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Shop Small and Save

When you shop small, you save money and neighbors. Imagine all the creative cozy shops filled with charm that struggle to make it. They are often put under by super stores that have everything under one roof. Frankly, I have avoided the malls of insanity, crowds, and lines because I do not find pushing through crowds enjoyable at all. A few years ago, I discovered the joy in shopping locally run small businesses. I thought for this blog, I would share some of my finds. I will be adding to it as I discover more, as well.

Seminole Heights: Last Saturday, we found a small pocket of Paradise in Seminole Heights, Tampa when we shopped Small Business Saturday. I even won a raffle at Cleanse Apothecary!!!

1. Cleanse Apothecary: With my love for essential oils, natural products, and gourmet soaps, I was in heaven. They have delightful gifts, cards, diffusers, lotions, and more. The folks there are amazingly kind, helpful, and working hard to have a stop filled with products you won't find at the big box stores. Here is the information: 6500 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33604.

website: You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. #cleanseapothecary #greatgifts

2. Urban Bungalow: This is right next to Cleanse Apothecary, and it is a fabulous find! This is where you will find unique household items that you won't find in a hardware, kitchen, or big box store. They have an eclectic mix of humor books, purses, gadgets, and gizmos. Their helpful personnel and whimsical personality make it an interesting find for a fun gift-search excursion. They are also at 6500 N. Florida Ave.,

website: They are on Facebook and Twitter.

3. Travel a little farther south, past Hillsborough Ave., and you will come upon a clean, clear of clutter antique/consignment store called Vintage Post Marketplace. If you need vintage anything, you will find it, and it will be clean and in good condition. The address is: 5206 N. Florida Ave.

Lutz/Land O' Lakes, FL: Not known for its shopping, there are some hidden gems. My favorite place (Eve's Garden) may have moved. I will be visiting in the next few days, so stay tuned to see if it's still here. They are not the same as they used to be. In the meantime, I found a bunch of great gifts for everyone at the little pro shop in Plantation Palms.

1. Plantation Palms Pro Shop: If you're in the market for sport polos or golf gifts, this little pro shop has a great selection. You can purchase golf lessons, gadgets, and garments at 23253 Plantation Palms BlvdLand O’ Lakes, FL 34639.

2. Do you have pieces of art or family photos needing framing? Do you have some digital art that you would like to print and frame? The Beck Gallery offers a local option to frame your work. They did a great job at a reasonable cost for me a few years ago when I brought art from New Orleans and needed frames. It is a great option to create a nice gift from your pictures or artwork. They are located at 1720 Land O Lakes Blvd, Lutz, Florida.

USF Area

1. MoJo Books and Records: "Books. Records. Coffee." This is Bernie's favorite place, and it has books, records, sheet music, and all sorts of other gifts. It is a fun place to be. Expect to spend some time there, but that's okay because they have a coffee shop. They can be found near the corner of Bruce B. Downs/30th and Fowler. 2540 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33612

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