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Note: The Northwest Arkansas Mall provided me with a gift card to spend and one to give away as compensation for this post, but all thoughts are my own.
What do you picture when you think about shopping local?
If you’re like me, it might be a bustling downtown, a holiday craft show, a funky strip mall full of great shops, a treasured book store.
But there’s more to local than that.
That’s certainly true where I live, where the Northwest Arkansas Mall has a lot of little shops for people who want to support local businesses as part of their holiday (or any other time) shopping plan all in one location. You can find home decor, clothing, toys, Razorback gear, even coffee and music lessons all under one roof.
I recently went to the mall to explore the local shopping options and here’s some of what I found:
- Arty Décor has lots of cute stuff for the home. I particularly love their giant candle holders, baskets and other large-scale items, but they have cute little items, too.
- Gymnastics Joe’s is a great place for gymnastics lessons, and they also offer open gym times (which the girl LOVES) where kids can come in and use the trampolines, bounce house and other equipment (it’s also a great place for birthday parties). Buy the kid in your life a class or a party they’re sure to love.
- Houndstooth is the place for lovers of all things local. This T-shirt company prints a variety of cool shirts (short and long-sleeved) for kids and adults, many with a Razorback or university theme but also covering other local favorites.
- Masons is the perfect choice for the fashion-forward person on your list. They have really great clothes and accessories for ladies.
- Jammin Java is a great place to refuel with yummy coffee drinks and snacks.
- MDA Casting Studios offers music and acting lessons, KinderMusik and more. (The girl took a KinderMusik class there years ago and really enjoyed it.) They offer gift certificates for lessons and classes.
- Melody’s Choices is a great go-to for general gift ideas. If you need a gift for a wedding, a new baby, or that hard-to-shop-for person, this is the place to look. I love their selection of picture frames, Razorback items, comfy slippers and other cute stuff, including lots of Christmas decor from Department 56 and elsewhere. If you’re a fan of Lilly Pulitzer or have a Pandora ring, this is a must-stop.
- The Razorback Shop is actually part of the University Bookstore and is, of course, the best place for Razorback gear, books, accessories and home decor out there.
I had a lot of fun scoping out the local shops and knocking a few things off my list at once. And being able to celebrate and afternoon well-spent with a coffee from a local shop without leaving the building was really great, too.
And of course you don’t have to limit yourself to shopping locally owned stores when you’re at the mall. Any money you spend in a physical, local store rather than online is going to be better for your local economy.
I hope this little rundown of local shopping options at the mall has you inspired to think beyond downtown when you do your holiday shopping this year. Do you have a favorite local spot (in our out of the mall)? I’d love to hear about it!
And stay tuned later this week because thanks to the mall I’ll be offering one of you a great local shopping spree, too, with a $200 gift card for the Razorback Shop. Oh, what fun!