Shop Local day is tomorrow!




Last week I realized, as most of us do, that I needed a custom made 3″ rubber stamp with a cleaver on it. Immediately.  Who among us hasn’t been in that situation?  So I did what you probably did when you realized you needed a 3″ rubber stamp with a cleaver on it.  I walked straight to my laptop to start shopping.  Actually, I was already at my laptop so what I did was, pull my chair in a little closer to my desk. It wasn’t so much a walk as a scooch.

I looked on the regular websites.  The old standards like  Amazon and  Etsy.  But both of those places said it would take 2-3 weeks before an order would even begin being processed.  Plus I had to pay for shipping.  I’m not sure what this stupid Internet thought I meant by “Immediately” when I thought it in my head, but  they were wayyyyy off.  By immediately I mean blink my eyes and there it is.  Not click on a button, wait 3 weeks, wait another 2 weeks, wait a few more days and then stand at the front door for the next 5 days waiting some more.  That’s not what I meant in my head when I thought “Immediately” at ALL.

Then the most interesting and implausible thought came to mind.  MAYBE.  Just MAYBE …. I.  Could. Buy. It. Locally.

I ran (scooched) back to my keyboard and typed in my city and “custom rubber stamps”.


Instant results.  I found Watson’s Engraving.  They were local, inexpensive and could do the job IMMEDIATELY.  As in, NOW.  My stamp was done in just over a day.  These people at Watsons Engraving clearly had a better idea of what was going on in my head than those Internet people.




I love my stamp.





It’s probably an unnatural love.





Right in my own town!





Which brings me to the point of all of this.  Tomorrow (Saturday) is Shop Local Day.  The day where you as shoppers are asked to support small businesses.  So if you have some Christmas presents to buy, some food to pick up, instead of heading to Etsy, the mall (ick) or the ginormous grocery store head to your own neighbourhood.  For me those local stores are Picones,  The Keeping Room or The Kitchen Witch. Maybe I’ll even get some cookies at The Village Bakery. Who knows.  For you … the stores will be something else.

And that’s what makes shopping local so great.  It’s different in every neighbourhood, you’ll find stuff that you’d never find at the mall or even in a store one town over.  Plus of course you’re supporting a person.  Not a conglomeration.  Your single purchase at the big box store doesn’t make any difference at all in terms of their bottom line.  But spending that $50 in the local store could mean their son gets to continue piano lessons.  Or join hockey.  Or maybe they’re gonna spend it on a bottle of wine, who knows. I’m fine with any of those scenarios.

Big box stores are a part of our life and I don’t see that changing any time soon.  I shop at them and you probably do too.  But I also make sure to shop locally in my town.  Sometimes I might forget about how much my town has to offer, but then something like the rubber stamp epiphany happens to remind me.

So I am here to remind you.  Shop. Locally. This. Saturday.

The satisfaction (for everyone involved) will be IMMEDIATE.


Have a good weekend.



  1. Mel says:

    Every year I challenge myself to buy more and more locally. It’s amazing the great finds in your own backyard. And I’m not just making the rich richer which makes me happy.

  2. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Love your personalized stamp. I’m a stamper and I don’t have a personalized stamp!!! I would had I won the Tiny Prints giveaway…just sayin’.

  3. Lisa says:

    I avoid the post-thanksgiving (US) shopping craziness and spend the long weekend cleaning my house and putting up the decorations. I used to do a lot of shopping online, but this year I just sourced all my gifts locally like Karen did.

    I’ll sneak out to the stores later on! I love the stamp too.

  4. Heather (mtl) says:

    As an admitted ‘Stampaholic’, I fell in love with your stamp right away. Gorgeous! For the best impression, I highly recommend VersaFine ink in Onyx Black. Not only does the ink pad stay juicy for years (speaking from experience here), but the oil based pigment gives the most divine impression on detailed stamps every single time. The Crimson is also the most delicious vintage Christmas red ever. They emboss beautifully, too.
    I’ve got my boxes of Christmas stamps out and am ready to make my cards this week. Fun on the way!

  5. Cred says:

    Love this! I live in a small farming community but with decent amenities. Because of the nearby water and proximity to toronto, it has booming summer businesses with crafty/artsy shops that can use the business in the colder months.
    I always shop my local grocers and rather than drive 1/2 hour to torture myself browsing in Walmart, I will shop at Stedmans in town (I will even order in anything that may not be stocked so that I can support them instead). But this time of year especially I love to buy what I can from the local shops- we have a nice, corner bookstore, several gift shops and even a stamp shop with custom engraving. I need a trademark so I can have a cool stamp like your cleaver.
    Then I rely on etsy to fulfill gifting needs that I can’t find locally. I love that you’ve featured local business and are promoting local shopping this season.

