National Small Business Week may have been in late September, but every day is a great day to recognize our local small business owners. How can you support these entrepreneurs who sell goods and services? By purchasing from them, posting good things about them on social media, and encouraging friends and family to do the same.
Here is a sampling of great vendors in our area. Be sure to order from them soon. As of November 1, there are just 54 shopping days left until Christmas! Also, don't forget that COVID-19 has delayed shipping in many cases. The sooner you order, the quicker you will have these local goods in time for the holidays!
Handmade Celtic Jewelry
Rob Piland painstakingly creates silver and gold bracelets, pendants, rings, wedding bands, brooches, and other fine jewelry in a Celtic style. As he says, "At the essential center of myself is a goldsmith and artist - a creator of beauty in a world that often forgets what beauty is." Visit his website for his creations and an online tour of his shop which takes customers on a visual journey of his creation process: sketching the concept, creation of a metal mold, de-waxing and casting, filling, and polishing.
In business since 2007, soap artist and master Carrie Torman has plentiful experience creating handmade soap using a cold processing method. She relishes the process of mixing skin-nourishing ingredients to create visions of eye-candy that will soon cleanse the face, hands, and body. Her wide assortment features individual soap bars in a motley of colors and unusual three-dimensional soaps with whimsical details.
Melissa Cruz has been making decorative wreaths and perfecting her art since January 2018. She incorporates materials such as burlap, grapevine, ribbons, signs, monograms, and lights to add warmth and character into each creation. Her wreaths come in many different themes, including florals, patriotic, pet lovers, professional, and centered around holidays such as Valentine's Day, Easter, and Halloween.
Owner Angela White sells specialty gifts in a variety of custom options that create fun pops of color in the home. Customers may shop this 2020 Best Of winner in the "Best Specialty Store" categories by choosing among custom apparel, items featuring spring and fall holiday motifs, wood signs, and party banners. White also features an extensive collection of barware, beer ware, and speciality drink ware customized with personalized sayings.
Katie Bauer handcrafts and handstands one-of-a-kind jewelry using natural stones and metals with a focus on nature-inspired designs because "reconnecting with nature can bring balance and some quiet in a fast-paced world" as per her website. Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of her designs and craftsmanship is an intentional avoidance of, as she says, "Perfection in the design process to achieve a more organic and one-of-a-kind look"