10 Ways to Support Alexandria Small Businesses This Holiday Season 2022

This holiday season, show your love for Alexandria’s locally owned businesses. There are myriad ways to enjoy seasonal delights, check items off your holiday shopping list and show support for our city’s independent businesses, both now and in the weeks to come. Keep reading for inspiration.

1. Shop Small to Show Your Love

Pictured: Old Town Books; Image Credit: Nicole Blair

 

As the region’s shop small headquarters, Alexandria’s impressive collection of boutiques offer smile-inducing gifts and personal service you won’t find just anywhere. Visit The BEST Gift Shop, which promotes and supports artisans with disabilities from all over the United States with products such as scarves, cards, paintings and other unique items. Pick up a relaxing read at Old Town Books, browse running shoes and activewear at Pacers Running and buy something sparkly for a loved one from Today’s Cargo’s jewelry collection. Treat yourself to a self-care spree at Bellacara, peruse home goods from Boxwood and Red Barn Mercantile and don’t forget your four-legged friends when you drop by Barkhaus. 

2. Mark Your Calendar for Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday 

Pictured: Turkish Coffee Lady at Small Business Saturday; Image Credit: Albert Ting for Visit Alexandria

 

Get ready to partake in Alexandria’s biggest shopping days of the season on November 25 and 26, 2022. Kicking off the day after Thanksgiving, take advantage of discounts and other special offerings on Plaid Friday: Alexandria’s Small Business Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday, complete with pop-ups and activations to enjoy while supporting local businesses and boutiques. 

3. Buy from BIPOC-Owned Businesses 

Pictured: El Pulgarcito; Image Credit: Matt Smith for Visit Alexandria

 

Deepen your impact when you make a point to spend at minority-owned businesses. Support Black-owned businesses during Buy Black Friday in November and beyond when you gather loved ones for a bottomless family-style brunch at Hen Quarter, break a sweat with Foundation Fitness in Del Ray and pick up gift-worthy page-turners by and about people of African descent at  Harambee Books & Artworks. Continue to explore the city’s Hispanic, Latina and Latino-owned businesses in neighborhoods like Arlandria where you can enjoy pupusas and horchata at El Pulgarcito or savor Peruvian specialties from Huascarán and more. Support Alexandria’s  Asian-American and Pacific Islander business community when you roll up your sleeves at AR Workshop, browse  Kyo Gallery  and sample craft cocktails at The King’s Ransom. Then, check out striking and intricately designed jewelry and artwork by Native artists at Intertribal Creatives.

4. Pick Something Up for the History Buff

Pictured: Manumission Tour Company; Image Credit: Chris Cruz for Visit Alexandria

 

Our history-rich city has you covered with gifts available at historic sites and museums like Carlyle House and the museums of the Office of Historic Alexandria, plus Black history and culture-themed merch from Manumission Tour Company and much more. Give the gift of experiences  beyond the historical, including ways to roll up your sleeves with art projects, get an endorphin boost on two wheels and more. 

5. Share Your City Pride with Alexandria-Themed Gifts 

 

Peruse Alexandria-themed home décor, fashion, flavors and more from local favorites. Head to the Alexandria Visitor Center for city-themed gifts including Bashford & Pitt’s historical candles. Visit Made in ALX on Montgomery Street for hand-crafted, thoughtful items from more than three-dozen Alexandria-based creators and bring Alexandria’s rowhouses home with you with streetscape ornaments from The Old Town Shop.

6. Support Your Favorite Local Restaurants 

Pictured: Van Dorn Diner; Image Credit: Matt Smith for Visit Alexandria

 

Savor takeout from your favorite Alexandria restaurants to create a cozy vibe on a cold winter’s night or outsource cooking duties for a low-stress holiday. Find delightful diner fare from Van Dorn Diner, Mediterranean-American fusion at Old Town Deli, all-day breakfast bites and drinks at Matt & Tony’s  and soup dumplings and hand-pulled noodles from Kungfu Kitchen. In the mood to dine out? Snuggle up by the heat lamps outside Augie’s Mussel House to savor a variety of seafood dishes, or do surf-and-turf in 1799 Prime Steak & Seafood’s private courtyard or dining room. Give the gift of good eating with gift cards to your favorite restaurants. 

7. Snag Sustainable Finds 

Pictured: Cualtzin Salon; Image Credit: Misha Enriquez for Visit Alexandria

 

From hand-crafted candles to charming home décor, Alexandria’s boutique scene is booming with fair trade and sustainable products. Find everything from calming scented salt soaks to hand-crafted children’s toys at Mason & Greens, the D.C. area’s first zero-waste grocery and sustainable dry goods store, plus plant-based hair and beauty products from Cualtzin Salon. Peruse fair-trade goods at Ten Thousand Villages or Intertribal Creatives and buy secondhand at some of Alexandria’s high-end consignment shops such as Vida Style, EC Home Collections, Encore Consignment Boutique and Twist Boutique.

8. Enjoy a Sweet Pick-Me-Up 

Pictured: Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream; Image Credit: Misha Enriquez for Visit Alexandria

 

Stave off any wintery blues with treats from Alexandria’s many sweets spots, with fresh-baked treats from Lavender Moon, frozen delights from Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats or a few scoops from Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream. Or pick up a show-stopping centerpiece for your festive celebration such as a gelato cake (plus cookie sandwiches for Santa) from Casa Rosada. 

9. Raise a Glass of Local Beer, Cider or Mocktails 

Pictured: Aslin Beer Company; Image Credit: Misha Enriquez for Visit Alexandria

 

Say “cheers!” with a locally crafted drink from Northern Virginia’s first urban cidery, Lost Boy Cider, or award-winning breweries Port City Brewing Company and Aslin Beer Company. Visit the tasting rooms in person, serve seasonal offerings alongside holiday meals or gift a taste of Alexandria to loved ones. For those who wish to stay dry but sip something unique, check out Umbrella Dry Drinks’ bottle shop and tasting room in Old Town. 

10. Celebrate the Season with Local Arts Organizations 

Pictured: The Little Theatre of Alexandria; Image Credit: Misha Enriquez for Visit Alexandria

 

Get ready to give a standing ovation when you see a live show and support the city’s performing arts groups. Catch the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in concert with performances in November and December and attend the Little Theatre of Alexandria’s heartwarming annual adaptation of “Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol.” Then, dive into Alexandria’s visual arts scene (and snag a one-of-a-kind gift) by visiting Kyo Gallery, Galactic Panther Art Gallery, Del Ray Artisans and the Torpedo Factory Art Center.

 

Get inspired by more shops and restaurants to enjoy as you support your local businesses.

 

Header Image Credit: Chris Cruz for Visit Alexandria

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