I’ve been shopping small and buying black for 6 months now and it’s so much easier than I thought.
It started last November, when I was gearing up for my routinely cheap Christmas shopping. You may or may not remember the huge buzz going around at that time about “shopping small”, “buying black”, and “boycotting” certain retailers that supported the Trump campaign. I decided at that time to challenge myself to consciously shop at small businesses whenever possible.
(Oh and because I’m pushing 25, I told myself that basic thoughtless gifts would no longer do.)
I realized that I didn’t shop at the stores I frequent because I particularly “love” them, it was mostly a matter of convenience (Target, Kroger, H&M, Barnes and Nobles, Starbucks, European Wax). I put in the work to find small businesses and black owned stores to purchase gifts with meaning and my gifts were better than ever. Now 6 months later, that little effort has gone a looooong way. I have found so many hidden gems in Atlanta that are small businesses and a lot that are black-owned. The best part is I never sacrifice quality, service or price at any of these shops.
21 Small Businesses in Atlanta to Try
Instead of Starbucks:
When was the last time Starbucks held an open mic night? Or a community discussion? Oh, right…probably never. Urban Grind is my go-to for meet ups, solitude, writing days, etc. and that’s just the atmosphere. Don’t get me started on the food! The veggie burger is my favorite and the carrot cake is a close runner up.
962 Marietta St. Atl, GA 30318
Easily one of my favorite places to meet up, because the art deco is always stimulating and gets my creative juices flowing.
720 Moreland Ave. SE Atl, GA 30316
Considering Barnes & Noble? Try…
This is a perfect little daytime activity for the kiddies.
133 E Court Sq Ste A Decatur, GA 30030
Mix up your thrifting and donating:
I learned of this place through my church Buckhead Church and started donating all of my clothes here 3 years ago. I still make some drops at the Goodwill, but I eagerly support the efforts of BCM after witnessing their life changing work.
800 Miami Circle, Suite 160 Atl, GA 30324
Skincare Needs? Body waxing? You can still shop small….
I’ve been shopping here for about 2 years now for my supplements and alkaline water, but one thing that keeps me coming back is the priceless advice.
376 Auburn Ave. Atl, GA 30312
I received the veggie garden facial here and I know I’m hooked.
341 Nelson St. Atl, Ga 30313
Looking for Phone or Computer Repair:
TapeWorm was recommended by my mom when I cracked my phone screen, they didn’t overcharge like most places do and fixed my phone right in front of me! Then I had been having issues with my computer for almost a year and because I dreaded spending 100+ to get it fixed I just avoided it by using my boyfriend’s. Well, as I type on my Macbook right now, you can guess that it is functioning once again thanks to Tapeworm Repairs!
493 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atl, GA 30316
So much good grub…
Located right in front of Tapeworm Repairs, I decided to try this out while Noah and I waited for my computer to be repaired. Where should I even start…the prices? the delicious taste? I’ll just say if you’re looking for some quick and tasty street food this place gets my vote.
1260 Glenwood Ave SE, Atl, GA 30316
Anytime you can support your community AND eat good, how can you say no? Although they aren’t open to the public everyday, you can easily plan a Sunday morning brunch here.
458 Edgewood Ave SE, Atl, GA 30312
There are soo many other small and black-owned businesses in Atlanta, I’ve listed only the places I’ve been or that were recommended by a close friend. The one thing I’m still searching for is an independently owned grocery store that can meet all of my needs. I will say, however, I have diversified my spending by going to local community gardens or farmer’s markets for produce and using stores like Trader Joe’s for most of my packaged goods.
As I mentioned before, the most challenging part of shopping small is committing to the search. It’s so much easier to run to Target or Starbucks on a whim, but once you’ve found a few of these hidden gems it becomes even harder to turn back. Shopping small is now a welcomed adventure. Just pop into some of those places you overlook daily and you’ll open a whole new world. You may even make a friend.
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