It's all about the local - part one

So November 30th was Small Business Saturday, that one big day of the year when we are all supposed to patronize our local mom-and-pop style stores. Instead of Amazon and Target, we are supposed to shop our traditional, old-fashioned "Main Street Market."

Which is terrific!

But what about the other 364 days of the year?

Why don't we shop local EVERY day of the year? These businesses are right here, owned and operated by our neighbors: the very people we pass in the grocery stores, see on the beach, and sit next to in restaurants.

Because as great as Small Business Saturday is, what would be even more phenomenal is for all of us to make the conscious choice to shop local all the time. Sure, it can sometimes to be easier to sit on the couch in your pajamas and click Amazon's "add to cart" instead of getting yourself out to a storefront or a market on an evening or weekend.

Why bother, right? What's wrong with pajama shopping?

Because you're missing out. Our Vero Beach community is overflowing with artisans and entrepreneurs creating the most unique, magnificent products. They want to know you and make products just for you. They pay taxes that stay right here. And you won't be financing some greedy, far-away CEO's 7th house. Isn't all that worth getting out of your jammies for?

If you need some help getting started, we're sharing with you below, in no particular order, some of the absolutely awesome stuff we buy locally. They may not all have fancy websites and they probably won't deliver to your doorstep in under two hours. But they are owned by actual people dedicated to making you happy with their products.

Hotsy Totsy is a cruelty-free, vegan soap company founded by best friends Mo and Jules. They use ingredients like organic, earth-derived plant oils, botanicals, and salts to make luscious soaps, bath bombs, deodorant, and related accessories. The products are beautiful, the packaging is beautiful, and their store front is . . . yep, that's beautiful, too. You can't go wrong buying gifts here, but you'll want it all for yourself. And the quality is amazing, so you'll be going back forever. (I love their face soap in particular!) Find them at 843 8th Street.

Treasure Coast fresh pasta
Who wouldn't want that parked on their sink?

Treasure Coast fresh pasta
Be prepared to want one of pretty much everything

Mo and Jules, owners of Hotsy Totsy. Actual, real people and your neighbors!

The Parisian Hostess is a stunning, eclectic boutique which sells natural skin care items, essential oils, and vintage clothing (including lingerie!). I regularly use the lavender essential oil before bed - I have trouble "shutting down" at bedtime and this really helps - and the peppermint oil in the day - when I start dragging, it noticeably lifts my mood. I also like her deodorant because it's made without baking soda, which is rare. Located at 2101 14th Avenue.

Treasure Coast fresh pasta
The owner of The Parisian Hostess, would be happy to meet you - stop by!

Tamara, owner of The Parisian Hostess, is also an actual person living and working here in Vero Beach.

If you're more interested in buying an experience instead of a thing, you'll want to meet Cheryl Zuppa, owner of Aglow Skincare. I get facials from her every month and now some of my friends do, too. She is committed to getting you the right skin care for your unique skin no matter your age or gender. Stop shopping at Publix for your skin care! Find her at 3755 7th Terrace, #303 (inside Dental Partners).

Treasure Coast fresh pasta
Your face is often the first thing people see - let Cheryl help you take care of it!

Cheryl Zuppa, local businesswoman and provider of excellent facials

Continuing the skincare theme, you don't want to skip Fresh to Vero. Neighbor Heather Rossi's farming background has led her to her most recent venture - soaps. I use her body-soap-and-loofah-in-one every day. She likes to describe what she does as "Farm to Shower." The best place to find her is at the Oceanside Vero Beach Farmers Market every Saturday morning but you can also find her on Instagram @freshtovero.

Loofah = smooth skin!

Treasure Coast fresh pasta
Loofah built right into the soap! (And check out our basil crop!)

Owner Heather is yet another neighbor with her own business here in Vero Beach.

And we've got one more local vendor to tell you about today: Charles and Gloria are the owners of Bee Natural Products and live here in Vero Beach. They sell everything you can think of that begins with a bee - honey, candles, soaps, moisturizer, lip balm, and even furniture polish. Beeswax makes both terrific candles and moisturizing soaps. And look how cute the candles are!

We were both at the ITEX Holiday Trade Fair this weekend.

Healthy beeswax candles from a neighbor? Sign me up!

These are just some of the local vendors from whom I shop on a regular, consistent basis. I know the owners, I love their products, and it makes me feel wonderful to know that in addition to getting extraordinary stuff, I am also contributing, bit by bit, to the health of our local economy and community. Shopping local is truly a win-win, so stop by the Oceanside Vero Beach Farmers Market to see even more local entrepreneurs: every Saturday, 8am - Noon, 2901 Ocean Drive.

Check back soon for another post on this same topic - I have more local vendors you need to know about!

P.S. You know Garden of Esther is a local business, too. And everyone likes fresh pasta!

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