Make holiday shopping local affair

Saturday, Nov. 26, is Small Business Shopping Day. Be that as it may, why not allow every day, especially during Christmas shopping season, to be the day to shop locally, the day to patronize and support local businesses rather than the megastores?

It’s no joke, and no accident, that those businesses are often either locally owned or locally franchised.

Randy’s Boot and Saddle Shop, located on the 300 block of Main, does more, much more, than repair boots, though I had a favorite pair of vintage Docksiders re-sewn there. Randy does custom leather work, not only boots but, well, you name it. I had an arrow quiver made by him.

Randy, a for real cowboy, doesn’t believe in synthetics or cheap substitutes. His factory or refurbished boots start around 50 to 150 dollars, though anyone wishing a pair of his handmade ones will pay around 550 and upwards. Other leather work is priced individually.

Adjacent and related (managed by wife Sandra, how much more related can you get?) is Artisan’s Ranch, where you can purchase blankets, woodcarvings, belts, necklaces, jewelry, even bits and spurs, or billfolds made by one of Sandra’s senior high English students.

One qualification: If you are seeking something garage sale, made in the Orient, or mass produced, don’t go there. Remember, it’s called “Artisan’s.” They only carry handmade, locally crafted, and one of a kind items. The store is actually inside the boot and leather shop, in a separate room. Among the coolest items in the Artisan’s Ranch are quilts sewn by a 13-year-old named Megan.

Stroll a few storefronts to the north, and drop by As They Grow, a kids’ center owned by Sandy Williams and daughter Krystal Brittain. This is the building that used to be the Color Factory, and Sandy and Krystal have kept the Main Street color scheme so it is easy to spot.

Gently used clothing is a specialty, and those of us who have little people will appreciate this — granddaughter Mikayla, for example, frequently outgrows something before she wears it out, and she is as tomboy as they come.

Vendors rent space in here as well, and sell items such as little kid BDUs, balloon bouquets, baby slings, bottle bibs, and maternity gifts and wear. Among the cooler gift items in the easy to afford range are Krystal and Sandy’s tooth fairy pillows; you put the tooth in a little pocket in the pillow and the tooth fairy will find it.

While you are shopping this section of Main, don’t forget to drop by Two Shabby Divas, for some unique women’s clothing and accessories, and for a really unique gift, go another couple blocks north and get Brook’s Interiors to give your loved one’s domicile a partial or complete makeover.

The frustration of this column is that, for the many unique locally owned and operated businesses, only a few can be covered, but hopefully that is enough to give you the inspiration to shop local first.