Between Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, it seems like our inboxes and mailboxes get bombarded this time of year, while each company fights for our attention and credit card information. But let’s face it — each of the mentioned days are wonderful opportunities to get some holiday shopping done well in advance, support local businesses, and be a part of the exciting consumer madness as a whole.
The beauty of Cyber Monday in particular is the obvious convenience. You can even grab your phone while still in bed and click through Cyber Monday deals that have arrived in your email overnight. And while you may be back at the office on that day, you can leisurely surf the web during your lunch break and make a few purchases. Or you can score some good deals from your laptop on your dining room table after dinner. So while you’re perusing cyberspace for savings, sweaters and shoes this Cyber Monday, we wanted to bring something else to your attention that is also just a click away.
We call it “Cyber (LOCAL) Monday” and we think you should participate.
There are dozens of local Omaha makers and crafters who solely exist online and do not have a brick-and-mortar storefront. While you’re receiving flashy ads from large corporations, remember to consider local online businesses as well while deciding where to spend your dollars this season and beyond. Their hard work and entrepreneurial spirits are worth celebrating and rewarding!
Some of our favorite Omaha online shops include:
The team behind Benson Soap Mill consists of two men, one a former chef born in Switzerland and the other a construction worker and bartender who spent many years in China. They source and recycle ingredients for their handmade soaps from local restaurants and other local organizations. Benson Soap Mill has a wide variety of small-batch soaps and can even create custom or event batches on orders over 30 bars. So whether you’re looking to grab a soap bar or two for a gift, or need a completely customized favor for a large holiday party or wedding, Benson Soap Mill has you covered — because you’re filthy (they said it, not us).
“Just like how all good things start, we started in a garage in Omaha, Nebraska with some tools dreaming up small projects for ourselves and making them happen on the weekends.” What a beautiful way to start. But Coffee Diem Dry Goods didn’t stop at the weekend hobby level. They instead propelled into a full-on small business that sells products including artisan trays, games, handheld bottle openers, knife racks, wall-mount bottle openers and wood coasters. Each handcrafted piece is unique in its own way, due to the nature of using wood as their main building material. The makers behind Coffee Diem Dry Goods aim to make home goods that center around the activities that they themselves enjoy, such as brewing beer, cooking, gardening, biking or enjoying the outdoors. We love their design style as well as the practicality of their beautiful pieces! NOTE: Coffee Diem offers free delivery to customers in the Omaha area — that’s you!
East Parlor provides modern weavings for today’s home. Because — did you hear? — weavings are no longer reserved for grandmas in rocking chairs. They have made quite an appearance in the crafting community as of late, and Sarah Parys of East Parlor makes Nebraska proud with her handiwork in that arena. Sarah makes unique book sculptures, cone trees, yarn hoops, woven wall hangings, and various other home decor goods — all of which would make beautiful gifts or a “gift” for your own home!
Elisabeth Percival started Elisabeth Space out of a desire to create using the stones, rocks and minerals she has loved since a child. Each piece of jewelry is undeniably unique and crafted with care by Elisabeth herself. She has earrings, necklaces and various kinds of rings available on her Etsy site, and is now an approved Etsy Wholesaler. We are particularly impressed with the reasonable prices for each piece of jewelry, and know they would make a wonderful gift for a mom, sister, friend or daughter.
It seems like the one gift you could always stock up on is baby accessories, as Facebook friends and acquaintances are constantly announcing pregnancies. There’s something special about a handmade baby gift, and Oliver & Lucy Designs delivers just that. Their unique patterns and high-quality stitching makes their pieces completely unique and long-lasting. They sell all the cozy things a new mom might need, from baby/toddler blankets to crib sheets. We beg you to take a look at the adorable patterns they use! We’re just glad they sell adult throw blankets as well.
Another remarkable Omaha weaver is Bee Marshall of Pineapple Phi. She calls her online shop the home of woven stunners, handmade wall hangings, ferocious fiber art and legendary prints. And we completely agree! Browse her colorful weavings and tapestries, and follow Pineapple Phi on Instagram to be in the know about special “Instasales”. That’s also a wonderful way to see up-to-date projects Bee is working on!
Emily Reinhardt is The Object Enthusiast who says she aims simply to put good work into the world. “My hope is that the products of my passions and my stories can become part of your future fond memories.” We hope they will too! You can shop The Object Enthusiast’s gorgeous ceramic works of art and if you enter the word LOCAL at checkout, your shipping is free! Emily will arrange to meet you at Caffeine Dreams to do the exchange.
Timbersmith | Woodworking/Furniture
Local furniture builder, Timbersmith, sells traditionally built danish modern designs. Not sure what that style looks like? Take a look at their beautiful and unique work, whether you are looking to sit, set or stow. Snag one of these well-built and functional pieces or order a one-of-a-kind custom built piece instead. You can specify all the details from the budget to the dimensions, and make sure you get exactly what you want for your space. The small team of joiners, furniture makers and craftsmen at Timbersmith will use traditional methods and time-tested joinery to make high quality furniture that will last decades.
There is something extra special about candles this time of year — the warmth, the fresh scent, the soft glow. The care and precision exerted in the candle-making process at Wax Buffalo means each candle is “beautifully imperfect.” They use American-made pure soy wax, high quality essential and fragrance oils, and unbleached cotton wicks, and each small batch is hand-poured in Lincoln, Nebraska. BONUS: The packaging and outward appearance of their candles make these attractive tabletop or shelf decorations as well.
Another local baby accessory maker we are fond of is Wee Vintage. Abby of Wee Vintage is a mother herself and understands first-hand the use of her adorable creations and the baby world as a whole. She urges her customers and followers to “enjoy the tiniest moments as they will be gone in a flash!” We completely agree. Abby’s vintage style and use of delicate materials make us want to order her pieces in bulk and gift to every soon-to-be mom on our list!
Help us out!
Did we miss a great local online business that should be on this list? Let us know and we’ll add it in.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Benson Soap Mill, Coffee Diem Dry Goods, East Parlor, Elisabeth Space, Oliver & Lucy Designs, Pineapple Phi, The Object Enthusiast, Timbersmith, Wax Buffalo and Wee Vintage Baby