As tempting as it may be to fill up that Amazon cart and get all your holiday shopping done in a couple clicks, your hometown hustlers deserve your support more than ever this year. Any year, shopping locally has multiple benefits ranging from creating more local jobs to being more environmentally sustainable. In 2020, the pains of the pandemic have led to curated collaborations and more options to shop online locally. Here are some of our favorite Philadelphia small businesses to buy from this holiday season:
Joy Box is a customizable care package of essential non-essentials made by a vibrant community of small businesses who are deeply rooted in the great city of Philadelphia. Options include beer from women-owned businesses like Triple Bottom Brewing, Third Wheel Cheese Cheese Co, and Caphe Roaster’s; first and only Vietnamese specialty coffee roastery in Philadelphia.
The Bok Building is home to hundreds of awesome small businesses such as NaturALL, a black women-owned natural hair care company. Check out all the tenants at the Bok Shop and don’t miss Bok in a Box - a gift box collaboration between Bok Tenants with Home and Self-care Options.
Gorgeous Dilo Candles are hand-poured in Philadelphia and make the perfect gift for any occasion. This year Dilo is also teamed up with other Philadelphia brands like Ivy House Design and Terra Luna to bring you holiday boxes for him and her.
If you want to give people something they are sure to use, 2020 is the perfect year to give soaps and hand sanitizer. Hand in Hand soap is a Philly-based soap company that you can find in Target and Whole Foods as well as ordering from them directly. To date, Hand in Hand has donated over 1.6 million bars of soap to children in Haiti and has built or repaired 4 wells that provide thousands of people with clean water. Plus, their hand sanitizer smells like a nice cocktail, their soaps won’t dry out your hand, and their aluminum packaging is more environmentally-friendly than plastic.
The Chillspace is a collaboration between Sweets CBD and Vitality, two black women-owned businesses. They have several package options available for the wellness obsessed, as well as a la carte items like CBS infused honey that will make your holiday cheese board even more impressive.
Taking on the enormous challenge of opening a shop in a pandemic, Ceramic Concept PHL is retail space curated by Stefani Threet of Threet Ceramics. The shop features the work of local artists of color and women. Sign up for a time slot to social-distantly browse the shop and find the new favorite mug, ornament, planter, or earrings for everyone on your list.
Felt and Fat ceramics are a favorite of restaurants throughout the country and are also the perfect backdrop for all the home cooked meals you’ve been making (or takeout you’ve been ordering) They’ve also got everything from vases to dog bowls to a Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia mug, all handmade in Kensington.
Grant Blvd pieces are the perfect gift for any fashion forward person who loves to wear their values. This black women-owned business also opened a retail space mid pandemic, where owner Kimberly McGlonn has been featuring sustainable textile art from local artists.
Up your at home wardrobe game with wearable works of art from Printfresh. This women-owned business designs everything from their studio in Kensington. Their gorgeously patterned PJs, now available for men and women, will make whoever wears them feel very happy about not leaving the house.
While a mission to reduce food waste, Piggyback Treats has created yummy and healthy treats that are perfect for spoiling your favorite dogs and cats.
Have fun shopping small and local this holiday season and let us know who we missed in the comments below!
The 2020 Election Day is just 10 days away. Whether you already voted early or are gearing up to go to the polls on election day, we compiled 10 ways to make the most out of the next 10 days.
1. Join our discussion group on Thursday 10/29 at 6:30pm to discuss the Netflix limited series Whose Vote Counts, Explained. Leonardo DiCaprio, Selena Gomez, and John Legend narrate this entertaining and eye-opening series that was produced by Vox media. This 3-part series is about an hour and a half total.
2. Make a plan to vote. Learn more about voting early or voting on election day here.
3. Educate yourself on the people and issues up and down the voting ballot. Unsure who to vote for? Download the app We Vote from Philadelphia's Committee of Seventy for access to all candidate info. Have questions? Check out Equally Informed Philly and text a team of real people who will gather and vet answers from the city's most trusted newsrooms, independent journalists, and community organizations.
5. Show off your voter pride and encourage everyone you know to vote. Check out these Philly-themed "I Voted " stickers and buttons and posters from Philly artist collective Project Vote Philly.
6. Take this quiz which will help you develop a self-care plan to help manage election-related stress and anxiety.
7. Listen to podcasts to learn more about the electoral college. We recommend these episodes of The Daily and Throughline.
8. Take a walk and check out all the Philly voter pride on display in your neighborhood.
9. Volunteer to text bank for the candidate you want to see elected.
10. Watch some TV. Whether you are looking for an eye-opening documentary or to escape into the world where we already have a woman as vice president this list will keep you entertained through November 3rd and beyond.
A Dream Deferred PHL
This discussion group brought things close to home as the documentary, A Dream Deferred PHL, by Little Giant Creative focuses on Philadelphia. The short film tells the story about how redlining, various economic development projects from expanding university campus to building highways, and gentrification have negatively impacted communities of color in Philadelphia.
