Guilt-Free Gets: Where to Shop on Small Business Saturday

From Monrovia to Santa Monica, seven ways to spend locally 


What began as a campaign by American Express in 2010 to help mom-and-pop businesses has turned into a full-fledged shopping holiday. We’re talking about Small Business Saturday, which takes place annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Now in its fifth year, the day of shopping encourages people to support local merchants while crossing names off their holiday gift lists. Participants can shop at any small store or stop by one of these seven organized events taking place across the city:

Smitten On Paper

WHERE: 114 E. Lemon Avenue, Monrovia
November 29 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
WHAT: If you find yourself constantly “ooo-ing” and “ahh-ing” at holiday cards pinned on Pinterest, chances are you will love the stock at Smitten On Paper, which is opening a pop-up shop featuring popular Etsy sellers and local artists, including Girl Friday Print Arts.

“We Heart Eagle Rock” Block Party
WHERE: Eagle Rock Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard, Eagle Rock
WHEN: November 29 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
WHAT: The “We Heart Eagle Rock” Block Party will bring together 25 merchants hosting in-store promotions, like Top Knot Boutique, which is offering 10-percent-off your entire purchase. A family zone sponsored by The Green Been offers a performance by The SqueeGees and a gift-wrapping station so you can cross one more task off your to-do list.

SoCal Etsy Guild
WHERE: Art District Flea, 453 Colyton Street, Los Angeles
WHEN: This Small Business Saturday promotion goes all weekend long. November 28 from 1:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., November 29 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. and November 30 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
WHAT: This three-day event, sponsored by the Art District Flea, celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit through D.I.Y and small-business workshops. Southern California-based Etsy vendors will showcase and sell handcrafted items. You don’t have to leave the kids at home—this is a family friendly event with live music, food, and activities for the little ones. The SoCal Etsy Guild is free to attend, but an RSVP is required.

Melrose Avenue Business Improvement District’s Small Biz Saturday
Melrose Avenue from Fairfax Avenue to Highland Avenue
November 29 from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The Melrose Avenue Business Improvement district is hosting its fifth SBS event. Deals from participating vendors range from 50-percent-off storewide at London Boots to 20-percent-off all services at Melrose Hair Studio. The event’s Facebook page is frequently updated with more ways to save.

Lundeen’s & Beat Up Creations Collaboration
WHERE: Lundeen’s, 9726 W Washington Boulevard, Culver City
WHEN: November 29 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
WHAT: After a successful Small Business Saturday event last year, stationary and trinket shop Lundeen’s is doing it again, this time inviting L.A. native Angela Rossi, who creates art made from forgotten items, in for a special trunk show. 

Pop-Up Mar Vista Event
Venice Boulevard from Beethoven Street to Inglewood Boulevard
November 29 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
The Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce’s first Small Business Saturday event includes more than 35 local merchants. Catch a bite to eat and stroll the streets while browsing goods from retailers like Vintage on Venice or Soaptopia. Grab a map at the Chamber of Commerce booth on the corner of Venice and Centinela and use it to apply stickers from stores you’ve shopped at. The more stickers you collect, the higher your chances of winning prizes donated by local business owners.

Montana Avenue Merchants Association + Buy Local Santa Monica

WHERE: Montana Avenue, from 6th to 17th streets
WHEN: November 29 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
WHAT: Specific discounts and deals haven’t been announced, but this West L.A. shopping event will stretch 11 boutique-filled blocks of Montana Avenue, with live entertainment at every corner.

Visit American Express online to see other local Small Business Saturday events.