Happy holidays/snowless Virginia Winter-time from CINIVA! It’s a really really odd time of year in VA – cold then warm then freezing again. The leaves have fallen, but some are still clinging to the trees. Not a snowflake to be found. The stark lack of movie-like glittering ground makes a Virginia holiday season strange and uniquely Southern. We only get to imagine all of the silver bells, the soft silence of a blanket of white, and the over-the-top high-rises dripping in string-lights. HOWEVER: we’re imaginative folk ‘round here; And we can’t let the colder states have ALL of the fun!
So, this year, we won’t be getting pumped up about the season by throwing snowballs at our neighbors and children, or by sipping hot cider with noses pressed against frosted windows; Well, I’m certainly not. I do not foresee much of the powdered stuff visiting us. And I’m not visiting family in Canada or something. Instead, I’m getting OTHER people psyched (ok, and getting myself psyched) about the holidays by visiting and patronizing local businesses (the CINIVA designers and writers are all nodding their heads). Local entrepreneurs LOVE it when they can connect to a supportive audience. And yes, I am personally always super jazzed to kick off shopping holidays by buying gifts from independent artists and local entrepreneurs. I really can’t stomach the idea of spending what little money I’ve made this year at huge big-box stores or international chains (Walmart, Target, H&M, etc.), where my money straight up books it out of the USA and.or into the hands of some overly posh one-percenter. I can’t tell you how great it is to interact with store owners like Kelsie McNair of With Lavender and Lace Vintage (which just opened in Norfolk on West 21st Street). She makes holiday shopping SO joyful, and I know that I’m getting fantastic products, supporting a local entrepreneur, and stimulating the local economy!
If you want to shop local but aren’t sure where exactly you should go, check out these awesome businesses:
With Lavender and Lace Vintage – A wide variety of women’s and men’s vintage at GREAT prices. Glittering cardigans, fancy vests, comfy sweaters. Cozy, crafty, and awesome. 931A W. 21st St., Norfolk
Five Points Community Farm Market – All local, all of the time. Step one: Pick up a couple bottles of Virginia wine, Step two: check out/buy LOTS of art by artists from the 757, Step 3: Grab apples, arugula, and a bunch of curly kale while you’re there. Step 4: Make yourself a big ol’ hippie salad. Church and 26th Street, Norfolk
The Space Above Yoga & Massage Studio – Offers a range of yoga classes and massage options. The owners and teachers are incredibly approachable, friendly, and genuinely excited about doing what they do. They LOVE to talk yoga, Ayurveda, and massage. Buy a gift-pack of classes or a series of massages for your girlfriend or mom or sister or… yourself! 202 W. 22nd Street, Norfolk
Virginia Espresso – Offers tons of awesome coffee flavorings – great as stocking stuffers – and a range of espresso and teapots. And such a sweet staff! 1914 Granby St., Norfolk
Getting gift cards to localvore restaurants, also a rad idea:
Pasha Mezze – Mediterranean & Anatolian Cuisine w/ American & Euro inlfuences, Local @ 350 W. 22nd St. Norfolk
Eurasia Café – Regional American: Seasonal. Great wine. Warm, modern atmosphere. Gluten Free options. @ 960 Laskin Rd, Virginia Beach
Baladi Mediterranean Café – Organic, local, cozy Mediterranean food. Very affordable, and the ONLY vegan friendly restaurant in Virginia Beach @ 640 Hilltop West Shopping Ctr, Virginia Beach
Café Stella – Fresh roasted coffee house-made baked goods, granolas, and plenty of vegan options for their unique lattes (soy AND almond milk)! @ 1907 Colonial Ave, Norfolk
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