The High Country is full of original, creative and convenient small businesses to assist you in checking gifts off your list.

Shopping at small businesses is not only good for your pocket, but also for the entire community. Boone Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Jackson says that supporting small businesses is one way to support the community as a whole throughout the year.

“Shopping local helps support the neighbors and local businesses that provide goods and services throughout our community all year long. Many of these small businesses provide unique products that can only be found here. These businesses add to the character of our community that is celebrated by visitors and locals alike,” Jackson said. “It’s no secret that local retail businesses face more market pressures than ever before, thanks to e-commerce and delivery services. When you make that local purchase, you are supporting your neighbor, fellow community member and friend. The more we can support these businesses, especially during the holiday season, the more they will prosper and add to our community.”

Many small business owners in the High Country have special sales for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, and some have partnered with other organizations so that your well-earned dollar goes even further.

Foggy Pine Books, the only Indie bookstore in Boone, located at 471 W. King Street, is owned by Mary Ruthless. Ruthless opened the shop in 2016 and moved the store to its current location in 2018.

“Shopping at local businesses is increasingly important in a world where everything is at your fingertips via the internet,” Ruthless said, adding that of every $100 spent at small businesses, $68 stays in the community through paying taxes, working with local nonprofits and creating welcoming spaces for the community. “When you shop with local businesses, you’re supporting your community and investing in the future of the town you live in. The local businesses you support are run by the families in your church, the single mom on your kid’s soccer team, the folks you pass by in the grocery store — real people who are able to create a life for themselves and their families with every time you shop at their store instead of online.”

This year during the holiday season, Ruthless is partnering with OASIS, a nonprofit whose mission is to end domestic violence and sexual assault throughout Watauga and Avery counties, to host a book drive for those who have left their possessions behind in order to escape domestic violence.

For the Holiday Book Drive, children and young adult titles will be sold at a 25 percent discount, gift wrapped and delivered to OASIS, which will distribute them to individuals and families in need. In addition to every child’s book/ young adult title that’s purchased and donated, Foggy Pine will donate an adult book. This event will last until Dec. 31.

Additionally, Foggy Pine Books also has specials specifically for Small Business Saturday. Ruthless says the store will offer 25 percent off of full orders for the first 10 customers on Saturday, Nov. 30, and 10 percent off of books purchased between 5-9 p.m., when the store closes. There will also be three giveaways for the local shopping day, which includes a set of books, a $30 gift card or a canvas tote.

Foggy Pine is open seven days a week, hosting various inclusive programs and participating in Boone’s First Friday Celebrations each month. It also has a Cyber Monday Sale lined up through its audiobook sponsorship with Libro.fm. Call the store at (828) 386-1219 or email bookseller@foggypinebooks.com for more information about the Cyber Monday sale or store hours throughout the holiday season.

For those looking for unique gifts that can be displayed year-round or seasonally, keep in mind that locally owned art galleries are also small businesses when checking gifts off of your list. Buying local art not only helps the business/gallery that sold it, but it also supports the creative culture that the High Country is known for.

Alta Vista Gallery Owner Maria Hyde has preparing for the holiday shopping season by decorating the gallery for Christmas, both indoors and out, requesting new work from her artists and stocking many small paintings that make great gifts. Alta Vista Gallery will also offer hot cider or wine and Christmas cookies and other snacks throughout the holiday season.

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