Gifts as unique as the recipient ... and the giver
Half of us will awake early this Friday morning, grab a triple-shot cappuccino and our holiday shopping lists, and charge full force into Black Friday. The other half will do absolutely anything but. Saturday, however, is a day for the two halves to reunite over a different - and we think much better - way to delight everyone on our lists.
Since 2010, Small Business Saturday has encouraged holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local. In Downtown Arlington, this means an eclectic mix of gems, several of which are owned by women.
"Small businesses are your friends, neighbors and acquaintances," said Jana Holland, owner of Collected Treasures, which has been located in Downtown Arlington for fourteen years. "Supporting small businesses within your community keeps your money at home instead of some other community or country."
Building a sense of place is what owners Tammie Carson and daughter Melissa Dacy had in mind when they established Cosmic Crow Collective in Downtown about two years. “We opened the Crow with the community in mind,” said Carson. “We want this to be a place that people can shop, gather, take classes, be inspired and entertained!”
For Sherrie Phillips, Wondrous Works Gift Shop is a cozy new showroom for all of her long-standing enterprises, including furniture repair/refurbishing, vintage collectibles and hand-crafted wood items. “What I love about my businesses,” said Phillips, “is that we are a pleasant surprise. We sell things we make, things we rescue, things we create and things we love.”
Vintage vibe, artisan feel
What's old is new, and in Downtown Arlington, you'll find several shops that cater to the vintage lovers in your life. In addition to Wondrous Works Gift Shop, Cosmic Crow Collective and Collected Treasures, visit The Storeroom which offers rarities ranging from vintage signs to antique furniture to automotive collectibles. Between these shops, you'll also find a dizzying array of upcycled jewelry and artful tchotchkes, high-end crafts, clothing, purses, and one-of-a-kind finds sure to impress.
When you visit these stores, be sure to ask about their Small Business Saturday and holiday specials.
Beyond a doubt, The Man's Shop, an upscale men's outfitter, is Downtown Arlington's premier retail clothing store. For over 40 years, owner Wally Hardin and his staff have drawn a faithful following of stylish, discriminating clients from around North Texas and beyond, earning accolades from the likes of Esquire Magazine.
If the gentleman (or lady) in your life prefers to don our home team colors, the newly renovated UT Arlington Bookstore has more orange and blue apparel and gift items than ever before.
Tucked inside some Downtown destinations you'll find pocket shops that complement the space they occupy. At Potager’s Other Stuff, for instance, you can purchase original work by local artists. The Planetarium at UT Arlington sells outer space-themed toys and merchandise. Several downtown restaurants offer t-shirts and other logo items.
The gift counter at the Arlington Museum of Art offers collectibles from current and past exhibitions plus locally-made art pieces. Additionally, you can purchase a limited edition print of the DREAM sculpture, created by Studio 204, in support of public art in Downtown Arlington.
Often the perfect gift isn't something you wrap. It's the gift of spending time together. Downtown Arlington provides you, your family and friends unlimited opportunities for time well spent. Here are a couple ideas to get you started:
Girls Night (or Day): Get the girls together for a class on making lamp shades, shabby chic flower wreaths or other crafts at Collected Treasures or sign up the tribe for an art workshop at Upstairs Gallery. Or how about a group mani-pedi at one of Downtown's full-service salon-spas? For the little girls on your list, surprise them with a get-together at A Moment in Time, an extension of Collected Treasures that offers dress-up princess parties.
Dinner and a show: Surprise your family with gift cards to their favorite Downtown restaurants and pubs, and make it a night out by adding tickets to a show at Theatre Arlington, Arlington Music Hall, College Park Center at UTA, or another destination in the State of Texas' newest Cultural District.
Do you have other ideas? Please share them in the comment section below.
As you're out and about this Saturday, please include #smallbusinesssaturday and @dtarlington while posting or tweeting about your favorite Downtown Arlington businesses.
About Downtown Arlington
Recently designated an official Cultural District by the Texas Commission on the Arts, Downtown Arlington, Texas blends a unique mix of activities, sights, tastes and sounds that attract visitors and locals alike. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to a top-tier public university, prolific fine and performing artists and arts institutions, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate. Downtown Arlington brings together a plethora of cultures and inspirations with a character all its own.