It’s the holiday season now, and that means shopping for loved ones.
While big purchases are easier, checking out small businesses can reward you with something truly unique. Rather, it could be someone who wants to see what little shops are available in the community. We’ve got a list of local shops in Griswold, Killingly, Norwich and Plainfield to consider, from used books to street fashion, from home decor to gift shops.
Here are eight local stores and trade shows to help you find something nearby. Making sure you do all your shopping on time is still your responsibility.
Haunted Jewelry – Plainfield
Located at 131 Norwich Road in Plainfield, Enchanted Jewelry is a jewelry store in an old house, the owner of which, Jill Keith, says is meant to give customers a more relaxed environment. The store sells standard bracelets, earrings and other jewelry, a private brand of engagement rings, and watch services as well. Prices range from $10 for silver toe rings and bracelets, to items in excess of $2,000. This includes hundreds of items in the $100 range.
In addition, the store will give an additional gift for purchases of $300 or more until December 3.
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Two years into the pandemic, more people are still shopping local, Keith said, and despite the challenge of the pandemic, Enchanted Jewelry was able to stay open.
“With every purchase, they’re really helping companies stay in business,” he said of the customers. “Many businesses did not survive the challenges of the shutdown.”
The jewelry store hadn’t been open on Saturdays for the past two years due to staffing issues, so Keith said she’s excited to be open for Small Business Saturday.
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CH2 Collectibles – Griswold
Whether you’re looking for pop vinyl records and figures, trading cards and sports memorabilia, CH2 Collectibles at Slater Mall in Griswold has the variety you’re looking for. Price points include over a thousand comics for a dollar. Some of the business cards are as cheap as a nickel and go up from there. On the high end, there’s a Star Wars Mandalorian helmet for $150 and an original Pokemon TCG Fossil pack for $250.
Co-owner Chris Hebert said there are plenty of deals for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, including discounts on comics and records.
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“It’s our make or break time of year,” he said.
Hebert said the importance of buying local means you’re not buying from a corporation, but supporting a family operation.
“With the economy looking a little weirder than it has in the past, now is an important time to look for a small business to buy a few things,” he said. “It’s going to be harder for companies like me where it’s all about disposable income.”
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ARTICLES – Danielson
This gallery and gift shop at 38 Wescott Road in Danielson features consignments from other artists and artisans. This can range from paintings and ceramics to sculptures in wood and metal. There are also small items like soap, candles, books, textiles, and more. The art features varieties of landscapes, animals, and local settings. Prices range from a few dollars for an ornament to $1,500 for one of the paintings.
Local businesses depend on local customers, owner Lynn Herklots said, adding that she has a community of loyal customers.
“I’ve been here nine years and they come every year, especially at Christmas,” he said. “You have to shop local, you have to support local artists.”
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GNACC Christmas Bazaar – Norwich
To mark Small Business Saturday, the Greater Norwich Chamber of Commerce is holding its annual Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, November 26 from 9am to 2pm at the Norwich Holiday Inn at 10 Laura Boulevard. The free admission event features over 70 local artisans and artisans. In addition to shopping, there will be complimentary hot chocolate and photos with Santa Claus.
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For this year, there has already been a lot of Christmas shopping activity, as the business switched to its Christmas line two weeks ago, Brunet said.
Spills and Passages – Danielson
Also located on Main Street in Danielson, where the Trink-et Shoppe once stood, Pourings and Passages is a non-profit used bookstore that benefits St. James School, a Catholic PK-8 school. The shop stocks many books, movies and a variety of music and handmade jewelry and gifts. Books, checked for condition, generally cost between $0.50 and $5.00. New books by local authors will cost list price. CDs are $1 and DVDs are $2.
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Owner Jim Weigel said he wants to make the place feel friendly, bright and colorful instead of dark and dreary.
For small businesses on Saturday, there will be a book signing by Patricia Langer, reading her book “The Ordinary Miracle of a Purple Balloon.” Although it is a picture book, Weigel says it is a story for the ages.
Main Outlet – Norwich
In the heart of Norwich is a small shop called Main Plug. It’s hard to miss as it’s square in the middle of the roundabout and has emojis on the outside. The store itself features streetwear from brands like Anti-Social Social Club, Billionaire Boys Club, and A Bathing Ape, along with a selection of Nike sneakers and other unique items. The store is open on Black Friday, but is otherwise open by appointment only, by contacting the store via Instagram.
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Brunet Hogar Design, Decoration and Gifts – Danielson
A sister company to owner Amy Brunet’s real estate office, Brunet Home Design, Décor and Gifts is located at 181 Main St. in Danielson. The store features home decor, bedding, rugs, candles, and handmade items. Prices vary, from Canterbury hand-poured candles at $15, to custom decorative signs ranging from $20 to $40, and holiday decorations like wreaths for less than $40.
Small Potatoes – Norwich
Located on Pleasant Street in Norwich, Small Potatoes has a range of artisan gifts for everyone on your list, from toys and signs to jewelry, local syrups and honey, and more. The sale of the works of local artisans and artisans stands out.
Small Potatoes is celebrating Small Business Saturday with a meet and greet with Gilbert the Pig from 11am to 1pm, along with baked goods from Standish Brook Farm and greenery from K&H Creation, plus meet and greets with the owners of the Norwich Fitness Center.