Growing up, I really never got into the “shop local” ideal. I never understood why go to some obscure store when I could get all I wanted at a big box chain. Then as I joined the working force, I’ve noticed that big box chains aren’t all it cracked out to be. Don’t get me wrong, I may have an affinity for Target, but there’s something extra special about mom & pop shops.
It’s always tempting to find something cheaper on Amazon, but local community shops have something that many chains & website don’t have: character. They are by far more welcoming. But the best part, they allow me to see & touch things that I normally would only see via a screen. Touching & playing with things makes me more likely want to buy them.
That being said, it’s not always easy finding a good mom & pop shop. For me, I usually go into stores because I thought, “This is a cute looking store.” Sure enough, this is the best way for me to find great local, community stores that I frequent. Here are a list of my favorites in Chicago:
Enjoy, An Urban General Store, 4723 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
One of my favorite stores to get friends gifts. A fun shop with unique gifts for everyone. Ladies, looking for a new wallet? They have a Chicago flag wallet that will get people asking.
Hazel, 1902 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
Fun store filled w/ stationary, toys, kitchen and trinkets. From Doctor Who, things everyone should have in their kitchens and amazing cards to send to friends, Hazel is a great store to pop in and leave with a bag full of goodies.
Book Cellar, 4736 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
The best independent book store in Chicago. Writers love this store too for they have ample of autographed copies. Anything they don’t have, they will order it for you. Add a coffee shop & bar, this is a great place to cuddle with a good book.
Gene’s Sausage Shop, 4750 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago, IL 60625
Lincoln Square’s local grocer, this place has everything you dreamed of. From their amazing meats to the fantastic alcohol selection, this place mixes fun and grocery shopping in one. Plus, their rooftop beer garden is a fun addition.
Uncle Dan’s Great Outdoor Store, 3551 N Southport Ave Chicago, IL 60657
This outdoors shop reminds me of when I was in Queenstown, NZ. Knowledgeable staff that is more concerned about helping you then selling.
Isle of Man, 3856 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
This is a man’s shop. Want to class up? This is where you go for shaving, ties, shirts and everything to better your man wardrobe.
Nadeau, 4433 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
My favorite furniture store in Chicago. If you see something you like, don’t think about it or come back later because it will be sold quickly. From bed frames, dressers, bookcases, tables and chairs, this is the place to get something unique and gorgeous to accent your place.
This post is sponsored by Make Your Money Matter, in association with PSCU, though all views expressed are my own.