  6. Teresa Jennings Richardson says:

    My husband and I make it a practice to shop locally as much as we can. Our livelihood during our working years depended on people shopping as home so we feel we should to. I’ve tried to explain to my child that she might save a few dollars buying groceries at Walmart (we don’t have on in our little town) but does she save enough to offset the $20.00 worth of gas she burns or the two hours of her time traveling to get to Walmart and back home? Sure, if I have to go to the big city–like to see my heart specialist, then I will have a list of things I can do while I’m there, but not to make a special trip. I needed a new electric blanket the other day and started calling around town to find one. Several stores told me they didn’t have one, but Walmart did. I thanked them but told them I really preferred to spend my money at home if I could. We finally found a single electric blanket at a local home owned department store at the same price as the one at Walmart everyone wanted me to go get. Everyone was happy–but Walmart who missed a sale they never knew might have been in the offing. Keep your tax dollars at home where you benefit. Thanks for being a Locals supporter as well.

  7. Amber says:

    Hmm, local, local, I think I’ve heard of that. But you see, I’m 4 klicks from the nearest gas station. It’s a Mobil, does it count? And I think there’s a mall in the next state. New Hampshire? New York? something like that.

    I love Vermont. I really really do.

  8. sandra says:

    Love the stamp! My daughters and I invited cousins, grandma, aunts and friends to join us at our local paint studio to paint The Polar Express. After our masterpieces were complete we walked across the street and enjoyed lunch at a locally owned restaurant. Very satisfying to support local businesses and have fun at the same time.

  9. Kent Major says:

    Janet! (posts 18&19)
    You completely missed an opportunity to plug your new shop! If you don’t have a web site, at least let locals know who and where you are. You may have though that this isn’t the place for it but why not? I don’t think Karen will mind, she’s understanding…and cute. :D

    • Janet W says:

      Okay…. I’ll do it!!!

      I sell fabulous wool felt for sewing and crafting, available in an abundance of 112 glorious colors at

      Live and in person, if you find yourself in mid-Michigan, you’ll find my adorable shop at 28 S. Washington, Oxford, MI, less than an hour north of Detroit.

      You asked for it!
      : )

  10. LeeAnne says:

    KAREN! Thanks sooo much for the stamp story/lead!
    Having my own (very) small business, I, too, would LOVE a stamp with my logo on it. I’ll be contacting your source for my Taken For Granite stamp.
    Yay! No more “professional”(boring) business cards. A simple stamp on some cool paper will be my new and awesomely unique business “card”.
    Again, thanks so much for the idea.

  11. kari says:

    Yay for shopping Local!

  12. Sue says:

    [APPROVED!] (Whomp)

    That stamp earns a 1000% stamp of approval! It is just all full of awesome. Love it!

  13. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I totally agree with shopping locally..I also love your stamp..they did a great job..for some unknown reason I didn’t get this post until in Saturday..

  14. Carol Hogan says:

    I shopped locally yesterday. Was it so wrong?

  15. Ev Wilcox says:

    Really like your stamp. Very cool that you were able to get it so fast and so close! Our little township has a car dealership (just bought a 2015 Jeep Wrangler, my first and last new vehicle–love it)! We also have a post office, a pizza place, and a new Subway. Oh, and a gas station, which I do support often. So there is pretty much no “shop locally” here. But I would do so if I could! It’s important.

  16. Feral Turtle says:

    What an awesome stamp! Love it.

  17. Pam'a says:

    Yes, yes, yes. I only have one thing to add, and that’s to shop locally all year ’round, whenever you can. Tomorrow I’ll be out to put together a birthday dessert extravaganza for a dear friend. Local chocolate. Now. :)

  18. Janet W says:

    Oh….and that is a beautiful stamp. And I’ll bet that shop just LOVED making it for you.

  19. Janet W says:

    I’m so glad you posted this story, Karen.

    Tomorrow is my very first Shop Small Saturday. Cuz I have a barely four-week-old realio trulio brick and mortar shop!

    And I’m so excited for tomorrow that I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep tonight!

    Here’s to all the hard-working Small Shop Owners…. cuz now I’m part of their tribe : )

  20. AngieC says:

    I’m really going to be shopping local, we’re going to my home town for the weekend for a fund raiser and I’m shopping at one store owned by one of my BFFs and her husband and another owned by a cousin. Can’t get any more local than that!

  21. Grammy says:

    I shop locally whenever possible, even though I live in a pretty big city. A lot of people don’t realize you don’t have to live in a small town to have local merchants. I’m in a suburb about ten miles from downtown and, while we have the big box stores, there are plenty of small mom & pop stores that carry specialty items or, like the people who made your beautifully crafted rubber stamp with the cleaver on it (and, no, it’s not unnatural for you to love it), they are artisans or craftsmen who can do things well and immediately. I always figure even if I spend a little more to buy locally, it makes my world a better place to have those people in it, so it’s worth it.

  22. Linda Weber says:

    Not that Betty’s a diva. You know what I mean :)

  23. Linda Weber says:

    Oh, they are perfect for Betty. The only other colour there today was silver – equally diva ish ;)

  24. Linda Weber says:

    OMG what a day I just spent shopping local. The merchants were so wonderful. And some of them gift wrap for free. I came home with many beautiful items but the best item was a pair of red sequined slippers from Strawberry Fields which I shall wear Christmas day when I host 20 people for dinner Yes I will!! ( I never could have come across them at the mall!- nor could I ever imagined them in the 1st place!)

