If you can, you should always look to shop local and support small business owners — it’s good for your city’s economy, and you can often meet the person who makes or curates what you’re buying.
This holiday season, one local business to visit for unique and personalized gifts is Adorned Abode, located in Tacoma’s Freighthouse Square. Owner Benita Smith, who has been running the store from the building for just over three years, has stocked her shop with sentimental gifts of all kinds. Smith said she likes to offer a wide variety of merchandise to cater to lots of different people, then help her customers narrow down what they’re looking for when they come in.
“We do try to eliminate the guesswork for people who want that (help),” said Smith. “I want people to be able to find something thoughtful for their sister, or parents, for someone’s graduation, or holiday gift.”
Smith, who has a background in merchandising and mystery shopping, opened the store because she said she was often having to buy niche products and gifts online, though she wanted to support someone selling them locally. After a while, she said, she realized that the person who should be filling that gap in Tacoma was her.
Her main mission in doing so? Being friendly and catering to as many people as possible.
“We’re in a train station, so there’s a huge population of people who come in here from every income level, from every background — people who are local, people who are just passing through, everything,” Smith said. “I feel like we have to be open and accessible to everybody. So, our prices range anywhere from 85 cents to higher-end things that are $62.”
During the holidays, Smith said, the store experiences its peak popularity; for the season, she always tries to bring in new, interesting, and novelty merchandise that will surprise customers both new and old. Items you might find include Voluspa candles, Vinrella umbrellas (which come packaged in a wine bottle), hand warmer mugs, a wide host of lavender products, and more.
“I suppose some of these things you can get on Amazon,” Smith said, “but a lot of people have said that they’d rather buy them from me. Having that human connection, it’s something we’re so missing here in our digital world. And all of us small business owners, we love our businesses, and we love our customers. We just want people to know we’re here, and that we care about our community and want to bring them the best quality gifts we can.”
Adorned Abode is open seven days a week and is located on the northwest side of the building.