Shop Local This Holiday Season to Discover Unique Gifts for All

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) encourages community to support local businesses

As the holidays are approaching, many people are joining the crowds at malls and big chain stores seeking the right gift for friends and family – or camping out in front of their screens, avoiding the crowds and  shopping the biggest online retailers. This season, Women’s Economic Ventures encourages holiday gift givers to do a little something different and shop local at the many locally owned shops and other local businesses.

“Purchasing gifts from local businesses not only provides loved ones with a unique gift, but also stimulates the local economy,” said Marsha Bailey, WEV founder and CEO.  “When you purchase a gift from a small business, you can feel great about your money staying in the community and helping to create more local jobs.”

 A study in San Francisco found that for every $1 million in revenue local businesses created 2.14 jobs while chains created only 1.27 jobs.

This year, consider purchasing gifts from these local shops, owned and operating by participants in WEV’s continuum of business training, support and small business loan programs. Gift giving will be made more meaningful with the help with these small business in Santa Barbara County:

Aqua Skin and Nail BarThis full service skin and nail salon is designed to help you destress and rejuvenate after a long work day. Services include facials, waxing and tanning as well as manicures and pedicures. All of their products are free of mineral oils and parabens and all of their nail polishes are 3 free. Gift cards are available to ensure your loved one has a healthy and relaxing pampering experience after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Located at: 3455 State Street.

Caryle Salon and Style Bar– This old Hollywood style salon offers a blow dry style bar, haircuts, makeup, ponies and manicures/pedicures to help you get ready for any occasion.  Owner and stylist Lisa Gaede also offers hair and makeup services to help wedding parties prepare for the ceremony. Gift cards are also available. Located at: 350 Chapala Street #101.

C’est Cheese– Foodies will enjoy platters and baskets from local gourmet food and cheese store, C’est Cheese. C’est Cheese offers an assortment of cheese platters, cheese and wine classes, and a variety of sandwiches, soups, salads and breakfast pastries from its cafe. The cheese platters will also serve as a great appetizer for holiday parties. Located at: 825 Santa Barbara St.

Chocolats du CaliBressan – Born in France, Chef Jean Michel shares his love of French chocolates with Santa Barbara. His store is full of hand crafted truffles, bonbons and soft caramels made with recipes he learned in France. Jean-Michel also serves vegan chocolates and even created an avocado chocolate truffle for the Avocado Festival in Carpinteria. Candies from this chocolate shop makes a perfect present for those with a sweet tooth in your life. Located at: 1114 State St., No. 25 in Santa Barbara and 4193 Carpinteria Avenue, Suite 4 in Carpinteria

Isabella Gourmet Foods – Owner Amy Isabella Chalker brings the Cape Cod market feel to the West Coast with her specialty market. Isabella Gourmet Foods specializes in gluten free and vegan foods and sells products from a variety of local vendors, including The Juice Club, Sugar & Salt Creamery raw almond sorbets, Freezer Monkey dessert bars and much more. This eatery is a perfect place to find gifts for the foodies in your life – or to treat a friend to a tasty break during holiday shopping in the La Arcada shopping center. Gift baskets are also available. Located at: Located at: 5 E. Figueroa St.

Maison K This lifestyle boutique includes home décor, furnishings, clothing and accessories from around the world. Owner Kimberly Hayes has always had an interest in art history and different cultures. This passion is reflected in her store as she offers exquisite finds from around the world, including Nepalese cashmere, shell mirrors from Syria and hand blown glass from Italy.  Located at: 1253 Coast Village Road.

Viva Oliva – Viva Oliva sells over 40 flavors of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Selections include Honey Ginger Balsamic, Chipotle Olive Oil and Black Truffle Oil and much more. The store also offers cooking classes with recipes featuring the products being sold. The oils and vinegars will serve as great gift for chefs and will also help you prepare for your upcoming holiday meals. Located at: 1275 Coast Village Road.

Whistle Club Whistle Club sells an assortment of women’s apparel and accessories from an array of emerging designers and industry favorites to create an east-meets-west coast wardrobe. A gift from Whistle Club will be perfect for fashionistas in your life.  Located at: 1235 Coast Village Road Suite C.

ZFolio Gallery– This gallery includes candles, wood arts, jewelry boxes and art glass to help spruce up the décor of one’s home. Designer jewelry and clothing are also available, including scarves, wraps and jackets. The unique decorations and artwork are sure to make any decorator or art lover happy. Located at: 1013 State Street in Santa Barbara and 1685 Copenhagen Drive in Solvang.

About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)

WEV is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. Since 1991, WEV has been providing a continuum of comprehensive services – training, consulting and loans – to help entrepreneurs start grow and thrive in business. WEV’s service area includes Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, with offices in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Santa Maria. WEV provides start-up and expansion loans of up to $50,000 to pre-bankable microenterprises. For more information, visit WEV’s Web site at



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