I always enjoyed shopping at local stores and boutiques, but it wasn’t a priority until I became a small business owner. Once I stood on the other side of the counter, I understood firsthand how every dollar spent in a local shop supports families’ livelihoods and sustains businesses that make communities unique. On top of that, studies show that for every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 goes into the local economy versus $43 for national chains. That’s why I committed to do all of my Christmas shopping at independently owned businesses this year.
As you finish your last-minute holiday shopping, consider that small businesses depend on your support and are truly grateful when you choose to shop local. If you’re in the Santa Cruz area, here are a few of my favorite local shops:
To this day, I’m convinced I moved to Santa Cruz because of Stripe. I stopped in Stripe on my first visit to Santa Cruz, and I fell in love with the beautiful store and its curated collection of clothing, home décor, bath products, bags, accessories, jewelry, and children’s items set among vintage and mid-century furniture. I called it “local Anthropologie but even better.” Stripe carries some of my favorite Santa Cruz products including body care from Urb Apothecary, handmade bags from Nuala Leather and artisan mustard from Wilder Condiments. Buying these doubles up the local support—local store and local maker. Also, just a couple doors down, Stripe Men has everything you need for the guys in your life.
Find them: 107 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz | Instagram: @stripe_santa_cruz
BOTANIC & LUXE
Botanic & Luxe describes itself as a lifestyle store for dreamers, lovers and seekers of all things beautiful. To me, that description is perfect. What is often considered a home accent—plants—sets the airy, dreamy mood in this shop. Succulents, air plants and leafy botanicals can be found throughout the displays of home goods, pots, accessories, body care and unique gifts. Botanic & Luxe supports fair trade organizations and carries many local products like handmade jewelry from Mountainside and Mutari Chocolate’s craft chocolate bars and drinking chocolate. Bonus—their gift wrap is on point!
Find them: 701-A Front St., Santa Cruz | Instagram: @botanicandluxe
HIVE & HUM
When you walk in Hive & Hum, you’ll surely find something for even the toughest person on your list. The store has a huge array of home, garden and apiary goods, alongside furniture, art, accessories and gifts. The owners, a husband and wife duo, are interior designers and backyard beekeepers. Their sense for design and love of all things bees can be seen throughout the warm, inviting mercantile-inspired space. For fans of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, a section of rugs and pillows is dedicated to Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines.
Find them: 415 River St., Suite B, Santa Cruz | Instagram: @hiveandhum
Every time I visit Lumen Gallery, I find myself wandering for longer than I planned. There’s always something new to see. The curated collection focuses on small artisans and innovative design, and it comes together beautifully. Expect to find an array of art, home decor, lighting, accessories and jewelry. Lumen Gallery’s owner is also the designer of Cierra Designs jewelry, which is carried in the store.
Find them: 112 Capitola Ave., Capitola | Instagram: @lumengallery
Don’t forget your furry family members this holiday. Sandy Paws is a dog boutique with unique toys, collars, treats and gifts for your pet or your favorite dog lover. Their products are eco-friendly, sustainable and mostly made in the USA. Personally, I couldn’t pass up the adorable Christmas cookie dog treats. I bought them for all of the dogs in my family.
Find them: 115 San Jose Ave., Capitola (inside the Mercantile Building) | Instagram: @sandypawscapitola