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Here are ways to shop local and avoid the stress of gift-giving this year

Posted at 12:46 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 17:54:39-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Christmas is next week and shipping delays and supply chain issues could be causing you extra stress this holiday season.

So our team on Good Morning Indiana is helping you work around those issues and find local gifts you can give this holiday season.

First up on your list are services you can gift this year.

Just two weeks after their grand opening, Breathe Beauty and Wellness was forced to shut their doors for two months at the start of the pandemic.

“We wanted to come to Fortville. It's just got this great little vibe, you know, small town, but very forward-thinking in terms of having lots of small businesses and just everybody really supports those small businesses and celebrates them,” Erin Helsley said.

Whether it’s a massage, a facial or a manicure, this spa is guaranteed to have something for the person on your list who needs some rest and relaxation.

“The massage is really good for self-care. It helps with anxiety, depression, all the stuff, which is really important after the last two years we’ve had,” Jennifer Wright said.

Beasley said she does facials, waxing and lashes.

“My facials range from relaxation facials, ones that last an hour-and-a half, to clinical facials,” Helsley said.

And a new service coming in 2022: you can get your nails done at Breath Beauty and Wellness.

Kate Jones was laid off from her job as paralegal because of the pandemic and decided to do something she enjoys.

“I didn’t think I was going to be obsessed or passionate about it. I’m 100% passionate, and that is what's so strange because I was also passionate about being a paralegal because I love that, but nails and the therapeutic aspect is where I want to be,” Jones said.

They have physical gift cards that you can buy purchase online or in store, which is what all three of them recommend.

“That way the person can schedule it when its most convenient for them. They can call us, message us on Facebook or online, which is even better because they can compare my schedule and compare it to your schedule,” Wright said.

You can also find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts at small shops in your hometown.

“We have handmade, we have sweary, we have snarky, we have sassy, we have unique, we have breakable, we have not breakable,” said Allison Rose, owner at Time & Again.

“I do have apparel and hats and smoking jackets. Things like that,” said Larry Harnish, owner of Maduro on Main.

“Everything is very unique. I only have one to two to three pieces of everything that's in here, and you probably won’t find a lot of it anywhere else,” said Mary Buchmeier, owner of Studio 9.4.9.

Whether it’s a funny or sentimental gift, cigars, or clothing, Fortville shop owners guarantee they have something for you.

“Shop small business because a lot of times, those gifts have a little bit more meaning. We have things that are just really unique to either the town or the state of Indiana,” Buchmeier said.

Most of them still struggling to come back from the forced shutdowns.

“Things might look really good on the outside. I call it 'Facebook pretty,' but we’re all still struggling. I mean, there are businesses along Main Street that are struggling. I’m struggling, we’re all struggling, so we’re all still pivoting trying to find ways of continuing to keep our dream alive,” Rose said.

That’s why Time & Again, Studio 9.49 and Maduro on Main make sure to have one-of-a-kind gifts and personalized shopping experiences.

“I’ve been doing a lot of custom work. I’ve been doing a lot of re-purposing of people’s loved one’s shirts and a teddy bears or pillows, so I’ve been doing a lot of that this year in that pivot has helped me keep this alive,” Rose said.

Lastly, if you can’t find the perfect gift, an experience could be a good gift

“We have candles ranging anywhere from $18.00 up to $75,” said Jennifer Sturgill, owner of Unplug Soy Candles in Fishers.“It is more than just a candle company.”

Sturgill said she wanted her shop to be a place you could come and customize and pour your own candles. Customers can bring their own food and wine, and Unplug Soy Candles provides the glassware.

She added that a designated workshop instructor works with customers and walks them through the candle-making process. They also do private parties for groups of eight or more.

“You can come in and everyone makes two candles and it's just a really great time,” Sturgill said.

Once you make a candle and burn it, you can bring your empty vessel back in and get 20% off your refill.

“It is a great experience. The one thing that I think is really cool is that people continue to come back and bring different friends,” Sturgill said.

If Fishers isn’t near you, maybe you could head to Muncie at Minnetrista at the Bob Ross Experience where you can immerse yourself in all things Bob Ross in the house where the original show was filmed.

“The Bob Ross Experience is really a unique thing and there's nothing like this we can say confidently in the whole world,” said Minnetrista's Katy Maggart.

She said the Bob Ross Experience is one of a kind.

“You can stand in the studio where Bob painted and filmed. We've got a recreated 1980s living room that kind of is a nod to partly the pop culture that has become Bob Ross,” Maggart said.

New this year, they’ve opened the second floor of the historic home. Maggart said the home is part-workshop space and part-gallery.

“It's a really great way to get hands-on and do something that Bob loved,” Maggart said.

Maggart said the classes start at $70 and vary in price based on the size of the canvas that will be used.

“It's a really fun hands-on gift and, of course, you get to take your painting home, so you're doing something, you get the experience and then you get to take that home with you,” Maggart said.