How to Shop Local in a Time of Social Distancing

Hello, my friends… I write this not out of fear or panic - quite the opposite. I am full of gratitude for businesses who are making the conscious and difficult decision to close for a few weeks to help #flattenthecurve.

Personally, I am cancelling attendance at all celebratory social gatherings, but I want to send gifts! Don’t you? Gifts for colleagues, housewarmings, engagements, babies, weddings, graduations and BIRTHDAYS - I am committed to continuing to celebrate the good things in life, just from home. As I sat reading the news this morning, I realized that continuing to celebrate one another can also be a powerful source of JOY in our lives and support for our entire local community. Plus, leaning into our good energy is healthy for our immune systems and mental health. Our time and energy are powerful, so let’s take a few extra minutes to explore where we are directing our support.

I am not bashing Amazon or Target, but I truly believe if we take a few extra moments we can find alternative (and often BETTER) gifts from local shops online. I have highlighted several online shops of independent businesses below. They all have brick and mortar stores here in Maine, but can ship all over the US. As a store owner, I understand overhead costs and the hard decision to close, so every purchase helps! Drop me a line if you have anyone you’d like me to add, I know there are so many options.

My hope is to shift the tide to focusing on the good of local while we are at home. We are hardwired to get online for two-day shipping even when we don’t “need” to, and our neighbors need us more. Frankly, they have better stuff!

Who do you need to give gifts to in April and May? After Christmas, those two months are my biggest for gift giving…so why not buy now + give later OR buy now + send in advance. My daughter is happily playing with her birthday gift from grandma because I need to entertain her for the next few weeks. Her birthday is in April, but mama needs her occupied this week while working from home. Don’t be afraid to send gifts early!

With love and hand sanitizer,

Vanessa @ Fiore

jen burral portland maine

1. Jen Burrall Jewelry

I have to start with my girl Jen Burrall because I own the ring on that piece of white quartz in the photo above. Her work is made by hand and is STUNNING. Don’t worry about ring size, the gift recipient can go back in and she will size it for them.

I see this being a good fit for: Birthdays + Graduations + Bridesmaid’s Gifts + Weddings (she makes custom wedding bands)

Click on the image above for her online store - all items are hand made in Maine!


2. BEER.

Need I say more…. Ok I kind of do need to say more. If you click here it will take you to rising tide brewery’s gift card link. Yes, you can send beer without having to figure out what kind of beer they like AND SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES who employ your friends, clients and neighbors. The recipient of this gift can just call in what they want to get and pick it up….very little exposure. If you know me, you know I am clueless about beer (wine is my thing), but I am in the minority, so I appreciate the option of giving a gift card and not having to ask what the person likes. Just mail them a nice gift card and be the coolest friend around.

Good for: Birthdays + Special Events + Congratulations (of any kind)


3. Self Care Bundle - Calming CBD for Stress Relief - HELLOOOOO please send me one k thx.

Elise Marie Designs is a boutique on Portland’s east end. She debuted this self care package today that is just fantastic. She also makes jewelry, so give her webstore a look!

Click on photo above to see more.

Good fit for: Birthdays + Bridal Showers + Relatives ….your bestie that you miss….the friend that is now working from home with 3 kids home from school… The list goes on and on…


4. LongFellow Books in Portland! There are a well-known favorite for kids books, as they are so kind to kiddos. My daughter makes a beeline for the kid’s room every time we come in! I personally love giving and receiving cookbooks even though I hate cooking (the instant pot one above-that is my style) but books in general are always a good idea. They just announced free shipping for those who need to save on budget. Click the photo for the link to Longfellow Books.

Good fit for: Children’s Birthdays + Baby Showers + Mother’s Day + ANY Birthday + Wedding + Engagement + Colleague + Clients + Housewarming


5. MINKA in Kennebunkport has been a favorite of mine for years. It is hard to describe them in just one paragraph, so make sure you check out their website….so much local goodness. All the hand-washing and cleaning we are doing right now can take a toll on the skin, making this the perfect gift for just about anyone.

I wanted to shout out their body care line: “Minka's 100% ALL NATURAL Body care collection contains NO preservatives, NO fillers, and NO harmful chemicals. Michelle Rose developed the Minka skin care line after years of research in order to heal her own case of Eczema. Minka body care is the result of 7 years of study and testing.”

Great gifts for: Healthcare Professionals + Teachers +Folks who cannot stay home from work + Birthdays + Client Gifts + Friends Special Occasions + YOURSELF


6. ART

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy daaayyyy….this song sums up how I feel whenever I walk into Fitz & Bennett Home in the old port area of Portland, Maine. They have a portion of their offerings online! Shown above are some of my favorites on the art page. I am actually typing this about a foot away from a piece I purchased for myself last year. These are so easy to ship and make wonderful gifts. Bonus - they are affordable too (:

Great fit for: Housewarming + Birthdays


7. Campfire Pottery has a lovely store on the east end of Portland, Maine. I am obsessed with this hand made ramen bowl.

I saw this post today on their social media and wanted to share it: “…Our shop is one that encourages touching everything and we feel that it is best to be proactive about this situation and provide alternate opportunities for you to shop our products from the comfort of your home. With that being said, we along with @mulxiply will be offering FREE SHIPPING (does not include international shipping) now through the end of the month to encourage online sales. In effort to take care of our team and continue to pay them while we are closed we are asking for your support! In addition to free shipping, We will be doing a ONE OF A KIND Kiln unloading Sale on Thursday evening this week and next Thursday over on our Insta Stories.”

Great fit for: Weddings + Closing Gifts (realtor) + Housewarming + Birthdays


Last but not least, we are closing our store at 54 Cove Street in Portland and will meet with customers by appointment only.

I have uploaded some floor sample sales to our website. Although our online shop is just a sampling of our product offering, I did my best to highlight some of my favorite products at great prices. Let’s call it a #socialdistancing deal (: So if you need a comfy chair to read in or watch TV (preferably a good series not the news) I recommend the chair above. We have two and they are a fraction above cost for our floor samples sale. Click on image for the link, or see the SHOP page on our website.

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