By Madeline Bartos | Staff Writer
This Black Friday, instead of getting caught up in the stampede, maybe it’s time to turn to local and independent businesses in Pittsburgh. Rather than going to Target, do your holiday shopping a little closer to the city.
There are many family owned businesses in Pittsburgh. While there won’t be Black Friday-esque deals on televisions or computers, a handmade wreath from the Strip District won’t only impress Grandma, but the money spent will help further a small business owner’s vision for Pittsburgh. Not sure where to start? Here are a few suggestions guaranteed to find a gift for anyone, maybe even yourself.
Amazing Books and Records
As downtown’s only store that sells both used books and records — and as Squirrel Hill’s first used bookstore in 10 years, Amazing Books and Records has earned the name. The store sells gently used books, as well as new books from local authors and poets. Amazing Books and Records buys used books and records for cash, too.
Kards Unlimited is a third generation family-owned shop that sells just about every knick-knack under the sun. With a promise that you can show up en route to a party and leave with the perfect gift, gift wrap and card. More than that, it’s impossible to not buy something for yourself, too. Located on Walnut Street in Shadyside, Kards Unlimited is everything you wish Hallmark was.
Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop
For $5, customers can get as much candy as they can stuff into a Pittsburgh Buffet Candy box from Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop in the Strip District. And, with 325 flavors of bottled soda, you can definitely find something to wash down all the sugary treats. It’s great for anyone with a sweet tooth or a love for trying different sweets.
Roxanne’s Dried Flowers
Roxanne’s Dried Flowers boast that its shop is “where nature and design meld together.” The little shop in the Strip District lures in garden and home decor buffs alike. Step inside, and the smell of hundreds of dried flowers makes it impossible to not pick up an arrangement.
Dave’s Music Mine
Just a short walk across the bridge and down Carson Street, Dave’s Music Mine sells used music and movies with new inventory daily. Dave’s Music Mine carries all genres of music on CD, vinyl and even cassette for those feeling old school. In addition to music, Dave’s Music Mine offers a selection of DVDs, Blu-Rays and VHS.
Little’s Shoes, located in Squirrel Hill, is a full-service shoe store, meaning employees walk around ready to help customers try on shoes and find the best fit. With almost 150 different brands in its selection, Little’s is anything but a tiny, family-owned shoe store.
Fashionable yet wearable, clothing can be found at this in Shadyside boutique run by two sisters. Ragged Row sells over 30 contemporary designer fashion brands. While some of the designer pieces may be a bit pricey, Ragged Row is also known for Ragged PGH, its line of hand-printed t-shirts with Pittsburgh-themed designs, perfect for showing Steel City pride.
Margaret’s Fine Imports
Tea, coffee and chocolate are just a few of the items found at Margaret’s Fine Imports in Squirrel Hill. With over 200 loose leaf teas, 30 gourmet coffees and a large selection of imported chocolate, it’s every tea, coffee or chocolate lover’s dream. And, not only is there tea and coffee, but there’s also a huge collection of mugs to drink from as well.
Art of Steel Ltd.
Art of Steel Ltd. sells handmade steel pieces, as well as posters and other little knick-knacks that can instantly give any room huge personality. Located in the Strip District, Art of Steel pays homage to Pittsburgh’s past while selling unique pieces by local artists.