everyone. From yarn to brewing kits, Etsy has it all. It also allows customers to select vendors based on location, which can be narrowed back to local trade only. Go to Etsy.com, select “shop local,” and enter the local zip code—or check out this issue’s article for some of our local favorites.
By Jamie Anunsolo