Many of us feel as though we missed out on a lot of holiday traditions last year. Decorations still went up in our homes, very small gatherings took place and we did some holiday shopping but it was done mainly in front of a computer. So this year, while still using safety precautions, let’s grab a hot chocolate, throw on a festive sweater, get outside and shop! We decided to head to downtown Las Vegas to get into the spirit while supporting local businesses that really took a hit last season.
We started at Modern Mantiques at 1300 S. Main St. Modern Mantiques carries everything from whimsical to historic items. Owner Jeff Young says when he stocks his shop, he looks for one-of-a-kind items.
“A lot of the pieces here are just hard to find.” Young said while pointing out an old neon sign from The Oregon Motel and an original photograph of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He added he is proud to have a lot of Vegas history in his shop.
So if you are looking for a walk down memory lane, check out the Cabbage Patch Dolls and the Wizard of Oz thermos, but don’t forget to take in the opulent furniture, lamps and artwork that is older than the owner and most of his customers.
Within walking distance of Mantiques is another shop featuring everything from soft, fuzzy, hand-knit sweaters to holiday decorations.
Sean and Lisa Blanchard, owners of The Good Wolf at 1401 S. Commerce St. said their customers love the warehouse feel of their shop where they can find a little bit of everything.
“We’re a lifestyle shop,” Sean Blanchard said. “We specialize in furniture, decor and apparel. Its new production apparel with a little taste of vintage as well.”
Being one of the few businesses downtown with a designated parking lot, they enjoy using that space to host downtown events featuring local artists, other shop owners and pop up eateries.
“The next event we’re gonna have is our small business Saturday event for the Saturday following Thanksgiving,” Sean Blanchard said. “It’s a chance for a lot of folks to come out here and shop a lot of local businesses.”
Moving from the Arts District to East Fremont Street, we hit Fergusons Downtown. This remodeled motel is now home to unique eateries and shops including Mike’s Recovery. You can take in the relaxing aroma of Michael Buckham’s oils and bath salts before you even open the door.
“I’ve studied aroma therapy for about 30 years and created blends that are really specific to different responses in the body,” Buckham said. “So they can help if your body is sore and achy or if your mind is just tired.”
Buckham explains he moved into his Fergusons shop after his aromatic creations organically took off.
“I literally just took soap into a coffee shop one day and asked if they would put it in their bathroom and people started experiencing my product and it just gently went out through the community just by feeling,” Buckham said.
After a long day of shopping in walkable downtown Las Vegas, it’s convenient that refreshments are available along the way. We ended our day by ducking into the recently opened Peyote at Fergusons. Jolene Mannina is one of the owners. She says whether you choose a seat indoors or outdoors, you’re sure to get cozy by a fire pit with craft cocktails and amazing cuisine.
“There is amazing outdoor seating, great lighting and outdoor grill,” Mannina said. “The menu is seasonal from scratch, new American. So we do brunch Friday, Saturday and Sunday and we’re open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday.”
Mannina loves the vibe of the downtown and said she wants to continue to help grow the boutique atmosphere here.
“I’ve lived downtown for almost 12 years and I love being part of something that’s building and creating for our community,” Mannina said.
That sentiment is echoed by all the business owners we spoke with.
“We were downtown before downtown was downtown,” said Young. “We took a risk many years ago and you see the results now. It’s crazy. It’s blowing up.”
7 ways to support local this holiday season and all-year round:
-Spend time learning about local businesses. Share these businesses with friends and family and even on your social media sites.
-Love a local business? Write them a review!
-Purchase holiday gifts from local businesses and vendors. Many stores have an online presence whether website or Etsy shop and some are even doing curbside pickup.
-Buy gift cards to gift or use yourself at a later date.
-Use a local print shop for holiday cards.
-Make holiday meals from local ingredients from your neighborhood farmers’ market.
-Don’t want to cook? Order holiday meals from your favorite restaurants.
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