Shop Local this Holiday Season

Tis the season for giving gifts, whether it’s for family, friends, teachers and beyond. We have some fantastic gift ideas from area makers to help you shop small.
Why should you shop small?
There are so many benefits to buying from locally owned vendors. It makes a big impact on the local economy, supporting jobs and creating local tax revenue. But also, non-profit organizations generally receive an average of 250% more from small business owners.
You can get some inspiration from our Makers section on our website where we feature several crafters from the Champaign County Area.
Start out with this Illini-inspired art from Kelly Hieronymus. Kelly is a local artist that is inspired by our landscape. She creates “maps” of the area, or any custom maps you’d like. She also creates some fantastic jewelry! You can pick up her artwork at Hopscotch Bakery, at her studio in the Lincoln Building in downtown Champaign, or on her website.
Also for your Illini fans, check out these great sweatshirts and the Legends & Lore book from the Illini Union Bookstore. They have some great deals between now and the end of the year so you can pick up some orange & blue!
Another maker we featured is Rachel Coventry from Curtis Orchard who was recognized this year for the “World’s Greatest Honey” from the Honeybee Research Institute. Pick up some honey to impress your foodie friends or to enjoy with some local cheese over the holidays. Also stop by Riggs Beer Company for a growler of their local beer. These makers use their own grain from their family farm to create their popular German-style beers. Pick up a full growler for a beer-lover in your life or get a gift card with a tasting and tour that they can use another time.
For the kids on your list, we recommend a stop to Art Mart. Now in Champaign, they have a ton of kids gifts from games to puzzles to puppets.
Those into fashion will love stopping in to Bluebird Boutique in Urbana. They have a variety of great gift items like this sweater I’m wearing, purses, these fun “shreds” scarves, soft PJs and so much more. If you’re not sure what to get, pick up a gift card and one of their signature Bluebird charms that is intended to lift you up. Also stop by Rumours Hat Shoppe in Midtown Champaign for some of their unique hats! They have hats from major brands  and local hats like these warm ones from Elusive Society. It’s like wrapping a blanket around your head!
Finally, get someone a gift for their home. Texture Home in Champaign has a unique blend of gift ideas that makes someone’s house a home. I dare you to go in there and not walk away wanting to completely redecorate!
There’s so many great ways to shop local this season!

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