Shop Small: Top 5 Yogi Gifts for Valentine's Day
For those of us who like to be conscientious in the conversation about where our money goes holidays like Valentine's Day can seem excessive and gratuitous. We may find even the most mindful of us stuffing our big red carts at the local Target in a mad dash for dark chocolate, a little red dress, gifts for bae and maybe that heart shaped pillow because “it will really tie the valentines living room scene together”. Guilty.
We’ve all been there.
The good news is there are so many places within San Diego (and online) where you can not only score some amazing gifts, and most likely buy yourself one in the process, but you’ll also be supporting one of many incredible small businesses within our community. Small business support isn’t just something that hippies like to talk about because it sounds like some unattainable Utopian ideal; there are real upsides on the local scale.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a non-profit organization and advocacy group that provides technical assistance to communities about local solutions for sustainable community development in areas such as banking, broadband, energy, and waste through local purchasing. The ILSR recently released their top 10 reasons to support local businesses and they affirm that strong communities are sustained and strengthened by “linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes”. Doesn’t that just make you feel good?! In addition, the ILSR cites keeping money in the local economy, creating local jobs, entrepreneurship (you’re supporting one right now just reading this!), and product diversity all as benefits to shopping locally. Need more? One of the most notable reasons to keep the Benjamin’s in your community… environmental sustainability. Local stores help to sustain vibrant and walkable store fronts and town centers which in turn reduce sprawl, use of cars, habitat loss, and pollution. Not on that list is the impression learning to live and shop this way has on our future footprint. I think this is a big one. If our children are taught the benefits of supporting local community early then the next wave of conscious livers will be more equipped to maintain and grow strong and sustainable communities in the future.
Making a case for shopping small and locally is easy the challenging part is getting you, the consumer, to commit to putting your best foot forward when distributing your dollars. It is easy to make that quick stop at Home Goods or Bev Mo but the short and long term effects of opting out of the nearest mom and pop shop far outweigh the convenience of the former. So, in the spirit of Ahimsa, the spirit of love and Valentines Day, or whatever celebration you ascribe to, join us in helping the future of our neighborhoods, and local economy and take the pledge to shop small, support a small business and spread holiday cheer wherever you go. And don't forget your reusable bag.
Now, without further adieu our picks for the top 5 awesome small businesses you can support that hail from San Diego.
- Kassi Grunder Jewelry- This lovely local lady creates delicate stone pieces with tangible love. When I first approached Kassi's booth at one of my events she was truly interested in how I was doing that day. In truth, I was a bit wired and anxious with everything going on around me and I told her I felt a bit overwhelmed. She thought the word overwhelmed seemed too negative and suggested I turn the word on itself. "Why don't you say, 'I feel overwhelmingly successful'?!" she said. And it worked. I immediately felt lighter and inspired that this woman seemed to know exactly how to uplift me and offer a shift in perspective with just a few simple words. Before I knew it I was walking away high on the vibration of our conversation and a beautiful set of healing and grounding Ahimsa Larimar earrings. Kassi also customizes pieces from wedding jewelry to personalized holiday baubles. Click here for all of her local holiday events or head over to her website.
- Michelle Bowen Photography- What yogi doesn't love a photo in their favorite pose? But getting someone to snap you at just the right angle with just the right lighting is hard enough. Throw in making sure your posture is camera ready is a whole other challenge. Well fear not yogis, Michelle doesn't just have a great eye for scenery and lighting, this yogi knows her asanas and will offer a unique perspective for your next yoga shoot. Right now she's offering a killer Yoga Package, the perfect V-day gift for your favorite bendy babe, $125 for a 45 minute session with choice of 15 images (additional photos also available for purchase). Check out her website for more info and to contact/set up a session. Sessions must be purchased before offer ends but can be booked anytime throughout the year based on availability.
- Heart Space Yoga & Events- Heart Space is dedicated to building a tribe of connected yogis through adventure seeking retreats, creative yoga workshops and transformational events. But you knew that already! I couldn't write a blog about supporting local businesses and not include my own little company. Creating spaces for yogis to connect outside of studio time is my passion. Adventuring together creates friendships and bonds that last lifetimes. Our retreats and events are designed to help awaken and inspire the hidden parts of you just waiting to bubble to the surface. Did you know that tickets to the 3rd annual Yoga Pool Party make a great gift for your special yogi or a fantastic little treat for yourself? Get on the list here.
- Pi Yoga Pants- Larissa Miller is making a big splash in her Balinese inspired yoga pants. This girl isn't just the owner of a clothing company, she is a entrepreneur, philanthropist, and our favorite, a connector of people. She will graciously promote your event or retreat as if it were her own, proving collaboration over competition is truly the way to success. On top of it all 10% of all Pi Yoga Pants profits support sea turtle conservation. Pants are lightweight, comfy and fit all sizes 2-12. Request for Pi to be at your next big event!
- San Diego Farmer's Markets- How do you list just 5??? San Diego is a mecca of creatives and dreamers and it shows in our multitude of markets where magical artists sell their goods. I live in Ocean Beach and every week I stop by some of my favorite booths just to see what they've been up to; like Reclaimed Goodness, they boast a collection of recycled wood decor such as geometric shelves and upcycled boho pillow shams. I also never hit the OB market without a quick pop by Flight of Fancy because you never know when you'll need a haberdash hat adorned with a raw crystal crown (yep, that's a real thing). In addition to retail, our markets are host to local farms selling the freshest produce, flowers, nuts & seeds and honey. The Ocean Beach market runs every Wednesday 3-8pm on Newport Ave. between Bacon St. and Cable St.
Need more options? Don't worry we know its hard to pick just 5.
Best coffee/tea- The Lazy Hummingbird/The Nest, Ocean Beach
Best flowers- Native Poppy, North Park
Best gym- Aquavie Fitness & Wellness, Downtown
Best date night cocktail stop- The Pearl Hotel, Point Loma
Lauren Autenrieth is a yoga teacher and blogger from from San Diego, Ca. Over the last decade she has come to believe that yoga offers simplicity in its ancient wisdom; if we as human beings are able to practice kindness and mindfulness, seemingly small acts can have a lasting and meaningful impact on humanity.
Lauren's classes range from fluid and dynamic Vinyasa to a gentle and healing Hatha practice. She wants nothing more than to make human connections and backbend around the world but also enjoys evenings home, snuggled up with a good book and some peanut butter.
Lauren is the founder of the San Diego based yoga and events company Heart Space.