OK, we know it’s late in the game, but for last-minute shoppers here are a few gift ideas from local businesses. Remember, buying local gives you a double bang for your buck as it helps keep the Missoula economy strong. Most of these local businesses are also supporters of NewWest.Net, so from our standpoint that’s a triple bang for your buck!
If you’re looking for gifts that are both local and sustainable, try The Green Light, a new store for “organic and ethically produced products for your home and life,” located just off Higgins on Alder Street. Our colleague Molly reports she just bought some organic boxers there, and we’re sure you’ll find something equally cool.
For the youngsters, our good friends at Walking Stick Toys, on the Hip Strip, boast “natural wooden and educational toys” – they’re a huge cut above all that plastic from Walmart. In a similar vein, Blackbird, on Higgins, offers “creative, functional and hip clothes, furniture and books for babies and kids.” And Blackbird is right next to Betty’s Divine, the very hip clothing store on the Hip Strip.
For jewelery, we always recommend Barney Jette Jewelry Design, which boasts unique, hand-crafted pieces. You might have seen their ad on NewWestMissoula – even if you’re not as hip as the Volumen you’ll definitely find something there for your spouse (or would-be spouse).
And if you’re looking for something a little funkier in the jewelry category, try Alara, on North Higgins, they have a great range of styles (and also have the good taste of being New West Indoor advertisers.)
For outdoor gear, you can’t beat the Trailhead for selection, quality and great service. They’ve been in their new space on Front Street for a while now, and you haven’t checked it out, it’s worth browsing just for the vicarious pleasure of all those adventures you’d like to do.
And if you’re already planning that next adventure, For an aLewis & Clark Trail Adventures is offering a holiday special: buy one float trip on the Lochsa River or the ALberton Gorge and get a second trip for half-price. You may not be thinking about whitewater while the snow flies, but I can attest from personal experience that both those trips are huge fun, and remember you have to do the Lochsa early in the year when the water is still high.
Speaking of water, the Clark Fork Coalition is offering a holiday special too — $10 memberships, a $40 savings off the regular rate. The CFC does a great job of advocating for clean, free-flowing rivers, and anyone on your list who is passionate about our natural wonders would surely be delighted.
For books – and, not incidentally, for Griz gear – you can’t beat the UM Bookstore, located on campus at the University Center. The Bookstore is now owner of the venerable Fact & Fiction downtown, the go-to place for literature, book readings, and a special section of Montana themes and authors.
For electronics, you could go to that big national chain on Reserve Street – or you could go to our very own Vann’s, either the main store on Brooks or the Outlet near the Southgate Mall. Vann’s is a Montana institution with a national reputation, and you can’t beat it for anything from appliances to iPods and flatscreen TVs.
Finally, for the other great friend in your life, Go Fetch, which has added a Reserve St. location to its downtown store, has all manner of things to make your dog happy – walking, grooming, toys, and great food.
This is just a small sampling of what our local merchants have to offer. For more info on how to shop local – and why you should shop local – check out our partners at the Sustainable Business Council. And Happy Holidays!