Northwest Arkansas has some of the cutest, trendiest and hippest stores in the state, and that means more good things for all of us locals.
Shopping local not only helps support small town businesses, but it increases the odds that we actually see people face-to-face when buying something. Think about it. How many times do we click “buy” online and we’re off to the next thing? My guess is…a lot. Instead of returning something because it’s the wrong size, why not buy the right size the first time? Shopping local helps all of us, and what’s not to love about that?
No matter who you have in your life, this local shopping guide has you covered. Let’s start with the kids. Rollie Pollie is a fun and unique store nestled along the Bentonville square. Owners (and sisters) Selina Aguirre and Nubia Hutchinson find the neatest toys–those that just don’t seem to find their way into other stores. They line their shelves with things like kitty hair clips, ride-on toys, and several mom-invented items like Loria Oliver’s The Tot Tote. The Tot Tote is a 3-in-1 backseat organizer that turns into a backpack. A mom with an idea is a powerful thing–it’s no wonder Loria was just featured on the Harry Connick Jr. show with her invention!
Dilly Dally’s Toy Store in Rogers sells a cordless karaoke mic that connects via Bluetooth and allows you to sing along to your own music, or by using a karaoke app. Personally, I think this gadget is good for both kids and adults. Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned karaoke party?
They also sell Chunkies, which are tempura paint sticks that color like crayons. There’s absolutely no mess, and you can feel good about saying yes to your kids the next time they ask you if they can paint. We always have a box of these on hand in our house to keep little hands busy and out of trouble.
Oh Baby Boutique on Walton Boulevard has some of the cutest outfits for your little one. This would be a great place to pick up a new diaper bag, baby gear, or some unique baby gifts. Another fun place to get gifts for women and kids is at Belle Boutique. They carry trendy accessories, like boots and ball caps, to more local wear, like “game day” attire you can get for the Razorback fan in your family.
One of my personal favorites is the gift shop at the Amazeum. If you’re a member, you get an additional 10% off your entire purchase in the store, and I can’t seem to leave that place without buying even the littlest thing. Their store is packed full with kid-friendly inventory and brain-building toys that give kids the opportunity to think outside the box. My daughter’s favorite part of the store is their candy selection: “They have really good candy and chocolate,” she says, “it’s so delicious.”
Milk & Sugar Bath Bakery specializes in small batch artisan soap and is made by owner Leigh Waycaster. “I’ve always been a lover of bath and body products,” says Leigh, “so I wanted to make something beautiful and delicious looking.” Leigh has tons of different scents, but she makes a special one right around the holidays called ‘Home for Christmas,’ which includes a blend of mulled cider, cinnamon and orange peel.
For the Razorback fan, Leigh makes a Razor’bacon soap shaped like a Razorback that smells like bacon. She uses hickory smoked bacon with maple sugar, melted butter and vanilla extract to make this one-of-a-kind bath product. Leigh also makes bath bombs, whipped cream body lotions, and pumpkin spice latte soaps with straws sticking out of them to resemble the real ones we all love. You can find her goods online or at Blush Beauty Bar in Fayetteville.
For the professional, Desselle Leather and Design is a husband and wife team who run a leather and embroidery shop right out of their home. Gerrod and Tanya Desselle of Bentonville make everything from cigar holders to briefcases. They started the business in 2010 after having a hard time finding an iPad case. “We decided to start making them,” says Tanya. They also monogram everything you can think of–but a popular item for them is cups. Everybody likes those stainless steel cups they can tote from one place to another, and Tanya can personalize yours with any design, logo, and/or initials you want.
