Top 4 Reasons You Should Shop Small Saturday

Back in July we were musing about retail. Small retail. Independent retail. We’re gearing up for the holidays and it’s the perfect time to reach out to our re-souL community to remind you how important it is to support small businesses.

Back in 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday to help businesses with their most pressing need — getting more customers. The day encourages people to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The single day has grown into a powerful movement, and more people are taking part than ever before. This year, the big day is Nov 29. Here are the top 4 reasons you should shop small.


Local businesses often hire people who have a better understanding of the products they’re selling, and take more time to get to know their customers.

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Independent businesses make purchases requiring less transportation and are usually located in commercial corridors and in-town instead of developing on the fringe. This means less sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.

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When you shop local, three times the revenue remains in your community, supporting parks, schools and more! For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 goes back into the community and our tax base. For every $100 spent at a chain store, only $14 comes back.

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Independent businesses are the largest contributors to LOCAL charities. Non-profit organizations receive an average of 250% more support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses.

Friday ~ Free Ballard: Curtis Steiner

Many of you know that our shop is located in a really great Seattle neighborhood known as Ballard.  In all its history and hoopla, Ballard is also our home and we’re dedicating Fridays to telling everyone why we love it here. 

Those of you who are local Seattlites, may already know of Curtis Steiner’s beautiful shop and gallery. So, please bear with us as we tell the world why Curtis Steiner is the crown jewel of our Ballard neighborhood. If you ever come to shop our little street, his gallery is a must stop on your next shopping adventure. It is a feast for the eyes and a truly a magical space.

From his beautiful hand drawn cards, to his carefully curated collection of turn of the century ephemera and his intricate and delicate designed jewelry it’s easy to get lost in this world upon entering the doors. At any given time you can visit Curtis Steiner and find something that you had not noticed before. Each little vignette is carefully arranged and always displayed flawlessly. Even the drawers of the back counter have little treasures to admire and explore.

Curtis also exhibits and rotates other local artists 5 to 6 times a year. Currently showing are “Paper Cuts” by Jessica McCourt. Beautiful gold paper is transformed into intricate maritime portraits with careful cuts. In November, for the 9th year in a row, Patty Grazini’s paper sculptures will return to the gallery. The show promises to be as exciting and inspiring as in years past.








Curtis’s ability to discover beauty in the littlest of things and his attention to detail in everything he does is rare and inspiring. Just peruse his Instagram feed and his Pinterest boards and quickly understand why we admire his artistry. Even his pictures taken on his “walks with Mortimer” are ethereal. Curtis is an  artist of many, many talents and we are so fortunate to have him as an anchor in the neighborhood.

Curtis Steiner is located at 5349 Ballard Avenue NW – Seattle WA, 98107

Friday ~ Free Ballard: Todd Werny and Space Oddity

Many of you know that our shop is located in a really great Seattle neighborhood known as Ballard.  In all its history and hoopla, Ballard is also our home and we’re dedicating Fridays to telling everyone why we love it here. 

Today’s special little Ballard place is brought to you by Mr. Todd Werny by way of his tiny shop called Space Oddity.  It’s located “around the corner” from our shop and it’s underneath an art gallery, very easy to miss.  To say that the shop has an eclectic mix of items just wouldn’t do any justice to the place.  Todd is a collector of vintage things, ranging from the mid-century modern to rustic industrial and institutional.  Some things are perfect, some are hard worn.  He finds all sorts of unrelated items and brings them together, medical equipment, filing cabinets, laboratory elements, measuring devices.  Many of the items are repurposed, industrial racks as a storage solution, chemistry utensils as design elements in your home.  It’s not for everyone but for those with a keen eye, there’s some really great finds.

Space Oddity stocks items from another era, when things were built in America, by people with tools and machinery, in a simpler time.  The shop reminds us that production and manufacturing once occurred without the aid of robotics, automation and computer aided design.  A mechanical typewriter sits next to a device once used to measure Ph levels.  70’s era plastics are here and there, wooden school chairs and a hospital gurney.  And T-Shirts, designed by Todd with Ballard themes!

Space Oddity, entry

Todd himself comes from an era of punk rock and skateboarding.  Twenty years ago he started a motorcycle club that now has chapters all down the west coast.  Unrelated, he started Backfire Moto, a motor club specializing in cafe racer, vintage and rat bikes that meets up every month.

Space Oddity, menagerie

Locals know that anything at Space Oddity is likely one of a kind and the inventory turns regularly.  Regulars stop by once a week but even if you’re not local, you’re going to find cool stuff every time you go.

Space Oddity, custom t-shirts, beakers

Space Oddity is definitely NOT a pretentious place, it’s quite humble and Todd isn’t interested in gouging customers for top dollar collectible items.  Everything is priced properly and often you’ll find something very useful at a bargain price.  We have certainly found a number of things at Todd’s shop, we’ve purchased things for our home, for our office and fixtures at the shop.  Just another reason we love living in Ballard, good people, great places, great finds.

Space Oddity, mobile


Space Oddity, file cabinets

 Want to see more cool places in Ballard? Follow our Pinterest board “Free Ballard” here