Unless you’re a modern-day Scrooge, you don’t have much choice about joining in the orgy of holiday consumption. You do, however, have a choice about where to spend your money. Instead of running to the big-box stories or online to Amazon, consider supporting local artists and shop owners. —Joseph Clark & Frank Kuznik
Art From the Heart
The Geauga Humane Society's Rescue Village is sponsoring its third annual holiday pop-up shop, featuring more than two dozen artisans and vendors selling jewelry, paintings, ceramics, glassware, photography, fashions, and antique furnishings. Opening night (Friday, Nov. 30, 4 – 9 p.m.) features a wine tasting with hors d'oeuvres, an artists' raffle, and animals ready to adopt. There's also an art sale and adoptable animals the following day (Saturday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m. — 5 p.m.). A portion of the proceeds will benefit the animals at Rescue Village.
28001 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere, geaugahumanesociety.org
If you missed the artists' market at Winterfest over Thanksgiving weekend, you have another chance to connect with it on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. — 6 p.m. at Tower Press. Along with a great selection of gifts, you'll find free parking behind the building and artists' studios open for browsing.
1900 Superior Ave., Cleveland
Ohio Knitting Mills
The company's holiday pop-up shop is open again at the same Ohio City location, offering virgin vintage knitwear and new apparel for both men and women in a handsome, gallery-like setting. All of OKM's products are designed and sewn in Cleveland.
1983 West 28th St., Cleveland, okmpop.com
Had enough of the junk at the malls? So have the smart folks at 78th Street Studios, who will be hosting this craft fair featuring work by local artisans over the weekend of Dec. 8 & 9 (10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday). This is part of a larger nationwide movement which now has two legs in Cleveland: the Larchmere walk on the East Side over Thanksgiving weekend, and this event, both of which offer an opportunity to stop pumping up corporate profits and support community artists.
1300-01 West 78th St., Cleveland, bizaarbizarre.org
Last Minute Market
Here's an opportunity to support local businesses while still indulging in holiday procrastination. The Last Minute Market offers a showcase for at least 85 local sellers of art and crafts, all in the last 10 days before Christmas. Sponsored by the creative coalition Cleveland Handmade and held in the Lake Erie Building, the market features a unique selection of jewelry, ceramics, clothing, accessories, glassware, prints, and fine art. Besides the dozens of vendors set up for the day, many of the permanent artist tenants of the Lake Erie Building will be hosting an open house, expanding your options for eleventh-hour shopping. It all takes place on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. — 6 p.m.
1300 Athens Ave., Lakewood, clevelandhandmade.com
The east side may have all the tony high-end stores, but for small shops offering vintage clothing and accessories and far-out furnishings, nothing beats Lakewood. Two of our favorites: Thirstee's Little Bling Shop, where you can find an amazing assortment of rhinestone apparel and accessories; and The Mission Boutique, where Santa gets sexy (and so can you). For a change of pace on the other side of town, stop at This Way Out in Collinwood, where Mark Leddy has the city's best collection of hipster clothing, records, and other music-related items. Or check out the intensely local Sparkle Jewelry shops in Westlake, Chagrin Falls, or Brunswick, where a portion of every sale goes to support The Gathering Place, a nonprofit support center for cancer patients.
Thirstee's Little Bling Shop, 15301 Madison Ave., Lakewood, thirstees.com
The Mission Boutique, 14625 Madison Ave., Lakewood, themissionboutique.com
This Way Out, 15711 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland, http://www.beachlandballroom.com/two3.htm
Sparkle Jewelry, sparklelocal.com