For the Foodies and Cooks
For the cook in your family, quite a few suggestions rolled in about the best place to buy all things cooking. Euna Mae’s in Springdale is owned by Amy Hannon, who is also the host of “Cooking Today.” Her shop features kitchen gadgets and home goods. If you love cooking yummy things, you’ll love eating them, too. Fork & Crust Pie Company in Rogers garners all the raves with their pie milk shakes. “Take any piece of pie and put it in a shake,” says local Sarah Beahm. “You really can’t go wrong with anything. Raspberry chiffon is my favorite, along with chocolate cream. Their fudge bars are delicious, and they also have whiskey bacon pecan pie.” Sounds like a great place to pick up a gift card for that person in your family who has a sweet tooth, or, better yet, take a friend or a loved one out and try Fork & Crust Pie Company together. Their second location will be located on the Bentonville Square, and will be open just in time for the holidays.
Honeycomb Kitchen Shop in Rogers is a great place to find a cookbook, as well as sign up for a cooking class. This would be a great gift to give your spouse, or even your parents, if they’re looking for something new to try together. If you want to buy something written by a local, sold by locals, check out chef Erin Rowe’s new cookbook, “An Ozark Culinary History: Northwest Arkansas Traditions from Corn Dodgers to Squirrel Meatloaf.”
What kind of holiday article would this be without including the store with local in its name? Hello Local puts together gift boxes for you, as well as carrying other locally made items. They curate boxes with handmade goods like chocolate bars from Kyya Chocolate out of Springdale.
For the Adventurous Type
Tanya just started another business called SUP NWA, which stands for Stand Up Paddleboarding. It’s the newest fitness craze, and one that’s sure to be a hit with everyone. Getting your friend (or yourself!) a gift card to try out a 30-minute session would be the perfect way to beat the wintertime blues by falling (or not falling!) into the water.
For the Person Who Loves Clothing
For the person who loves clothes and all things trendy, Elysian Boutique in Bentonville carries women’s clothing and accessories. “They also have their own label of tees and tanks called ‘Written,’ which has a mixture of Christian tees and tees with fun sayings,” says local shopper Caitlin Mahoney. “The staff is so genuine, and takes an interest in finding what’s best for your body.”
Another clothing store in town, The Perfect Choice, is a favorite for Jessica Deaton, who says they are always bringing in new things. “At Christmas they have unique ornaments,” she says. “And they offer free gift wrap.” You can find things like boots, hobo bags, and baby gifts in this boutique-style store.
For the Sports Lovers
Bleachers down on the Bentonville Square is a great place to find tons of sports stuff. They carry everything from clothing, to hats and memorabilia. Of course, they carry Arkansas sports, but I love the fact that they carry other sports teams as well (Go Red Sox!)
Grab this list, a warm cup of coffee (from local coffee shops like Onyx or Kennedy Coffee) and hit the town for all of your holiday shopping this year.
The holidays are Meagan Ruffing’s favorite time of the year. To add to this year’s local buying list and share your favorite spot to shop, leave her a post on her Facebook page at writermeaganruffing.
Amazeum/ 479-696-9280/ www.amazeum.org
Belle Boutique/ 479-876-8085/ www.shopbelleboutique.com
Bleachers / 479-250-0296
Desselle Leather and Design / 479-426-2238/ www.desselleleather.com
Dilly Dally’s Toy Store / 479-273-5557 / www.dillydallys.com
Elysian Boutique / 479-464-9261 / www.shopelysian.com
Euna Mae’s / 479-419-9690 / www.shopeunamaes.com
Fork and Crust Pie Company / 479-268-6634 / www.forkandcrust.com
Hello Local / www.shophellolocal.com
Honeycomb Kitchen Shop/ 479-340-1022 / www.honeycombkitchenshop.com
Kennedy Coffee Roasting Company / 479-464-9015 / www.kennedycoffee.com
Kyya Chocolate / 844-281-4470 / www.kyyachocolate.com
Milk & Sugar Bath Bakery / firstname.lastname@example.org, / www.milksugarbathbakery.com
Oh Baby Boutique / 479-254-2911 / www.ohbabynwa.com
Onyx Coffee Lab / 479-715-6492 / www.onyxcoffeelab.com
Rollie Pollie / 479-866-9057
SUP NWA / 479-426-3793 / www.supnwa.com
The Perfect Choice / 479-273-2073