When looking at the Philadelphia HOLC map, it is easy to see how redlining in the first half of the 20th century caused disinvestment which made the previously redlined neighborhoods ripe for gentrification in the early 21st century. Many of the neighborhoods in red on the HOLC map below from 1937 (meaning they were "too risky" for lending) are now considered gentrified (Fairmount, Graduate Hospital, and Northern Liberties)
The A Dream Deferred PHL makes it clear that policy caused significant negative impact to communities of color that spanned generations. Much of our discussion centered around how policy can make amends and advance equity, not perpetuate the existing inequities. We didn't come up with any answers, but left the discussion motivated to get more involved in state and local politics and policy-making. Below are some articles for those who want to read more about the intersection of policy policy, racism, city planning, and economic development.
This month Net Impact Philly kicked off an ongoing discussion group event series for all people who are interested in learning and discussing racial inequality and injustice in society. The first discussion group was on 13th, a documentary by Ava DuVernay. The documentary focuses on the intersection of racism, injustice, and the mass incarceration of African-Americans in the United States. The group found the film to the eye-opening and powerful. Our decisions focused on two main topics:
1. What can we do as individuals to help dismantle the prison-industrial complex?
To say that our hearts are extremely heavy right now is an understatement, but June is also a time for commemoration and celebration of freedom. We encourage you to read up on the significance and history of Junetenth and check out ways to commemorate it on Friday, June 19th:
Angry about the fact that Juneteenth is not an official federal holiday while Columbus Day still is? Sign this petition!!
Struggling with what to get the moms in your life this year? While COVID-19 is making it harder to celebrate pretty much anything, we've rounded up some gift ideas that will make this year's Mother's Day special while supporting Philly small businesses.
Here are our ideas for....
the sustainability champion - Sustainable Business Mother's Day bundle - https://vault.vaultandvine.co/product/local-mothers-day-gift-set/
the trendsetter - Sable Collective - https://www.thesablecollective.com/
the self-care queen - https://www.freedomapothecary.com/
the book club MVP - https://www.harriettsbookshop.com/
the sweet tooth - Federal Donuts Mother's Day Bouquet - https://cooknsolo-store.myshopify.com/products/federal-donuts-mothers-day-bouquet
the chocoholic - https://shanecandies.com/shop/
literally any mom - Love Brothers PHL https://www.lovebrothersphl.com/
P.S. We realize this is a little late. Phone/Facetime convos and homemade cards will also make this Mother's Day special. Plus, the gift can always arrive later (because every day should be Mother's Day)
Those of you working in healthcare and essential businesses, you are truly heroes. Those of you leaving your house as little as possible and washing your hands as much as possible, you are also heroes in your own right. Here are 10 ways you can make even more of a positive impact while staying at home (for the most part).
1. Donate what you can
It can be hard to decide where to send money first when there are so many nonprofits doing amazing life-saving work during this pandemic. Here are just a few places to start: PHL COVID-19 Fund, No Kid Hungry, Covenant House, Philadelphia Center for Aging, and Philabundance.
2. Shop for others in need
Project Home’s GroceryLifeLine program and Amazon Wish List make it possible to do shopping for others in need.
3. Make homemade masks or support someone who is making them for others
With masks for sale in short supply, many are turning to DIY. Both Project Home and CoverAid PHL have some resources for how to make masks and a place to donate them you can make extra.
4. Support local makers producing PPE for health care heroes
A team of University of Pennsylvania engineers and social entrepreneurs started Project Shields and are mass-producing PPE for health care workers using 3D printers. Check out cool videos on how it is done and donate to support their efforts.
5. Foster a dog or cat
Thinking it would be nice to spend all that couch time with a new furry friend? Local animal shelters such as ACCT Philly and PAWS need people to foster animals so that the shelters can practice proper COVID-19 safety measures.
6. Volunteer in your neighborhood to help out vulnerable populations
While we don’t encourage going outside if you don’t have to, you might be better off going outside than your elderly neighbor. Check out YourNeighborgood an awesome tech platform created to match Philadelphians who need help with errands during COVID-19 to those of us that can help.
Many local groups like this one in Fishtown are organizing to connect those who need help with those looking to give it. See what you can find online near you or keep your eyes out for signs posted in windows about how to volunteer.
7. Apply for a mail-in ballot
The PA primary has already been moved to June 2nd, but if the thought of touch screen voting machines kind of scares you after all of this, apply to vote by mail. Not registered to vote yet? That can all be done online.
8. Give blood
Looking for a noble excuse to leave the house? Head to your nearest Red Cross Blood Drive and help prevent blood shortages during this time of critical need. Blood drive workers are practicing strict safety protocols and social distancing measures.
9. Support local bars and restaurants
Many of local food and drink spots are offering contactless pickup and delivery methods. For your favorite spots that are closed, see if they are offering gift cards or experiences that you can look forward to when things go back to normal. While you can donate to a restaurant, you can send some money to @PhillyVirtual-TipJar on Vemno and the money will be distributed to industry folks in need.
10. Support local businesses online
Many local brick-and-mortar businesses have scrambled to expand their e-commerce. Check out your favorites local spots on Instagram so see how they have adapted and #treatyourself with some local e-commerce retail therapy.
BONUS - Grab some gloves or a trash picker and do a socially distance block or park clean up!!