Somerville is absolutely bursting with artists, craftspeople and small businesses, but because many don’t have their own storefronts, it’s not always easy to buy from them. Somerville Local First is changing all of that with its Local is for Lovers holiday market this Sunday at Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Ave.).
“We wanted to promote local merchants and the local economy in a really family-friendly way,” said Kat Rutkin, executive director of Somerville Local First. The market will “draw attention to local craftspeople. It will help people understand what we do and let businesses get to know us better. And let us give back to local businesses.”
With the average person spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $700 each year on holiday gifts, Somerville Local First is working hard to ensure that at least some of that money stays in our community. If everyone spent just a portion of that total in Somerville, the city’s businesses would take in millions of dollars during the holiday season, Rutkin said. It’s all part of the Shift Your Shopping campaign that started here in 2009 and has now gone national.
“It’s a way to easily shift your shopping,” Rutkin said of the holiday market. “It’s about people who care about the community and help it grow.”
The market itself will feature a host of local vendors, from Union Press (posters pictured below) and Spindler Confections to handmade herbal skin and body products and jewelry, handmade paper, woodblock art and more.
As any parent knows, it can be difficult to get holiday shopping done with children in tow, so Somerville Local First is providing live entertainment from Somerville High’s pop-punk band Stainless as well as kids’ activities from Knucklebones and Herbstalk. The market will also have a photo booth with props so attendees can take fun snapshots.
A big focus of the holiday market is giving back to the community, so Somerville Local First is partnering with Somerville Stock Exchange to donate to local nonprofits through certificates available at the market.
“It’s important to me that we have a very well-rounded market and give back to the community at the same time,” Rutkin said. “It’s really great to be a part of this community. It’s a really exciting experience.”
While the Armory has a limited amount of space, there are still some vendor spots available until November 30. You can find more information here about hosting a table at the event.
Somerville Local First Holiday Market
Sunday, December 2, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Ave.)