Thanks for shifting this Holiday season!

High fives, big hugs and cheers to all of you who shifted you’re spending this holiday season!  We received some great comments about how people in Arizona shifted this year and want to share them with everyone.  Below are some ideas to get your spending shifted to locally owned businesses, any time of year.  

And congrats to the winners of our contest!  We gave away a Brother a Brother MFC 7340 printer donated by Excell Direct, a framed Black & White print from John Kitts Photography, Peppermint Candy Chenille Wreath from Kooky Krafts Shop, a 1.5 liter bottle of J. Davies Cabernet donated by Penny Pinchers and 4 signed first edition books from the Poisoned Pen Bookstore.  Stay tuned to our weekly newsletter for more contests celebrating the Shift Arizona campaign!

How Arizonans Shifted:

We have been embracing local businesses.  We buy gift certificates to local restaurants to give as gifts, as well as giving locally made products as gifts.  There are also a lot of great stores which offer gift certificates and we give those out too.  For instance, we give Smelly Dog certificates to my parents who get their dog groomed there.  It's a great way to help out local business as well as feel like your Holiday Shopping is special!  -Susan, Laveen

One thing I did this year and last year to keep holiday spending local was to patronize a local jewelry store, Michael's Creative Jewelry in Ahwatukee, for my "big" gift.  This year, I took in 3 diamond rings -- two were my late mother's and one was my late sister's -- to be redesigned into a custom pendant and earrings. I worked with a lovely man named Eric Shelton, who helped me design the perfect pieces. He ended up using exactly the same number of diamonds as were in the rings; no more, no less. Now I can remember my mom and my sister every time I wear the jewelry, and I also will always be thankful to Eric for making the experience personal and special.  I also had a custom pendant made last year at Michael's to match a set of earrings I bought there, so I knew they did great work and that I could trust them with my heirlooms.  I'm also going shopping tomorrow and Friday to several local places for gifts for friends. The Purple Skirt in Ahwatukee has cute accessories, downtown Chandler's Xico gallery has one-of-a-kind items, and all of the local, independent restaurants sell gift certificates. These are all possibilities for me for gift-giving.  I admit, I don't always shop local -- sometimes the big-box stores have a good selection and prices on your everyday items. But when I am looking for something unique and meaningful, I seek out my neighborhood shopkeepers.  -Geri

My husband is one of those unlucky people to have been born around Christmas (Dec. 27th) and he's always saying how, when he was little, he got totally gypped on birthday presents.  So I always try to make his birthday a special occasion, separate from Christmas.  I also almost always wait till the last minute to buy gifts, so I don't just have to come up with one great gift idea for him, but two.  But this year, local businesses have everything I need.  We are both big David Sedaris fans, so for Christmas, my hubby will be getting a signed copy of his new book (purchased and signed at Changing Hands) and two days later, while at dinner at L'Amore Italian Restaurant (no chains for us!), he'll be getting two tickets to see David Sedaris in April at Gammage (thanks to Scottsdale Center for the Arts).  I'm hoping he takes his creative and savvy local shopper wife!   -Jill

I started off shifting my holiday spending on Third Fridays, November 19th by going to Stupid Cupid on 7th Ave & Camelback and buying nearly everything we need for the moms I have to shop for, as well as some amazing candles to add to the rest! Looking forward to more shifting this Friday when we travel to Page Springs Winery to sign up as wine club members & pick out excellent wines for the dads' gifts! Hoping to stop by the Poor Little Rich Girl-Arcadia at 8am before we head out to get a shwag bag! And, finally...I can't wait for the 12/15 Phoestivus @ Phx Public Market!  -Stacy

I started my holiday shopping a few weeks ago and had decided early on that I would make it a challenge to only shop at local, vintage, independent or thrift stores (you can even check my twitter!).  I regularly shop at thrift stores for clothes & home goods and have so much fun finding one of a kind things for me & my boyfriend.  I love the thrill of finding unique stores, great finds & awesome prices! Shopping locally, for me, this holiday season makes the typical torture of long lines & after purchase guilt a thing of the past. Why spend hundreds at department stores on things that everyone else is going to have? I'm looking forward to getting my friends & family things that are unique AND at the same time show support for the AZ community.  I started my holiday shopping at stinkweeds-spending just around $60 and getting gifts for four different people on my list! And the girl who worked there was super helpful & had some fabulous recommendations for a hard to please friend. I think there's a common trend among the thought of shopping locally-"where do I go?  It's so much more expensive!"  That's not the case at all for me.  The exact opposite.  If you're buying gifts this holiday season... you're spending money.  So why not find better gifts & support local business? I shifted the way I shop..because it just makes sense.  –Sarah

While we normally buy our produce at the downtown market every weekend, this year we went all in and got our turkey from One Windmill Farm instead of Costco. We're excited to try it out tomorrow!  -Owen

