Monday, September 16, 2019

Holiday Season at Pumpkin+Bear, and Why You Should Shop at Small Businesses

It's weird to ramp up for Christmas when we're still sweating in shorts and sandals, but at the same time, right now it feels really awesome to think about snow and sweaters and hot cocoa!

It won't feel awesome to me when the snow and sweaters and hot cocoa ACTUALLY appear, mind you. By then I'll be dreaming about sweating in shorts and sandals...

However, I'd sure like it if YOU or someone you know also dreams about snow and sweaters and hot cocoa, especially if you can bring yourself to dream about sipping that hot cocoa in front of a fireplace mantle that has a beautiful MERRY bunting hung above it, and some fun, handmade Christmas stockings hanging from it.

Do you actually hang stockings from a fireplace mantle, or would they catch fire? I also dream of one day having my very own fireplace, but since I've never had a fireplace before I'll clearly have to do some research before I get one so that maybe I don't accidentally burn my house down by hanging stockings in front of it.

Whatever. I'm great at research.

Right at the beginning of the pre-holiday season (lol), here's my PSA about how you should spend some of your money at small, indie businesses like mine:

Friends, you should spend some of your money at small, indie businesses like mine. Not, like, MLM-style businesses--and we can talk about that if you want, because I have a lot of thoughts!--but actual businesses run by actual human beings. That's where you should spend some of your money. Seriously, Wal-mart doesn't care about you or what it sells you, or the quality of life of the people who make that stuff and sell that stuff to you. Neither does Amazon. But the local bookshop or little gift shop? The creators on etsy? The crafters at the holiday craft fair? We've got a lot of skin in the game. We care about what we make and where the supplies came from. We care about the people we sell to. And we for SURE care about the money we earn, because you know that Target isn't doing a happy dance every single time it sells something!

As for me, personally, my happy dance is on point! I don't tend to make it much of a secret that we live on a super tight budget, and that the majority of my own daily labor is monetarily uncompensated. I also hope I don't make it a secret that that's cool with all of us, and it's purposeful, and we're well-rewarded with all that stuff that money can't buy, blah, blah, blah, but my Pumpkin+Bear shop is one of two side hustles that I can do with/around/while homeschooling my kiddos, and the money that I earn here and over at Crafting a Green World generally goes right back to them. It's how I keep the kids in blank flip books and watercolors and ballet skirts and lumber and paint and whatever else they say they need for their latest scheme, even on our super tight budget.

And that's just one example of what one person's small, indie business means to them. Every person who has a small, indie business has their own story, and it's just as interesting and special and important to them as mine is to me.

One of the things that I like to do with Pumpkin+Bear is sell the exact same things that I make for my own family. I made two of these Doctor Who stockings--one to be my very own Christmas stocking, and one to be yours!

And because I finally figured out how to set it up, this Doctor Who Christmas stocking ships FOR FREE!!!

Just don't think that you can have those toys, because they're mine, too.

I made two My Little Pony stockings--one for Syd, and one for you!

This My Little Pony stocking also includes free shipping.

Syd also serves as my very helpful product stylist:

Although she had her own assistant, as well:

Matt has a Star Wars stocking, and so can you! His stocking does not ship for free, but it is on sale for fifty percent off this month!

Will actually has a horse-themed stocking, but I only had enough fabric to make the one, so you get to have a fairy tale-themed stocking! It's also on sale this month at fifty percent off.

The chicken is not included.

I also have a MERRY bunting that we hang over our Christmas tree; I didn't want to make another full bunting, but I did cut out a second set of the letters that you can use to sew your very own bunting on your own fabric choice. That way it'll match the rest of your decor!

This set of letters, too, is fifty percent off this month. See, if you buy your Christmas presents now, then I can buy my Christmas presents later!

I do have more fun holiday stuff to list--for autumn and Thanksgiving and Halloween, too!--but Syd has a flower dissection graphic to finish, and Will needs to finish her math homework before class tonight, and my Girl Scout troop's Bridging party is this weekend so I need to get some cute stuff ready for that, and I entered a lottery for Hadestown tickets all the way in New York City, and if I ever win I'll only have maybe 24-31 hours' notice to get me and Will there in one piece, so you know I've got to figure out three different potential itineraries for that and then write a packing list for our go-bags...

You get the idea. Monetarily uncompensated labor must come first!

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