Small Business Saturday
Well folks, the turkey has been reduced to a few leftovers. The pies are history and the mashed potatoes will be gone by dinner tonight. Thanksgiving 2012 is in the history books.
That can only mean one thing: bring on the Christmas season.
I have never been one for crowds and the whole Black Friday shopping experience nightmare. Two thirty a.m. is for sleeping, not for standing in line to buy a widget. Yes, I know I sound like an old fuddy dudy and perhaps I am one (O.K., let's just admit right here and now that by using the the words "fuddy duddy" I am, indeed, one!).
With Christmas still more than a month away, I urge you to make this the year you slow down, avoid the same-old, same-old of big box shopping and decide to spend at least some of your holiday budget at your local mom and pop stores. The mom and pop stores that make up your "around the corner" neighborhood or your "cyber" neighborhood.
Small Business Saturday (November 24th) is a day dedicated to shopping small, shopping local and we here at That'll Do Farm will be open from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. if you you're looking for yarn, rug hooking wool, alpaca socks made from our own fiber, art batts, or raw honey from our happy bees.
But we like to think of ourselves as more than purveyors of farm goods. We are also enablers who can help you find unique, artisan Christmas presents. So check back here each day between now and Christmas as we highlight some of our favorite things for gift giving or crafting this holiday season.
I guarantee you that nothing will be outrageously expensive. I also guarantee you that you will discover some fabulous local artists and entrepreneurs that are doing their part to make gift giving more meaningful and less homogeneous.
The Walmarts, Targets, Kohls and Macys of this world all have their place in your shopping arsenal. And so do we small guys!
So make a pledge to yourself to shop small, shop local this year. You won't miss the crowds at the mall, the frustration of searching for the hottest, sold-out item, or the realization that the gift you just bought will be forgotten by this time next year.
I am now climbing down off my soapbox.
We are ready for Small Business Saturday, and from the look of our mascot, we are also ready for Winter.
Today, no matter where you live, do your part to stimulate the local economy by stopping into a locally owned business and making one purchase. Support the stores that support your community. (I have warned you in the past that I occasionally climb onto my "Go Local" soapbox. Well it looks like I'm up on it again today!) It could be the corner grocery store, the independent bookstore or the family run shoe store.
That'll Do Farm's small fiber store will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today if you need a little more fiber in your life.
We've boxed up roving for gift-giving.
Lots and lots of pretty alpaca roving.
And nowhere in the rule book does it say that the gift your giving can't be for yourself. In fact, if you read the rule book carefully, I do believe it says, "Buy two gifts for others and one for yourself."
It's there. You just have to read the fine print.
The same rule applies to yarn.
If you're a knitter or spinner, come on by for an entire day of Sit-N-Knit. If you've never knit even one tiny stitch but have always wanted to learn, this is your day. Just bring a pair of needles and we will gladly show you to basics.
And, with today's unusual-for-late-November weather of sunny and warm, it's the perfect day to come out to meet an alpaca or two.
Is it possible to love a pair of socks? I'm not talking mere affection, the type of like/love where you would slightly miss them if you didn't own them.
No. I'm talking about the deep down in-your-heart-which-would-be-broken if you lost them type of love for a pair of socks. Where your toes cry out for them on a snowy Winter morning.
If it is possible to love a pair of socks, then I totally love these alpaca socks.
And if you spend any time outdoors in the Winter above the Mason-Dixon line, you will love them too. And I suspect there are those below the line that will love them as well.
The first day it hovers around 32 degrees, these puppies go on my hooves and they don't come off until Apil. (That's not entirely true. They do come off for washing, but I think you get the picture.)
These thick socks are a mix of alpaca, for warmth, and nylon, for staying up power. And even better, they are made in the USA with fiber from animals right here in the states. A 100% made in America garment -- that's pretty rare.
I don't want to leave you with the impression that these are from our animals. We are in the process of having our own socks made. Way back in May, we shipped off about 100 pounds of our own alpaca fleece, mixed with fleeces from a neighboring farm, to a mill in Michigan for processing into socks. The mill warned us that we wouldn't get our socks back until May of 2012, and they meant it.
That's the good news and bad news rolled into one package. Bad for us that there is such a long wait, but good for the local economy that there is such a demand for American-made products. We're happy to know that our farm is helping to employ mill workers in our neighboring state.
Heck with occupying Wall Street. We say occupy American-made socks!
On Saturday, That'll Do Farm is taking part in Small Business Saturday. It's a chance for you, the shopper, to show your support of your neighborhood small businesses -- the mom and pop stores that make up your town.
This Christmas, we ask that you make one (just one, but feel free to make more!) purchase at a locally owned, independent retailer.
And if heavenly warm, thick socks are on your list, we hope you stop out at the farm to pick up a pair for the farmer, skiier, hunter, hiker, popsicle-toed outdoor-lover on your list.
American-made socks. Locally owned business. THAT is a win-win situation.
We're a small business. We like Saturdays. So joining up with the Small Business Saturday movement was a natural for the farm.
The idea of Small Business Saturday is one we love: shop small, shop local this holiday season. And start the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Let's face it, Black Friday is for the big box retailers that run crazy deals during even crazier hours. And Cyper Monday is for all the on-line shoppers out there.
So where does that leave us, the small, local stores in your own backyard? In addition to our own personal biasis that you should shop local each and every day of the year, it leaves us with Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday is for the Main Street businesses in your community. The Mom and Pop stores that keep your money in your community.
We''re asking that you start a tradition this Thanksgiving weekend and visit at least one locally owned store. Of course, we hope you'll pick That'll Do Farm, and to encourage you to visit us, we're offering a few in-store specials and holiday fun.
-- All That'll Do Farm yarn will be 10% off regular retail price.
-- 10% off all That'll Do Farm honey.
-- Make your own Art Batt at our Art Batt Cafeteria. Go through the line picking out your base fiber and then add the colored Merino Top of your choice and finish it all with a splash of sparkle. We'll help you use the drum carder so you can design and make the Art Batt of your choice. At only $7 an ounce, a 2 or 4 ounce personalized Art Batt makes a great Christmas present.
-- An all-day, free Sit-N-Knit. Or Sit-N-Rug Hook. Or Sit-N-Do-Whatever-Needlecraft-You-Like. Bring your friends and spend the day making a holiday gift or two. Bring your lunch, but we'll have plenty of sweet treats and hot beverages for you to enjoy.
-- Take a tour of the farm. Meet the alpacas and goats. Say hello to Joey the llama -- he's everybody's favorite.
We also have a selection of made in the USA gifts that just might be perfect for the hard-to-buy-for people on your list.
Midwest Fiber Company will have some of their beautiful hand-dyed and natural colored yarn for sale at the farm that weekend, along with a few kits for knitting mittens and several finished items.
We will be open on Small Business Saturday (November 26th) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Note that these are not the crazy, 2 a.m. hours of Black Friday. These are respectable, human hours. If you feel you must get here at 2 a.m. for the best deals, then head out to the barn. The 2 a.m. Doorbuster Special is all the manure you can shovel into trash bags!)