4 Reasons to shop gifts at your local markets to support independent artists - plus 7 tips for finding these markets.

By Laura Novak-Roesgen

Here are four great reasons to shop small and support independent designers:


1 - Find unique and interesting gifts that are more memorable.

Handcrafted indie art gifts are more remarkable and memorable for your recipient. They will appreciate the thoughtfulness of your lovingly choosing a unique gift that they can’t find at a mega store. 

Buying gifts from local artists allows you to support creativity and freedom of expression. And it ensures we support a world where everyone isn’t wearing the same looking mass-market stuff.

Have no idea of what to buy? Browse the market to find inspiration and discover a gift you hadn’t thought of, but once you see it, you know it would be perfect for them. 

Your husband who loves to cook:

Extraordinary and bold garlic spices. (Product from RockerBox Spice Co.)

Roasted Garlic Dust

2 - Start a new and rewarding family tradition.

Involve your children or grandchildren in your holiday shopping so they can pick out their own gifts to give others. They will have a sense of pride in choosing gifts, and you may be delighted by what they buy for you! (Carved wood back-scratcher?)

Children shopping for gifts.

Our tradition before Christmas was to go as a family and split up and shop for each other. It was great fun and the kids loved picking out gifts on their own for their siblings, parents, and grandparents.

Most holiday markets have music, food, and some are pet friendly to bring your pups.

3 - Small business owners are the heartbeat of the economy.

Have you ever thought about the purchasing power of your dollar, and how it has the potential to change lives? We all have the power to support small businesses and local handcraft artists this year and beyond. 

Your daughter with sensitive skin:

Organic handmade skincare and body butter. (Product from Magic Skin Nutrients)

Clear and glowing skin regimen


Your purchases at local art & craft markets keeps money in the community. Small business owners create opportunities for other families by hiring locally and spending their money with other artists. They love to support each other. 

Besides, what's better than purchasing from a real person? 


Laura of Novaura Jewelry at an in-person market.


4 - Develop a relationship with a local designer.

You have the opportunity to interact with the designer and find out the story or the inspiration behind their unique creations. The quality of handcrafted items is exceptional and the labor is more ethical. 

Gift idea for your mom who will love a colorful tourmaline gemstone & pearl necklace and delicate pearl earrings.


You can stay in touch with the designer by getting on their email list, following them on social media, and going to future markets to purchase again if you love their products.

And you can commission unique pieces that match your style.


Here are my 7 Tips on how to find local markets this holiday season: 

  1. Check your community pages- like Nextdoor, Eventbrite, or FaceBook groups. Local artists and market organizers will advertise upcoming in-person events.
  2. Follow your favorite local handcraft artists on Instagram? They will talk about upcoming in-person events they are selling at.
  3. On the email list of a handcraft business you are a fan of? They will email info of upcoming events they are selling at. If you aren’t on their list, consider signing up now! They will often give you a special discount for getting on their VIP list, plus first access to holiday promotions by email only.
  4. If you live in a community with a homeowner’s newsletter, they will showcase local holiday markets. Check their on-line resources or the inserts in the mailings. Some even put up banners in the community.
  5. See if your local farmer’s market has handcraft businesses at the same event or special craft markets for the holiday season.
  6. Many high schools hold holiday boutiques as fundraisers- check out their websites or social media pages. My daughters helped me last year at the Christmas Boutique held at their high school. It was fun for them to return to their alma mater years after their graduations.
  7. And finally, Google is your friend! Search for craft markets, art fairs, and holiday boutiques in your local area. 

And remember yourself! You deserve to treat yourself to a relaxing crackling wood wick candle with a glorious scent.

(Product image from Never Alone Candles)


Never Alone Candles



Traveling for the holidays? Check out my article “Is jewelry your travel souvenir, too?”