Shop Small in the 219 This Season

shop small business man in apron

Tis the season... to shop small!  With Thanksgiving behind us, chances are there's a 'Big Toy Book' (maybe not this year) and a whole slew of other ad circulators about to make their way into your mailbox as you read this.

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it can be tempting to splurge on the first good deal you see... and the second, and maybe the third (don't judge me!)  It is the holidays after all, might as well give yourself a gift too 🙂 Show yourself and some local businesses some love this holiday season - local business owners are your friends and neighbors who've got a vested interest in your community and serving the people in it, and nothing beats craftsmanship.

Spend $100 locally and about $45 stays in your community - compared to a minimal $14 at big box retailers

Aster & Gray

Situated right in downtown Valparaiso, what sets Aster & Gray apart from the rest is their commitment to ethical and fair trade vendors.  They're one of the only local spots where 100% of their inventory is artisanally made.  From clothing to The Spoiled Housewife bath products and really great gifts for the home.  Aster & Gray truly has something for everyone, but if you're a fan of The Office and Schitt's Creek they 100% have you covered.   Added bonus:  they're dog-friendly!

Blue Pear Mercantile

The second you step foot in this store, you'll understand completely why it made the list.  Right across from the Crown Point Courthouse, this is the perfect spot to gather inspiration for home decor, grab a greeting card for a special occasion or pick up a unique gift for a loved one.  Their selection is ever changing and extremely well curated.  Pay close attention to a lot of the fixtures in the store as they're usually all handmade by the owner! Unexpected find here:  really great stocking stuffers for men


mink 64 crown point mannequin fashion clothing

This downtown Crown Point shop is located in what once was an old pharmacy. Owned by an insanely talented mother/daughter duo, they provide a really unique mix of current fashion along with vintage furnishings and home decor. Good thing to know:  They take custom orders!






Nest Number 4

Located in the Franklin Arts District of Michigan City, this store is a beautiful collaboration of new, found and handmade décor items for your home.   This is a farmhouse chic meets West Elm modern decor with some great Northwest Indiana made goods in-between.  Don't miss:  Their in-house brand of candles, 1998 Candle Co.






Old World Market

A place for Region foodies to find their fix.  Small batch cheese, cured meats, craft beer, wine and all sorts of specialty foods make this downtown Valparaiso grocery a great spot for holiday entertaining. Worth asking about:  their charcuterie boxes !  Major bragging rights showing up with one!

Sawyer Garden Center

If you've ever been to Greenbush Brewing, chances are you've had to wait a decent amount of time for a table.  On one of those occasions while wandering through Sawyer we walked into the gem next door, Sawyer Garden Center.    If you're looking for fresh holiday greenery, this is your spot.  If you're looking for local Michigan beer, this is your spot.  If you're looking for really unique Christmas decor, this is also your spot.

From the creative mind behind Hunt & Gather Markets comes one of the coolest spots in Valparaiso, Society.  An immense selection of gemstones and plants mixed in with vintage furniture and handmade jewelry.  Think 'antique store' meets 'Anthropologie'.


Toluka Paperie

From cards to personalized items and all your stationery needs, this Munster shop takes gift ideas far beyond just paper.  Some of my favorite things in the shop?  NWI + CHI region wear, personalized cutting boards and of course, The Every Couple meal planning pads!