    • Karen says:

      My mom BETTY has those slippers, lol! I picked them up for her during the Cactus Festival at Strawberry Fields. I forget which colour … might be the red. ~ karen!

  25. Leslie says:


  26. Julie says:

    i live in the roncesvalles area of toronto and it’s so hard not to shop local! we have so many businesses here and everything is so lovely. it’s like having my own little dundas in toronto!

  27. Ella says:

    Awesome post! I love the stamp!!

  28. ellen says:

    All other things being equal I shop local. My gifts are hand made, thrifted or locally made – except Barbie. There is no substitute for Barbie. Maybe next year I will make up a lot of Barbie clothes.

    • Grammy says:

      Do it, Ellen! When my daughter had Barbies (she’s 43 now, so not lately) we couldn’t possibly afford to buy the outfits for her dolls that a lot of her friends seemed to have no trouble acquiring. So for Christmas, I made an entire wardrobe for Barbie, from designer jeans to sweaters of all kinds to cute summer togs to winter wear to the always necessary (in Barbie’s world) formal attire. It takes literally pennies to make the things because you just use the tiniest scraps of fabric and yarn to make them, from things you already have around.

      By the time you’re done, you’ll want to kill yourself because Barbie is very hard to sew for, being so small. You won’t be using a sewing machine. And just a tip from me: if you make her jeans, don’t be so stupid as to put a tiny pocket on that tiny ass and embroider your initial on it. You can do it, but like I said, by then you’ll want to die. It turned out that all my daughter’s friends wanted outfits like her Barbie’s, and they couldn’t get them at any price, so it was a big hit. And they still exist, tucked away somewhere safe, awaiting my grandson to grow up and give my daughter a granddaughter who will play with Barbie and her “vintage” clothes.

      • Ann Brookens says:

        My mom paid a neighbor to make Barbie clothes for me in the early 60s. I treasure them and they are packed away in her attic until my daughters ask for them.

      • Merrilee says:

        I can totally see that pocket and I believe it was worth it! If not for your daughter’s joy, then for mine at picturing that tiny initial.

  29. Tigersmom says:

    Love your stamp. Looks like the perfect wrapping paper for your gifts that don’t get the full diorama treatment is just a few cathartic Bam! Bam! Bams! of it away.

    I like how you had them do it so that each stamp looks like it is the fourth or fifth one in between inkings (and this is from someone who gets twitchy at the sight of faux distressing). It suits your logo and satisfies that OCD need you think you’ve been hiding to have things be uniform. Busted!

    I like the shop local idea a lot. Partly because I have one-of-a-kind things to sell myself and party because of the reasons you stated. The mall gives me hives. I only go when absolutely necessary and I take particular pride in being able to complete my Christmas shopping without entering one.

  30. Janet says:

    I was just at Picones yesterday – love that place. One of the best things about this area are all the independent shops and restaurants. I avoid malls at all costs! Love the stamp :)

  31. Elen Grey says:

    That stamp is a win, win, Win! It’d make a great watermark for your images, too! Just sayin’. I love Shop Local, and am planning to do a bit of that myself this weekend. Cheers!

  32. Heather says:

    I live in Milton (ON) and we’ve always shopped locally when we could. Milton used to be a wonderful small town until it became the fastest growing community in Canada for the last 5 or 6 (don’t quote me) years in a row. The town is unrecognizable now but during the summer Main St still closes for the Saturday farmers’ market so the newbies can get a feel of the downtown core. There are a still a few of my “go-to” stores in the downtown core that we try to support as much as possible.

    My favourite kind of shopping spree is going to small towns and shopping the one of a kind shops along the Main St. I actually have a Saturday girls’ day planned for Elora before Christmas. I really do need to get to the shops in Dundas, though. I am just afraid my wallet will be that much lighter when I hit those stores & I don’t need another single cooking gadget!

  33. Linda Weber says:

    I totally agree. I’m going there today starting with lunch at Taylors Tea Room. I live one town over but Dundas is the best with Elora being next best.

  34. Jody says:

    The shops you mentioned ARE the best. For your logo of the cleaver, who did the original art work. It’s very clever.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jody. I did the artwork. I took a photograph of an antique cleaver I own and then ran it through Photoshop and an illustration app a few times to get the image of the cleaver as you see it. ~ karen!

  35. Lyn says:

    They call it Small Business Saturday where I live, maybe it goes by different names depending where you live but it’s the same thing. Great idea, I don’t often shop local and I know I should but often the wallet is the determiner of where I shop, practicality over how I feel ethically. Like I wish I could be a vegan for ethical reasons but there is no way I could give up dead cow.

  36. Sarah says:

    Fantastic idea. I’m behind this all the way.

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