Where to shop locally in the Mitten, and still get great deals.
MICHIGAN—So, you’ve heard of Black Friday—the ultra-capitalist, post-Thanksgiving “holiday” that benefits billionaires and kills more people annually than sharks—but have you heard of Small Business Saturday? If not, we’ll get you up to speed.
Small Business Saturday, which takes place the day after Black Friday each year, started as an American Express campaign in 2010 to nudge consumers to shop at nearby local businesses during the holiday season. The following year, a group of politicians—including then-president Barack Obama—vocalized their support for Small Business Saturday, with the Small Business Association officially cosponsoring it as a holiday. That escalated quickly.
In the years since, the concept has continued to gain support, with consumers spending an estimated $120 billion at small businesses on Small Business Saturday over the last decade.
There are nearly 32 million independent businesses in the United States to choose from, but here are a few favorites in some of Michigan’s biggest cities that are offering deals after Thanksgiving.
Where to Shop in and Around Traverse City
Haystacks – Women’s Apparel
Haystacks, a highly rated women’s boutique that sells clothing and accessories designed and sewn in Michigan, is running sales on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. There will be different deals on different days, so find out what they are in advance and get early access by joining the business’s email list.
The store has retail locations in Traverse City, Elk Rapids, Leland, Suttons Bay, and Petoskey as well as a couple of out-of-state locations. You can also purchase the handmade products online, where you can get free shipping on orders over $25.
Holiday Gift Idea: Any picnic-and-beer-loving lady in your life will adore the adorable Blue Canvas & Flowers Beer Carrier.
Lakes and Grapes – Apparel & Lifestyle
The Traverse City-based brand Lakes and Grapes sells lifestyle apparel that’s “rooted in the adventures of a water, woods, and wine country way of life.”
The week of Black Friday, it will run sales of up to 50% off, so you’ll want to head to the store or check online to see what’s in stock. They also have a Holiday Gift Guide and a special holiday deal each week, so consider your Christmas list handled.
Holiday Gift Idea: The brand’s best-selling Superior Fraser Fir Candle is the perfect way to gift someone a slice of the Great Lakes.
Sweet Pea – Children’s Toys & Clothing
If you have any kiddos in your life, Sweet Pea is the perfect spot to grab gifts in the form of apparel and toys. The business is running sales on both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday and carries tons of high-quality products for infants, children, and parents.
Holiday Gift Idea: For a little one, we recommend gifting a soft and sweet Slumberkins Snuggler. For the mama bears on your list, we recommend the gorgeous and extremely convenient Little Unicorn Outdoor Blanket.
Brilliant Books – Books
If you want to snag a book for someone this holiday season, eschew Amazon or Barnes & Noble and give your business to one of Michigan’s many independent bookstores.
Brilliant Books is a great option as it carries scores of novels and nonfiction reads—and they ship anywhere in the US. Plus, the staff has put together a delightful Holiday Gift Guide and Countdown to Christmas digital advent calendar for young readers.
Holiday Gift Idea: Dolly Parton’s new book “Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones” is the ideal gift for your friend whose go-to karaoke song is “Jolene,” and “Heroes’ Feast Flavors of the Multiverse: An Official D&D Cookbook” is ideal for all the biggest nerds in your life—and we mean that in the nicest way possible.
Where to Shop in and Around Lansing
October Moon – Gifts
October Moon is one of many local shops participating in the Old Town Lansing Small Business Saturday event by offering killer deals to shoppers all day long on Nov. 25. If you’re taking advantage of the deals online, you can peruse the shop’s witty (and very specific) gift collections, including “I’m a Dude and I Messed Up. What Should I Send?” and “Middle Aged Woman Weekend Joy.”
Curvaceous Lingerie — Lingerie
Whether you want to treat yourself to something special or purchase a PG-13 gift for your *wink wink* special someone, Curvaceous Lingerie is the place to go in Lansing. The inclusive shop is participating in the Old Town Lansing Small Business Saturday, so they will have exciting sales to take advantage of.
Holiday Gift Idea: The Embroidered Longline Bralette & Tap Short Set in Ruby Wine is as pretty as can be and comes in sizes small to 3XL.
Bad Annie’s Sweary Goods – Gifts
In honor of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, the aptly named Bad Annie’s Sweary Goods is offering a free card pack with any purchase of $50 or more. Whether you shop online or in-store, you’re sure to find the most delightfully quirky and funny gifts at this local gem.
Holiday Gift Idea: Your 4/20-friendly pals will adore anything from the shop’s Marijuana & Other Drugs collection—including a trendy edibles cookbook—and this hilarious wall art will certainly win your office’s white elephant gift exchange.
Grace Boutique – Women’s Apparel
This Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, shoppers at Grace Boutique in Old Town will receive a free ornament with any purchase of $100 or more and can also buy two winter scarves and/or pairs of gloves to get $10 off.
Holiday Gift Idea: If you really want to go above and beyond with your holiday gift, consider splurging on the Grace Signature Purse, which is custom-made in Italy (no two bags are ever the same). The authentic Amsterdam tiles also make for gorgeous and thoughtful gifts.