Turkeys and shopping at AJ's - which is a FIRST for us.   Grandkids in town visiting and decided to stay here instead of heading to San Diego and Sea World.   Checking out the wildlife zoo, aquarium and other activities in town.  -Kathy & Bob

I hiked the Grand Canyon last week and bought all my gifts there for my out of town nieces and nephews.  Not only did I get to shop local in AZ but I get to share a little bit of our state out of state:)  For my in town shopping I bought at Practical Art (which I found at the Fall Festival) and am continuing to frequent local restaurants (Local First at that) when dining out.  –Kathleen

We are changing our spending to support local stores such as Hoodlums, Changing Hands and other Indie places.  Buying local produce at Maya's Farm and the Tempe Local Market.  We also frequent the Festival of the Arts to buy from local artists for Christmas gifts. We don't shop malls or large chains as Walmart unless it’s a necessity we cannot avoid.  -Teresa

First, I'm supporting a local AZ photographer, by giving my parents a gift certificate to a local AZ photographer instead of the mall/Sears photographer we've done in the past.  Secondly, I'm supporting Bashas', since they're a local grocer for all my holiday grocery shopping.  Third, I'm trying to buy as many gifts as possible from local boutiques and stores for my gifts to help boost the local economy!   I'll get pampered at my locally owned salon.  I will take my family to see the Zoo Lights.  –Heather

Our family is shifting by only purchasing from locally owned businesses and not buying online!  -  Terry Ann, Phoenix

My holiday shopping came to a screeching halt about half-way through my list this year. I found myself searching online and walking around big box stores unable to find anything that I wanted to buy.  A colleague shared with me that she had done most of her shopping locally this year and rattled off a few stores that she frequented. I then visited those stores, as well as a few others and quickly completed my shopping. I couldn’t believe all of the unique gifts and amazing customer service and was disappointed that I hadn’t done this sooner!  In 2011, I am resolving to shop locally for all occasions.  -Michelle, Phoenix

I am staying local by shopping farmers markets and owner/boutiques rather than chain supermarkets and large dept stores.  - Joanne

Just finished my shopping last night. Got the calculator out and I am proud to say I spent  82.899% of my money in AZ. Thanks to Revolver, AJ’s, Melrose Pharmacy, Metro Retro, The Garage, The Heard, Maize’s, and of course..the Duck!  -Tod

Noble Beast - tuna flakes for two "tuna flake-eating" monsters; Cowtown - skate board for grandson, long board for granddaughter; Two Daughters One Dad - wonderful horseradishes for family, friends, me; Bewilderknits - hand-knitted scarves and hats for family members; Holistic Earth Remedies - muscle mist for friends and family; Pickled Perfection - pickled asparagus for dinner; Creative Expression of Nature's Connection - Merlin rock; Sole Sports - running shoes for grandson.  -Saundra 

My shift to going local started a few years back when I met Kimber Lanning at a Car Care Clinic presented by one of our sustaining members, Community Tire and Automotive Service Specialists. Kimber presented the message of how our shopping habits impact and benefit the local economy and all of us as consumers and residents. I was sold!  Since that time, I began to shift my spending to locally owned businesses with purpose. I had always preferred going to locally-owned 'mom-and-pop' shops, especially restaurants, because they always seemed to deliver customer service as if they had something personal invested in it. In fact, they did have something very important invested: their livelihood.  Over the past year, especially, I have shifted every dollar I can to locally owned businesses. The only time I shop at a local chain is to purchase things that I cannot find at a locally owned vendor.  For example, rather than shift 10% of my spending to Bashas’, Food City & AJ's, I chose to drive an extra 2-3 miles to get my goodies and give only 10-20% of my grocery shopping dollars to the nearby Safeway for fill-in items or things that I cannot find at my locally-owned grocer. Any time I dine out, I always have 2-3 locally-owned suggestions to offer my party; and I remind them the impact that shopping local has for us as a community and invite them to share their local favorites.  Even my household and business services are handled by contractors I know to be reputable and locally-owned from automotive service to plumbing. Save clothing purchases, I can almost always find a fair value on comparable goods and services from a valued local provider; so I drive everybody (consumers and business owners alike) I meet to the Website at one time or another in our relationship.  –Scott

By shopping in locally owned businesses, I know that the money I spend will remain closer to our AZ heart by supporting the small businesses. It is a win-win, I purchase a great item and I support a great business! At any time, when I can I will shop local first.  -Annette

We've shifted our spending this year in Tucson by doing several different actions... we bought local gift certificates like this one Jewish thrift store here in Tucson (1st Rate 2nd Hand) that has many great finds. We've also been cognizant of what restaurants we choose to dine at, choosing the local family-owned Mexican restaurants (like Molina's Midway) for example instead of Chili's or someone else. And we go to the Farmer's Markets to select fresh veggies or homemade tamales. It's truly enjoying and interesting to talk to these local business owners and find out how they got started and what makes them tick.  Thank you!  -Heather, Tucson