It's no wonder that a shopping mall plays host to George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead. Although it was released in 1978, several decades before Black Friday became synonymous with a certain level of shopping hysteria, the zombie horror is a commentary on the perils of consumerism. While there are no actual monsters to contend with, this time of year can feel overwhelming. For a quieter shopping experience, look no further than a couple of days after Thanksgiving. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday shifts the retail focus onto smaller companies.
American Express created this all-day event in 2010, and it has since grown into a global initiative to support and promote small businesses during this busy shopping period. The Small Business Administration estimated that on this designated day nationwide, 108 million consumers "shopped small" in 2017. This translated into $12 billion spent at independent retailers and restaurants in the United States alone. The SBA also reports that "about half of all American workers are either employed by a small business or own a small business." With the proliferation of sites like Etsy, it means there are now more options than ever when it comes to purchasing products from independent vendors.
It is a particularly good time for fans of all things geekery, whether fashion, art, or other collectible items from Marvel to Twin Peaks. Below are some female-run businesses we wanted to celebrate as part of Small Business Saturday (November 30) that will hopefully give you some festive shopping ideas (or you can treat yourself!).
Clothing and Shoes
Highlighting the work of female filmmakers is something SYFY FANGRRLS feels passionately about, so what better way to show your love out loud than with a T-shirt? Fandom comes in many different forms, but a simple white tee with a name emblazoned on it is a powerful statement. Girls on Tops is a "t-shirt celebration of female voices in film," featuring a whole host of figures, including genre favorites Carrie Fisher, Laura Dern, Sigourney Weaver, and Jamie Lee Curtis. It isn't all actresses, though; directors Ava DuVernay, Claire Denis, Anna Biller, and costume designer Sandy Powell are also part of the collection.
Jordandené has a wide range of geek sartorial offerings, including "Clever Girl" tanks, Loki bomber jackets, Spider-Man cropped sweatshirts, and a Sassenach beanie to keep you warm while you wait for the return of Outlander. Products are sweatshop-free and screen-printed in Brooklyn — another benefit of buying from a small business is you often know where (and how) the item has been made.
Etsy has an array of fun handmade skirts bearing your favorite characters, including Skirty Birt's twins from The Shining high-waisted design (featuring the iconic Overlook carpet pattern), BB-8 and R2-D2, Harry Potter's Marauder's Map, and a festive Nightmare Before Christmas offering. Pocket Paradise (yes, there are pockets!) has a couple of very cute Avengers prints on offer to brighten up any Marvel fan's wardrobe.
A number of sneaker brands have recently done collabs with genre shows and movies, but these beautiful handpainted flats are taking fandom footwear to new heights (while keeping you firmly on the ground). These include pledging allegiance to the Starks, a breathtaking Lord of the Rings interpretation, sparkly R2-D2, and TARDIS shoes. There are also Supernatural, Star Trek, Wonder Woman, and Black Panther designs. Nerdly Goodness is proving that flats can be just as pretty as any high heels.
Jewelry and Accessories
STEM jewelry company Boutique Academia proves that you can give someone an anatomical heart or DNA and it is not going to hurt one bit. The delicate necklaces and earrings are not only beautifully designed, but they are affordable too. There is also the option to give someone a constellation or even a tie bar with Avogadro's constant engraved on it. Science and fashion make a wonderful pair.
Thread Famous mixes STEM with pop culture, including a number of science-based items such as the Abacus and atom necklaces — but it is the interactive and beautiful "Myths and Legends" that is truly eye-catching. This book trinket tells the stories of Atlantis and George slaying the dragon in miniature form.
Pins are an easy way to brighten up any outfit, and there are a lot of small businesses stocking these items. Twin Peaks is a popular choice, including a dreamy Audrey Horne design from Betty Octopus. Kate's Little Store has a slightly larger Diane dictaphone brooch for the Agent Dale Cooper in your life.
It is the time of year to give thanks, so whether this pin is for you or a loved one, Lil Boat Boutique has the perfect Captain America reference, ensuring you don't forget to show your appreciation. And you can also pick up an "I Can Do This All Day" for that double Cap action.
To add a bit of magic to your bag collection, Witchwood Bags is putting a spell on satchel, tote, and clutch designs. Made from vegan leather, a portion of profits are donated to the Irvine Animal Care Center. These are cute bags that are also putting good back into the world — plus there is an option to customize for a unique gift.
Art, Collectibles, and Home
Ever wondered how big the town of Riverdale is? Or want to know what a map of Twin Peaks would look like? Oh Cut It Out has you covered with these striking prints. Postcards of Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, and Sunnydale are also available.
In the market for a pop culture greeting card? Ghost Girl Greetings has something for the horror fan in your life, whether it is getting caught in a birthday murder time loop, a housewarming with a creepy twist, or a Beetlejuice spin on a wedding card.
There has never been a better time to redecorate or give someone the gift of something to brighten up their home — and as it is still Keanuvember, Brianna Ashby's "A Hero With a Thousand Faces" print (that you can also get as a mug and a T-shirt) is a must-buy for that Keanu fan in your life. Ashby's work also includes Blade Runner, Twin Peaks, Eraserhead, and Stranger Things illustrations.
Sustainability is something to consider while you shop over this festive period, and Nancy's Jars has transformed old VHS tapes into lamps. That's right, you can purchase a lamp that used to be a copy of Jurassic Park. Life does find a way when upcycling is involved.
For relaxing at home, how about a bubble bath featuring a Doctor Who bath bomb and Han Solo frozen-in-carbonite soap? Frakking Bombs can turn a regular soak into pure nerd heaven.
Small Business Saturday is taking place Saturday, November 30.