Small Business Saturday has been giving Black Friday a greater run for its money each year since 2010, when it was conceived by American Express. Supporting local businesses helps to keep main street communities, like those Ozaukee is made of, vibrant and unique. We are so lucky to have so many independent businesses to choose from when it comes to holiday shopping in Oz, and we'd like to highlight some of our favorites!
What would the holidays be without toys? In our humble opinion, Cedarburg Toy Co. is the very best place to get toys for all ages (and we mean all ages!). Owners, Zachary and Natasha Loos, are dedicated to the importance of play – not only will they help you select the perfect toy, they will gift-wrap it for you, as well! Located in the heart of downtown Cedarburg and open late on Festive Fridays, you simply must make a visit to this magical little store a part of your holiday tradition. Hot tip: The elves at the Toy Co. are brilliant at stealth shopping and wrapping. Give them a wink and a nod and they'll wrap and bag a gift behind the counter while the recipient is busy playing in the store, if you know what I mean.
Sister stores, Weeds and Lillies, in downtown Cedarburg specialize in fair trade and locally-made items. Weeds is more home and garden, with everything from tea and soaps to yard art and plants, while Lillies is more focused on clothing, jewelry and accessories. Lilies also has a greatly expanded baby and children's area, filled with beautiful toys, clothing, and more. Also open late on Festive Fridays, a trip to Cedarburg is not complete without a visit to these stores!
Do you have a musician in your life? What about young children? Either way, Lakeside Music & Naturals has you covered! Owners, Kat Chronis and Aaron Rossmiller, along with their two young children, share their combined passions in one location, so you can purchase a guitar, drums, and new strings, or you can also purchase natural body care products and cloth diapers! This truly family business also offers Music Together classes for young children, and plenty of events for local moms, as well. Give them a visit in downtown Port Washington!
The best kind of buying local is buying things that are actually made locally; luckily, Grafton's Arts Mill boutique has a whole second floor full of artist studios to browse through with all kinds of hand-made items! Located right on the river in downtown Grafton, there is a delightful coffee shop, AM Coffee, and the Grafton Yarn Store located on the first floor to enjoy, as well!
Although it's better known for nature trails and outdoor events, Riveredge Nature Center also has an incredible gift shop filled with locally-made goodies, including bottles of Riveredge's own maple syrup! Find the perfect gift for outdoor or birding enthusiasts, or simply give the gift of a Riveredge membership, for a whole year of outdoor fun!
Ever wanted to make your own gifts? Glaze in Thiensville is a kid-friendly art studio that can help you with that! Pottery, glass fusing, raw clay, wine glass painting, silver clay & acrylic painting are among the classes they offer, but walk-ins for pottery painting and glass fusing are welcome!