Holidays in Philly

2020 guide to Philly gift guides: Keep it local with pop-ups, independent shops and virtual holiday markets

How to skip the big chains and safely support makers, artists and entrepreneurs in your community.

One of the 'Bok in a Box' packages available online

One of the 'Bok in a Box' packages available online

Bok
michaelawinberg-2020-2

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This holiday season, it will undoubtedly help to keep more of your money circulating in the local economy.

The first wave of the pandemic wiped out more than 1,000 Philadelphia small businesses closed, and with a second wave here, local entrepreneurs are in for an uphill battle.

Several Philly organizations, curators, media outlets and community-minded residents have put together guides to small businesses in the city offering great gifts. Even if you feel safer shopping online, you don’t have to rely on big chains or ecommerce giants, because many annual holiday flea markets and shopping pop-ups have gone virtual.

Here’s a guide to the Philadelphia small biz shopping guides we’ve found, along with a selection of online pop-ups markets to hit up on specific dates.

Collections and curated lists

Biz corridors with socially distanced shopping

Online pop-ups and flea markets

“The appeal of a flea market is you go and shop from a bunch of vendors in one go,” said Rebecca Aronow, who founded the annual Feminist Flea Market. “Shoppers are messaging us like, ‘I’m so glad you’re still doing this, it’s my favorite market.'”

Aronow’s market was born two years ago, first hosted at Underground Arts before it rapidly outgrew the space. Last year, Aronow moved their market to the Bok building, where the entrance fee benefitted a local charity and hundreds of Philly artists and makers profited off her event.

They didn’t want to give up on the event this year, especially “when everyone is having such a hard time,” they said. “The holidays are supposed to be when everyone makes so much of their money.”

A few otherwise annual Philly flea markets still haven’t announced whether they’ll have a virtual holiday sale — but do have past vendors listed on their websites.

The Feminist Flea Market & Craft Fair

Saturday and Sunday Nov. 28 and 29, pickup on Saturday Dec. 5

Pay $3 for the entry fee — which will benefit the Philadelphia Community Fridges — and you’ll have access to a website with 85 Philadelphia vendors. The full list of makers hasn’t yet been released, but in the past, Feminist Flea has worked with folks like:

You can order goods from dozens of vendors at once, then have them shipped right to your door or stop by Underground Arts at 12th and Callowhill on Dec. 5 for curbside pickup. While you’re there, you can grab a vegan bite to eat at a pop-up kitchen from V Marks the Shop.

New Kensington CDC’s holiday market

Saturday Nov. 28 through Thursday Dec. 31

You’ll have over a month to tune into this River Wards virtual holiday marketplace. The New Kensington Community Development Corporation is running an online shop for the entire month of December. Details on pickup and a full list of vendors are forthcoming. (Meantime, they’re still looking for vendors, so if you own a Kensington small business, you can submit an application here.)

It’ll cost you $10 to enter this online market, and all the cash will be funneled into the neighborhood’s small business relief fund.

Bartram’s Garden gift boxes

Pickup on Saturday Dec. 5

From the Bartram’s Garden online marketplace you can grab fancy teas, beanies, soaps and stuff for kids. If you need a new quarantine hobby, might as well grab a bird-watching kit while you’re there. Also convenient: You can buy a bunch of individual items, or any of the themed gift boxes that Bartram’s has put together.

Still looking for holiday decorations? You can order a wreath from the botanical gardens and pickup with plenty of time to display.

Bok in a Box

Pickup on Saturday Nov. 28 or Saturday Dec. 19

Every holiday season, Bok hosts a handful of holiday markets including its own, the Made at Bok Market.

To take the place of its annual shopping event, the South Philadelphia school-turned-maker-space is selling a couple gift boxes full of wares made by tenants of their studio space: one full of home goods, and another with self-care supplies.

There are two primary pickup dates — Nov. 28 and Dec. 19 — but if you need to arrange another time to grab your gifts, the Bok folks are open to setting up an appointment.

Want some more? Explore other Holidays in Philly stories.

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