Where to Shop in and Around Grand Rapids
Basic Bee Boutique — Women’s Apparel
Basic Bee is one of the most fashion-forward businesses in Grand Rapids, and all you trendsetters will be thrilled to hear they’re throwing a Buy More, Save More Sale over Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. From cool jeans to chunky sweaters to cozy blankets, Basic Bee literally has you covered this winter.
Holiday Gift Idea: With the Platform Slipper Mules, you can rock this season’s No. 1 footwear style for a fraction of the cost. Plus, this adorable Round Neck Sweater is a far cry from an ugly Christmas sweater.
Fulton Street Market — Local Goods
This year, Fulton Street Market is putting on a special Black Friday Market, where dozens of local creators will be selling their wares. The event runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24. It’s a great way to shop small and support local artists.
Holiday Gift Idea: Everyone loves getting a new mug, but you’ll get bonus points if you gift one that’s handmade. Luckily, local Grand Rapids ceramicist Kate Lewis makes stunning and unique pieces like this speckled satin blue cream mug.
Siegel Jewelers – Jewelry
Siegel Jewelers is putting on a fantastic Small Business Saturday Sale: If you buy one of its 25 special holiday items, you can enter to win the item free (or get $500 off). They’ll be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., so stop by to pick out something sparkly for your loved one.
Holiday Gift Idea: If you really want to spoil your partner, you can’t go wrong with this 14K Yellow Natural Diamond Disc Necklace. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend after all, right?
Woosah Outfitters — Outdoor Apparel
The only thing better than the 12 Days of Christmas is the 12 Days of Woosah. Starting Nov. 11, the event features product releases, special deals, and collaborations just in time for holiday shopping. You’ll find all the top outdoor brands (in addition to original artwork and designs) while supporting an earth-friendly local business.
Roeda Studio — Art
From 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Nov. 25, Roeda Studio will host a free Small Business Saturday Celebration featuring a range of artists, each one offering handmade items that make perfect holiday gifts. Plus, there will be deals on Roeda art.
Holiday Gift Idea: Make anyone in your circle smile ear to ear by gifting them a charming Christmas Dachshund Magnet.
Christkindl Markt – Local Goods
Walking into Grand Rapids’ Christkindl Markt feels like walking into an authentic Christmas market in Germany. As West Michigan’s largest traditional European Christmas Village, the market includes tons of artisan food and gift vendors in addition to live entertainment and food.
It will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Black Friday and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Small Business Saturday.
Holiday Gift Idea: Winterborn Alpaca will be present at the market, and its famous Alpaca Mittens, which come in various colors, are always crowd pleasers.
Where to Shop in and Around Detroit
City Bird — Gifts
City Bird in Midtown is the ultimate place for purchasing holiday gifts. From quirky ornaments to trendy, Michigan-themed mugs, hats, tees, and more, there is something for everyone on your list. On Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, the store is offering 20% off apparel plus a free Cheers to Michigan pint glass for the first 20 customers each day. Plus, Saturday marks the launch of Midtown Small Business Holiday Bingo, which was also a City Bird creation. Get a free game board at any participating business in Midtown, and if you patronize five businesses in any row across the board, you can win a gift card for up to $50.
Holiday Gift Idea: Because everyone knows and loves a Swiftie, we would be remiss not to recommend this “Anti-Hero” mug, but we also love the shiplap Michigan cutting board, Detroit floppy hat, and so many other things.
Nest – Gifts
Nest is the neighboring sister store to City Bird that sells housewares, gifts, and provisions. The first 20 customers on both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday will receive a free plant kit, but anyone can take advantage of their other offer: 20% off all plants.
Outside of the stores—which are both in Midtown Detroit’s Cass Corridor—there will be live entertainment, including DJ Dave Lawson spinning Christmas hits from noon-3 p.m. on Friday. Last but not least, the brand will launch a $500 holiday shopping spree social media giveaway (no purchase necessary).
Holiday Gift Idea: The Vintage Cavallini Puzzles make for wonderful holiday gifts, and there are more than 20 interesting and aesthetically pleasing types to choose from.
CDK Kreative Kreations — Women’s Apparel
CDK Kreative Kreations is hosting a Holiday Boutique Pop Up Shop from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. on Black Friday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Small Business Saturday. There will be multiple vendors (all centered around the theme “The Avenue of Fashion”), raffles, giveaways, music, food, and networking.
Irwin House Gallery — Art
The Irwin House Global Art Center and Gallery is “an arts destination that provides local and visiting artists with exhibition opportunities, engages the community through arts exposure and education, and serves to nurture and empower collectors of art,” according to its website.
Starting on Black Friday, it will be hosting the fourth annual “Gift of Art” affordable holiday art exhibition. It’s a great place to go if you want to support local BIPOC artists and give the incredible gift of art.
ILERA Apothecary — Body Care
The Detroit-based ILERA Apothecary carries a range of high-quality products that contain the best ingredients for your skin and the environment. They’re starting off the holiday season right by offering 25% off any purchase of $50 or more sitewide from Nov. 22-27 (no code required).
Holiday Gift Idea: The Deluxe Holiday Citrus Set—which includes a scented candle, luxurious sugar scrub, and velvety body butter—is the ultimate way to pamper a loved one.
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