Shop Local: Area retailers offer myriad opportunities to support small businessesWritten by Danielle Stanton | | firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Tis the season when consumers are faced with a shopping quandry: Where should one spend hard-earned dollars on holiday gifts?
More and more people are opting to plunk down their bucks on locally made products and, to that end, Toledo certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Handmade Toledo, a community of regional artisans, now has a brick-and-mortar home at 1717 Adams St.
Among the vendors at its recent holiday Maker’s Mart was Jupmode, a Perrysburg-based specialty T-shirt company featuring locally themed slogans.
“When you shop at local companies, the money stays in the area,” owner John Amato said. “It’s all a bunch of local people who put time into something they care about. For us, customer service is a really big thing. It’s important for us to take care of the people who are willing to buy our product.”
Jupmode just got approval from the Toledo Zoo to remake the zoo’s iconic 1988 Panda shirt. The new shirt is available for $20 and is anticipated to be Amato’s biggest holiday seller. He’s also excited about the company’s other new item, socks with the Toledo skyline.
Jupmode items will be on sale for Black Friday and on Dec. 17 to honor the anniversary of the slogan, “You Will Do Better in Toledo,” which is featured on Amato’s best-selling shirt.
“When people order shirts from us, we’re able to create more fun things,” Amato said. “It’s important to understand that relationship; if you want that local supply, you have to support them.”
Jules Webster, owner of The Art Supply Depo, 29 S. St. Clair St., said she competes with the big box stores during the holidays as well as the Internet — which she considers her biggest competitor — by offering unique items for a “surprisingly” cheaper price.
“We do provide a high level of customer service, so people come back,” Webster said. “They trust our advice and we ask questions [about] the recipient, and we put together a gift pack that they can’t find anywhere else.”
On Black Friday, Webster will offer 25 percent off on her paint and drawing sets.
Taste of Toledo, a Toledo gift basket company offering gourmet and made-in-Toledo items, is another popular holiday stop.
Now at 3110 Chappel Drive in the Shops at Levis Commons, as well as online, the shop’s most popular item is the Toledo Basket with a selection of locally made products for $86.99. They also offer a holiday snack assortment for $28.99. For an iconic Toledo item, try the Tony Packo’s basket, $61.99.
Libbey Glass recently opened two seasonal pop-up stores, one at Franklin Park Mall in the space once occupied by Coldwater Creek, and one at Levis Commons next door to Jos. A. Bank Clothiers. The seasonal locales will be open through the end of December.