Thanks to American Express for sponsoring my writing today about small businesses. American Express is presenting Small Business Saturday, a way to honor the local merchants who are the backbone of the economy, this Saturday, November 27. They’re offering statement credits to people who shop at small businesses, advertising for small-business owners, and donations to Girls Inc. for “Likes” of the Small Business Saturday page on Facebook. Join the celebration by clicking the “Like” button and then visiting the Facebook page to learn more about the program and read the terms and conditions that apply.
Small business is at the center of my heart. I avoid big box stores in favor of keeping my dollars in my community. They go further and help provide necessary jobs, something to be grateful in this economy. It was ingrained in me as a small child, coming from a family of textile workersm, my Grandparents stressed buying clothes and goods made in the USA . Kinda like the small business/cottage industry movement, so when I found out that AmEx was supporting Small Business Saturday, my heart jumped with joy.
One of my favorite small businesses in Charlotte is Beadlush. Lydia, Head Lush, and I met on nearly two years ago. It seems like yesterday. Her shop has since become my go-to location for gifts for my friends, family, or myself! When I did my first television appearance on Charlotte Today for SavvySource, it was Lydia and Vanessa, Design Lush Extraordinaire, who came up with the perfect necklace for me to wear of garnet, rough cut amethysts and a myriad of other stones and beads. It is my statement necklace and I do believe I could knock someone out with the weight of it.
Beadlush offers an ever-growing selection of Czech glass, Swarovski crystals, delicas and other seed beads, high-quality natural stones and pearls, as well as a large selection of glass rods and lampworking supplies. They also carry an extensive selection of sterling silver, gold-filled, plated and base-metal findings, chain, beads, wire and much more. Beginner and advanced classes are held throughout each month, and they offer custom and individual classes for specific projects.
What I love about Beadlush is I can always find what I am looking for. Ask my sons teachers, various relatives and girlfriends. If I want to take a class (soon!) to learn the rudimentary basics of jewelry making I can. The vintage stones for the retro gal living inside me are there, as well as skulls for the edgy, metal side that I haven’t let go of (and never will Mom).
There are plenty of other local proprietors I give love to and am listing here in no specific, ok alphabetical, order. If I left you off, please don’t take offense. My brain only works so well at 10:00 p.m.
- Central Coffee — Jimmy Kleto offers, in my opinion, makes the best cup of coffee in Charlotte and is reigning latte design champ. His mom also makes a mean pan of Baklava.
- and make my list. Founded by the ever energetic Bobby DeMuro, both companies are out there to get us up off of our collective heiney’s while getting us to toss our carbonated, high-fructose corn syrup habit and drink more water.
- — Ella Freeman is a coffee hustlin, local-lovin, all things good in Gastonia, NC. Stop in when you need a jolt of coffee or your mind dazzled by her acerbic wit.
- Green Market Girl — Creator of the Original Eco-Cuff and Crunchy Green Goddess, Susan Hilger, needed something to use up all of the lovely leftover wood from her design firm, S.J. Hilger Interiors. Lydia also carries the Eco-Cuffs at Beadlush!
- LEAP Design — Get your design hat on by contacting Laurie Smithwick for some of the freshest design work around. She also founded a little known web site called Kirtsy!!
- — Turk Akbay is a genius. While I don’t have a dog, I have met dogs that have went through his program and am amazed at how well they behave!
- Om Enerji — Sisters Jennifer Thompson and Jill Akaby will fix all your woes with Acutonics (sound therapy) and massage. When I am there, I am in my own little piece of heaven.
- Paper Skyscraper — Tim and Ron. Ron and Tim. How I love the goodies in your store. Wow! If you’re looking for the best cards in Charlotte, heck anywhere, head over to see them.
- — Jim Mitchem. The person I call the most honest man on Twitter started his digital advertising agency in 2001 (don’t quote me!) and has done some impressive campaigns. One of my favorites being for the .
Saturday is the day. Shop local, eat local, explore your world. There is variety you’ve never seen, just step beyond the electric gates of the nearest mega-mart and explore your community. You’re gonna love it!
I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses , as I do.