If you follow my professional activities over at Sundin Associates, you may have noticed my recent post about our new conference room. Planning the space, which became my pet project over the last couple of months, I found myself thinking not just about what I wanted the vibe of the room to be, but also where I was spending the agency’s money.

Take, for example, our meeting table. After looking at tables at Staples, Ikea, and Overstock, I ultimately chose to purchase a table I found on Etsy.com from Dendro Co. Not only was it exactly what I was looking for – something a bit rustic and sturdy – it was a table with a story, created by Serge and Tara, small business owners with a passion to “Reclaim. Reimagine. Rebuild.”

While buying something sight unseen could be a risky move, the table is gorgeously flawed. Made of recycled wood from a blacksmith shop built in 1861 in Morrison, IL it has knots, holes and scars that tell of the wood’s past. The table also came with photos of the blacksmith shop, as well as more information about the shop’s history.

Sundin Associates Conference Room

While other items in our conference room came from some of my favorite mainstream stores – Target, Overstock, Homegoods – I was determined to find additional items that would give our room a unique “flair” and send a bit more of our conference room budget to small businesses. Which led me to purchase prints from Fifty Five Hi’s (one of my favorite designers) and  Rachel Roellke-Smith (a new find, but not my last visit).

Sundin Conference Room

With each purchase I was reminded how, as I documented on RealSimple.com, two years ago I had taken the time to “shop small” for the holidays. Forced to sit on the couch, recovering from surgery, I had enjoyed not only exploring the many creative possibilities, but also knowing that our holiday dollars were supporting small business owners and their families.

With the holidays looming, I’m on a mission to, as much as possible, shop local, shop small again. There is no question it takes a bit more planning, especially if you are purchasing items that need to be crafted, and it can cost a bit more, but the satisfaction I receive with each purchase is priceless.

Will you be shopping local, shopping small this year?


3 Responses to Shop local. Shop small.

  1. Adena says:

    Hanukkah is in freakin’ 8 days! Not only is it super early this year, it also coincides with Thanksgiving! Folks are even calling it Thanksgivukkah! I shopped at a local craft fair and also at Kohls and Target, so I guess I’m 50/50 for small and local vs. large and national. If you are curious, for more on Thanksgivukkah http://thanksgivukkahboston.com/

  2. Magi ramirez says:

    Great job Kristen. Beautiful room. I’m inspired to shop local! Thanks! Lived meeting you in Santa Fe. Magi

  3. Miranda says:

    Love Etsy. Your conference room is beautiful, full of inspiration and would make it fun to do work in. It is nice when you can combine supporting artists and getting a great product. I recently purchased our stocking ornaments from Etsy and got a great story from the artist too, to go with it.