Everyone knows about Shop Small Saturday – the Saturday after Thanksgiving when folks around the country are encouraged to support their local retailers and small businesses by starting their Christmas shopping with them. But there’s more time to shop than just one Saturday a year. I never have my act together enough to get started as early as November. Typically, I’m scrambling around starting the 20th to make sure our family has Christmas gifts covered.
If you’ve ever tried to get take the I-4 exit to Millenia Mall or get a parking space at the outlets after December 1st you know what a challenge it can be to last-minute shop. Soooo…I start LOCAL! Below are a few places around town that have good parking, great merchandise, and where you might even bump into a friendly face. Happy shopping!
- Owl’s Attic vintage and consignment clothing and accessories with a nice mix of locally-made jewelry (and the sweetest “guard” dog to snuggle while you shop) | 3106 Corrine Drive, 32803 | 321-300-6957
- East End Market offers a variety including Free Hand Goods, which has great “guy-friendly” handmade gifts. Get there early enough in the day and pick up the best cookies in town at Gideon’s Bakehouse | 3201 Corrine Drive, 32803 | 321-236-3316
- Good Crowd shop is a great place for ornaments, journals, baby gifts, candles, and other handmade goods | 2812 Edgewater Drive, 32804 | 407-988-3630
- Appenberry’s provides more than just beautiful plants, which are lasting gifts – they also give great advice and will even arrange planters for you on-site while you wait | 3443 Edgewater Drive, 32804 | 407-841-3088
- Gentry’s BBQ General Store offers gadgets, advice, and gifts for the grillmaster in your life | 1215 N. Orange Avenue, 32804 | 407-516-8229
- Miscellaneous is exactly that…”a little bit of this, a little bit of that”, from Corkcicle tumblers to embroidered clutch purses, modern jewelry, books, and accessories for your bar, there’s something unique for everyone here | 1903 N. Orange Avenue, 32804 | 407-965-3250
- YAY! Tiny Shop, yes it’s actually super tiny, but tastefully packs in a ton of great gifts inside including Orlando coasters, children’s books and toys, coffee table books, bar sets, and small accessories | 1211 N. Orange Avenue, 32804 | 407-868-9015
- Victoria Jewelers has a beautiful selection of fine jewelry and does great custom work – they made my engagement ring – and if you’re looking for IMPRESSIVE last minute gifts, this is your spot | 4845 New Broad Street, 32814 | 407-895-0047
- Lafayette & Rushford Home has everything from Christmas ornaments to soaps, to high-end picture frames, and unique children’s toys and accessories | 4876 New Broad Street, 32814 | 407-985-1562
- Sweet, Sassy & Southern is a great place if you’re in Windermere and searching for the perfect hostess gift – plus they have a selection of very reasonably price hide purses and unique jewelry | 4750 The Grove Drive #164, 34786 | 407-217-7288
- Windermere Shoes has a great selection of Olukai, Sperry, See Kai Run, and other great shoe brands for men, women, and children | 4750 The Grove Drive #132, 34786 | 407-217-2744
- Plant Street Market offers a variety of retail, food and beverage vendors, including Antiquiteas (a great place for the tea-lover), David Ramirez Chocolates, and Local Butcher & Market for your holiday dinner | 426 West Plant Street, 34787 | 786-671-1748
- Winter Garden Wheel Works has a great selection of bikes for the entire family, and offers rentals and repairs in proximity to the West Orange Trail | 455 East Plant Street, 34787 | 407-654-1496
- Honestly, there’s nothing you can’t find here. Jewelry, art, gifts, food and wine…just park your car and take a stroll and I’m sure you’ll find a million great gifts for your loved ones! Pro tip…you can take the Sunrail from Ivanhoe Village to Park Avenue if you’re shopping on a weekday and save yourself even more holiday parking hassle.
Remember…local small businesses have great potential to serve our community in so many ways. Think of the value that businesses that have made it on the national stage bring here. Orlando-grown companies like Rifle Paper Co. and Corkcicle have their goods sold in stores all over the country, but their profits get spent locally and make a difference here every day! Both of those businesses started with a loyal local consumer base. Our dollars make a difference here, PLUS, you get to avoid that horrible Conroy exit at Millenia Mall this season!