Gift Local This Holiday Season

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday may be over, but your opportunity to shop and support local isn’t!

Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity get to know some wonderful business owners in Sarasota. Meeting these lovely people helped remind me that there are real people with real families behind their store names and that these people and these families are invested in Sarasota and its future- where I plan to be for a long time.

So this year, I am making a concerted effort to shop local for Holiday gifts. The ease and convenience of shopping with major online retailers is undeniably tempting but shopping local and supporting the business owners that love and support our community just feels good, like a gift in and of itself. What a win!

In hopes of encouraging you to consider doing the same, I wanted to share some of my favorite local stores!

If you have some to add, please add them in the comments!

Also, for any out of town friends reading this, most of these shops offer online shopping!

Swim City

It took me 10 years of living in Sarasota to visit one of the three locations of Swim City but I’ve been there at least monthly since! Swim City is stocked with anything you might need for a day at the beach, your next boat outing, lounging around and most things in between. A highlight for me is that aside from their large selection of popular swimwear brands such as L*Space, Tory Burch, Trina Turk, Sea Folly and more, they carry a ton of men and women’s Vuori, an athleisure/loungewear brand that I’d been curious about that I hadn’t previously found in Sarasota! Another favorite brand of mine they carry is Hemlock, a hat company I love for myself and my kiddos!

I recently met the owner of Swim City and her amazing family. If I wasn’t already convinced to shop there before, meeting her and encountering her sweet spirit and genuine personality would have sealed the deal.

Who I am shopping for there: Myself, my kids, my husband, my besties

What I am buying them (or myself): Hemlock hats, Vuori board shorts, Patagonia rashguards, Sandcloud towels, cute beach zip pouches, clean sun protection, other accessories.

Modern Soul Boutique

Modern Soul is a great shop on one of the side streets off St. Armand’s Circle. I discovered it this year after meeting the sweet and beautiful owner, Holly. Her shop has the cutest clothes at a range of prices. I get compliments whenever I wear pieces from her store, and more importantly, I feel good when I wear them.

Modern Soul has a great selection of trendy pieces, closet staples and fun accessories. Their Instagram page features daily new arrivals and outfit inspiration.

Who I am shopping for there: Myself, my friends, the ladies in my family

What I am buying them (or myself): Wardrobe staples, comfy matching sets, witty t-shirts, fun accessories

Paint Nail Bar

PAINT Nail Bar aims to provide a luxurious and clean nail experience– and they succeed. I love going there for an indulgent and fume free mani/pedi.

I love gifting experiences and so a gift card to PAINT is always a good idea. I was excited to see that a second Sarasota location opened up earlier this year!

A PAINT highlight for me is that I discovered Dazzle Dry nail polishes there earlier this year and I am hooked. Dazzle Dry is regular nail polish (not gel) but it lasts forever. You can find mini kits at PAINT that would make a great stocking stuffer!

PAINT is owned by an awesome husband and wife team. PAINT was started when Michelle wanted to take her young daughter for a mother-daughter mani date and realized there wasn’t a fume free, less toxic option around. I deeply relate to her experience on this!


Marmalade (also a hair salon) is my go-to spot when I want to get someone a small gift and want to be inspired by a cute environment full of fun things. They have a lot of heart shaped items, always a favorite of mine. Their home accessories, jewelry, bags and clothes are all adorable. The hat pictured above made me chuckle. I didn’t buy it, but I should have!

I know there are so many more options but these are my go-tos.

Which small businesses are your favorite?

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