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Although I do love to shop, I do not love crowds. And unlike Megan Mundinger, a Brookfield resident and shopping aficionado, I don’t love the thrill of the hunt. Her eyes grew large like saucers when she spoke of the digging, the excavating of that perfect deal, the unearthing of a fantastic steal. Umm, not me. I attempted to brave a large retailer years ago with my best friend: I was on a mission to find a simple board game for one of the little rascals in my life. “Look!” I exclaimed with delight as I plunked it into my shopping cart, “The last one on the shelf!” Lucky me. Until I walked away for a minute. And returned to find my cart empty. So I head out to local boutiques for a serene atmosphere, to support local merchants, and for peace of mind.
I recently learned of American Express’s Small Business Saturday, a movement in support of local businesses from Danah Fisher, owner of the magnificent shop, Bramble (115 N. Oak Park Ave.) a store filled with nature-inspired home goods in Oak Park: the perfect place to find gifts galore. "The initiative," she shared, "is designed to encourage Americans to shop at small, community stores." American Express’s web page informs us: “For every $100 spent at local small businesses, $68 returns to the community.” If you have a facebook account, you can “like” this page: more than half a million people have already liked Small Business Saturday. American Express will be donating $500,000 to Girls Inc. and will continue to donate $1 per "like" up to $1,000,000.
Our own favorite shops in town have some great deals and ways of giving back while you’re shopping. If you’ve already made plans to be out and about on Black Friday, stop by at the Book Table in Oak Park for a unique opportunity to give back while buying (1045 Lake Street). On November 26, 2010, from 9am-9pm, The Book Table will be contributing 10% of all their sales to West Suburban PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter). This is The Book Table’s fifth holiday shopping event in support of PADS. West Suburban PADS serves men, women and children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in West Suburban Cook County. PADS serves over 800 people a year.
What are your favorite local shops and what will you be shopping for on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday?