WASHINGTON — Shoppers have their pick of big box stores to head to on Black Friday and prominent online retailers to check out on Cyber Monday. But nestled between two of the biggest shopping holidays, is one that encourages people nationwide to think and shop on a smaller, local level.
Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24, provides an opportunity to save big on unique gifts not found anywhere else and in many instances, save on food and services. Check out some of the ways you can save while supporting local shops and restaurants in D.C.
From 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., a variety of vendors — many of them from D.C.’s Ward 8 will gather at the Democracy Prep Auditorium for Small Business Saturday to offer a “unique holiday shopping experience.”
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Ebony Kirby, creative director at Congress Heights Community Training and Development Corporation, told WTOP that the event will bring in both seasoned vendors and small local businesses that are just getting started and want to test how their products will sell.
Some of this year’s vendors include local apparel and accessories shop I’m So DC and 4Natural, which makes natural hair and body products.
During the event, Kirby said she’ll host a trivia bingo game to help connect shoppers and sellers, in which she’ll ask vendors how they got started and what inspires them.
Much like Congress Heights, the Eastern Market neighborhood will make an event out of Small Business Saturday. Starting at 10 a.m., a welcome station on the Metro plaza — featuring hot chocolate — will be the spot to be to learn about which stores have deals throughout the day. The first 300 visitors can snag a goody bag.
Outdoor markets will line the streets on 7th and C Streets Southeast from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Featured during Small Business Saturday: Specialty game store Labyrinth will host a Cookie Battle from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The cookie battle is a yearly competition between staff in which shoppers get to vote on their favorite cookies via donations to the teachers fund. And while you taste test cookies, you can buy a puzzle or maze for the kids or the dedicated gamer in your life.
Shoppers and neighbors can end the day at the 11th annual Capitol Hill Holiday Tree Lighting, which starts at 5:30 p.m. followed by happy hours until 7 p.m. at Joselito, Hank’s Oyster Bar and Mr. McHenry’s.
DC Brau Holiday Market
On Small Business Saturday, the brewery will transform into a marketplace featuring more than 40 local artists and artisans from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Live music, games for all ages, food trucks and beer will be on tap for DC Brau’s fifth annual event, through a partnership with Think Local DC.
Vendors include pet shop Big Bad Woof, chocolatier Harper Macaw and locally grown and certified naturally grown honey, Hope Honey Farm.
There’s also a way to give back: Krampusnacht DC will take donations of unwrapped, new gifts and gift cards for youth through the National Center for Children and Families.
The event is free but RSVP is highly encouraged. Those who choose to purchase $10 VIP tickets to the event get early access to the holiday market (1 p.m.) and a branded DC Brau tote bag.
Bacchus Wine Cellar will host a free wine tasting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. If you remember to mention “Shop Small,” you can receive 10 percent off wines.
Need some new ink? Book a tattoo appointment on Small Business Saturday at Highland Ink and receive 20 percent off and a free T-shirt.
The high-end consignment shop Christ Child Opportunity Shop has been in Georgetown for 85 years. And if you’re looking for jewelry, collectibles, antiques, sterling silver and crystal this holiday season, this stop offers 10 percent off store wide Saturday.
If you’ve already planned to shop ’til you drop the weekend of Thanksgiving you may be looking for something to take the edge off. Perry’s and Mintwood Place are offering all-night happy hour at the bar Friday through Sunday.
Looking to spruce up your home for the new year? Interior design services shop Hudson & Crane is offering 40 percent off fragrance and apothecary and, if you buy two candles, a third one of equal or lesser value is 50 percent off. Storewide, get $30 in studio credit when you spend $100; $50 when you spend $200; and $75 when you spend $300 or more.
Idle Time Books if offering 20 percent off in the collectibles case, including first edition and signed books–the perfect gift for yourself or the bookworm in your life.
At Shop Made in DC, 10 percent of each purchase will go to Made to Market Curriculum Scholarships.
The shop, which features more than 80 D.C. makers and businesses, will in turn give customers free coffee from Lost Sock Coffee and samples from new Greek bakery Mastiha. And, if you spend $50, you get a free tote bag.
Clothing and gift shop Willow has brunch treats and mimosas on Saturday if you visit the Navy Yard location. At checkout, draw a discount ranging from 5 percent off to a $25 Willow gift certificate.
Local boutique Steadfast Supply will offer a selection of gifts from more than 80 independent brands and small businesses. The shop will open at 10 a.m.
The Northwest D.C. neighborhood is getting in the holiday spirit and it all begins on Small Business Saturday.
Shoppers wanting to save should be on the lookout for “Shawbucks” in ads in Mid City DC and distributed throughout shops in Shaw. You can clip those and use them just like coupons at participating businesses to get $5 off the cost of your purchase. More information can be found on Shawmainstreets.org.
Aside from saving money, participate in a gingerbread house challenge, get free hot spiced cider, catch the holiday tree lighting and pick up some free Shaw swag among other activities set for Small Business Saturday.
The DowntownDC Holiday Market features new local goods and goods just in time for the holiday shopping season.
New to the DowntownDC Holiday Market this year, visitors can shop DC maker products at the Shop Made in DC booth, which will feature products including clothing from Hero Heads and Slant Evolution. Shoppers can also discover and explore nearby galleries and exhibits at the DowntownDC Museum Booth.
The market’s festive atmosphere will be complemented by daily live musical entertainment, featuring blues, classical, folk, gospel, jazz, R&B and rock. This year’s highlights include Clear Harmonies Carolers on Nov. 25; Los Caribbeat on Dec. 2; and Howard University’s Jazz Choirs and Afro Blue on Dec. 8.
The market is located on F Street NW between 7th and 9th, located outside the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum. The market will operate from Black Friday (Nov. 23) through Sunday, Dec. 23 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Vendors rotate each day.