Maker’s Mart, Holiday Loop among ‘Buy Local’ ways to beat Black FridayWritten by Danielle Stanton | | firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Tis the season when consumers are faced with a shopping quandry: Where to spend hard-earned dollars on holiday gifts?
More and more people are deciding to plunk down their bucks on locally made products and Toledo is certain not to disappoint. There’s plenty of places to shop locally and beat the Black Friday “Day of Consumerism.”
On Nov. 22, three local events are planned: Handmade Toledo’s Maker’s Mart, The Arts Commission’s Holiday Loop — both Downtown — and a craft fair at Genesis Village in South Toledo.
Maker’s Mart, which calls itself an Indie Craft Fair of DIYers, now has a brick-and-mortar home at 1717 Adams St., where more than 80 vendors will come together from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 22.
Some of the vendors include CrutchWear, Bad Amy Knits, Aromaholic, Woolly Mammoth Design, Mr. Sogs Creatures, Jenstyle Vintage and 2 Dirty Needles.
For more information, visit handmadetoledo.com.
The Arts Commission’s annual Holiday Loop held before the holidays brings people into contact with hundreds of artists and craftsman in more than 30 Downtown galleries and retailers from 3-8 p.m. The Arts Commission advertises the event on its website as “Creative unique local gifts for the holidays.”
Both events are free and open to the public. The Holiday Loop offers free bus rides. The buses will shuttle between the Warehouse District, UpTown, the Toledo Museum of Art, Collingwood Arts Center in the Old West End and La Galeria on Broadway Street.
For more information, maps, information on artists or parking information, go to www.theartscommission.org.
Also on Nov. 22, Genesis Village — a living community for for seniors 65 and older — will offer another event featuring locally made products. More than 30 Toledo area vendors will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Genesis Village, 2429 S. Reynolds Road, at the corner of Heatherdowns Boulevard. Residents will sell their hand-made items.
“We have so many people at Genesis who have had these passions all their life. We all like to feel valued and have something to offer. These are not things you can go buy at a store,” said Deb Desgrange, life and enrichment director at Genesis Village.
“I’m so excited. We have so many local vendors who are going to bring their items they work hard on and it just goes back into the community. It’s not going to a big box store, it’s going to circulate around. It’s always a great feeling to know other people appreciate your time and hard work.”
Jules Webster, owner of The Art Supply Depo, 29 S. St. Clair St., competes with the big box stores during the holidays, and the Internet — which she considers her biggest competitor — by offering unique items for a “surprisingly” cheaper price.
Her art supply company sells what you would typically find at an art business: paint, canvas, markers, but Webster sets herself apart by offering specially crafted complete drawing and paint sets and art journals.
“We have a really, really nice holiday business built up,” Webster said. “We do provide a high level of customer service, so people come back on the holiday. They trust our advice and we ask questions on who is 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. She sells sets for children to adults and beginners to advanced, and says her prices are better than the big box stores because of her low overhead. Many of her items you can only find in Ann Arbor or on the Internet.
The Art Supply Depo is open seven days a week and closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
For more handmade items, try Taste of Toledo, a Toledo gift basket company offering gourmet and made-in-Toledo items. At Levis Commons, 3110 Chappel Drive, and on the Internet, the company delivers locally and ships nationally. They’re open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Their most popular item is the Toledo Basket with a selection of locally made products for $86.99. For something that’s easier on the pocket book, they have a holiday snack assortment for $28.99. For an iconic Toledo item, try the Tony Packo’s basket, $61.99.
Speaking of iconic, people in search of locally grown, think Libbey Glass. The Toledo glass maker recently opened two seasonal pop-up locales, one at Franklin Park Mall in the space once occupied by Coldwater Creek, and at Levis Commons next door to Jos A. Bank Clothiers. Two others are in Dayton.
The seasonal locales will be open through the end of December.
John Amato of Jupmode, a specialty T-shirt company featuring locally themed items, has been in business for eight years.
“When you shop at local companies, the money stays in the area,” Amato said. “I think it’s also a sense of pride for what we’re doing; it’s handmade, in-the-area events like Maker’s Mart — 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 re-make the zoo’s 1988 Panda shirt. The new T-shirt is currently available for $20 and is anticipated to be Amato’s holiday season’s hot sellar. Amato is also excited about the company’s other new item, socks with the Toledo skyline.
Jupmode items will be on sale for Black Friday and Dec. 17 to honor the 100-year-old Toledo slogan, “You Will Do Better in Toledo,” which is Amato’s original design and still his best-selling slogan. Next week, he will also offer free shipping on online orders and 20 percent off your entire order
“A lot of people don’t want to pay for shipping, particularly for a local company,” Amato said. “When people order shirts from us, we’re able to create more fun things. It’s important to understand that relationship; if you want that local supply, you have to support them.”