I'm challenging YOU to buy 5 of your gifts from independent sellers this holiday season.

1. Take advantage of Cyber Monday online sales and find special things on Etsy, Buy Olympia, or Artfire.
2. Stop by a locally owned shop in your town.
3. Get gift certificates from local restaurants and shops instead of corporate chains. (If you live in different cities, ask the recipient where they like to eat locally and call the restaurant.)
4. Contact a maker or artist in your town and commission a one-of-a-kind gift.

It takes a little effort...but not much
Huge corporations make it so convenient to shop. Most national chains are right outside our front doors, and most of us are programmed to shop in them by default. Buying from people instead of huge corporations is going to take a little extra effort. Ask friends what local shops or makers they like. Start paying attention to who owns the stores you frequent. Go ahead and ask the shop attendant if the owner lives in your town...if they don't know, then chances are it's not locally owned. Shopping from independent retailers may take a little extra effort, but it is much more rewarding, and the quality of the gift is usually better. If you get started now, you'll have the time to find great gifts and great prices, and feel good about your purchases.

It all comes down to is this.
When you buy from an independent seller, a bigger chuck of your money goes toward supporting a REAL person- helping them pay bills, buy groceries and support their families. I always feel better knowing that my money is going toward helping a real person's dream of entrepreneurship come true, rather than going to pay a board members' salary. According to the 3/50 Project website, for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures, while if you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays.

Why only 5 things?
It's not realistic to think that all of us can buy 100% local or independent all the time. We all have that cousin to buy for who just wants a Snuggie or a shirt from PacSun. But 5 gifts is a good place to start.

one Utopia, please?
In my dream world, EVERY gift would be bought from a local seller or independent seller online and we would only need corporations to supply us with things people shouldn't produce at home, like cars and power. This would create a more sustainable community and keep more of our money going toward helping each other make a living. My hidden motive with this challenge is that after seeing how rewarding shopping from independent sellers is, everyone will end up buying 6 or 7 (or more!) gifts from independents. Just imagine- you may not even have to step foot into a crowded mall this year. That's MY personal goal.

Add the "Indie Gifts" badge I created to your web site or blog to encourage others to buy local or independent!
Just paste this code onto your site:

Large Badge:

Small Badge:

Or visit my Photobucket page to download the images directly.


  1. Have been a HUGE fan of the 3/50 Project since its launch! I will definitely spread the word about your challenge!

  2. Jenna- Thanks for helping spread the word! Can't wait to get some 'cakes at Coffee & Creativity on Dec. 4th!!

    BTW My friend Vanessa posted something about 3/50 on her Facebook and that's how I heard about it.