Local businesses look toward holiday customers - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Local businesses look toward holiday customers

November 26th, 2021 development
Local businesses look toward holiday customers

By Alex Gallagher
Staff Writer

With disruptions to the national supply chain that are only expected to grow worse this holiday season, it looks like a wise idea to support local businesses that make their own crafts.

These businesses often sustain other local businesses through the sourcing of local materials and offer people a more sustainable product.

Here is just a sample of area businesses that offer unique holiday gifts.

Brush Bar 

After having to close the doors of beloved paint and wine studio in OldTown amid stay-at-home orders, Brush Bar Owner Gia Ciliento feared it was the end of her business.

Then she had an epiphany. She could bring her business into customer’s homes.

“When nobody wanted to leave their homes, we thought this would be a way to save the business,” Ciliento said. “We thought that art was something that people needed to get through the last two years.”

Ciliento created two options for kits that both included paints, a disposable apron, a palette, a canvas and an instructor lead video.

The premium option includes paint brushes and costs $45 while the basic box that has no brushes costs $35.

“We have something for everyone, we have kids kits and then if people are looking to enjoy an adult beverage we have a box for the adults,” said Ciliento.

She believes her boxes will make a great gift for under the tree or could also make for a fun party favor during the holiday time.

“We hope people find some stress relief while painting these and it allows them to try something new,” Ciliento said. “I think everybody has creativity inside them but it just takes some coaxing to get it out.”

Boxes are sold online at thebrushbarshop.com.  The brush bar offers curbside pickup and nationwide shipping. 

Earth Sugar 

For Jennifer Meyers, food has been the one thing she has always found comforting.

Growing up, she had gut problems that almost took a turn for the worse.

“I’ve been suffering from gut problems since I was 7 years old and it got so bad that I was almost on a liquid diet,” she said. “I had such a fear of food and as a way of coping, I would go to the grocery store and learn about new ingredients.”

This and writing became hobbies for her.

Fresh out of college, Meyers found a job in public relations for The Grammys. 

However, not long after celebrating the job, Meyers found herself at a farmer’s market and decided she felt happier shopping for produce than she had ever felt working with a handful of the world’s most accomplished musicians. 

So, she quit her job and began looking for something new.

She eventually landed in research and development for a vegan company called Lavva.

It was at this job that she found her calling and decided to start her own business.

Meyers decided to get a one-way plane ticket from Brooklyn, New York to Phoenix and has not looked back since. 

Her company, Earth Sugar, specializes in making raw vegan desserts and superfood confections.

“Everything is raw vegan, gluten free, paleo and hand crafted by me,” she said. “It is as natural as it comes.”

Earth Sugar currently sells three flavors of cookie bark, cookies and other desserts that do not have the bloating effects other desserts have.

Ships cakes across the country.

“This is my personality in food form,” said Meyers, “I just want to bring joy to the world and this brings people happiness.”

Earth Sugar offers nationwide shipping and orders can be made at the website loveearthsugar.com. 

Original Elderberry Company

Divya Yoder has always wanted to ensure the health and safety of her family.

“A couple of years ago, I was looking for a product that would boost my family’s immune system and I couldn’t find anything that didn’t have preservatives, fine sugars, glucose syrup and thickening agents,” she said. “So, I ventured out and came up with my own syrup that is made out of elderberries, salon cinnamon, fresh ginger and whole honey.”

This syrup quickly became a hit and the Original Elderberry Company was born.

Yoder’s hit eventually became such a hit that she began producing the syrup in a travel sized bottle.

Since the syrup does not have to be refrigerated, Yoder began offering it in a travel sized bottle that is TSA approved.

Yoder expects to see an uptick in sales this holiday season and into the start of cold and flu season.

“In addition to getting your shots, we recommend taking our syrup once a day during cold and flu season if you have any symptoms,” she said. “Because our product is all natural and organic, you’re only benefiting your immune system,”

What makes her syrup so unique is the ingredients she uses.

 “Each ingredient we select is specific,” said Yoder. “Everything does something different like the cinnamon helps with regulating blood sugar and the local honey helps with allergies.”

In addition to selling syrup, the Original Elderberry Company has launched the sale of gummies.

“I had been looking for two years for a way to make gummies without all the junk,” said Yoder. “I came up with gummies that are Non-GMO, vegan gluten free, USDA organic and has vitamin C and zinc.”

Original Elderberry Company’s products can be found across the Valley and on Originalelderberryco.com

Gorgeous Things 

Sara Peterson independently operates a custom fashion business out of her ‘she shed’ where she creates custom hats, sweaters, bags, face masks and denim jackets.

Her designs are one of a kind and decorated with custom patches that Peterson stitches herself or that customers bring in.

“I love it when things are personalized and I also love to tell a story on fashion,” she said. “I think fashion is more fun when it’s yours and yours alone.”

Peterson also loves the idea of people gifting items and finds it to be a source of motivation.

“Gifting is what drives me because I love to get things that I would want to give to someone else,” she said.

Her fully custom denim jackets cost around $375 but she does have cheaper items like face masks, hats and headbands which cost around $30.

For custom items, Peterson does have a long lead time and as a result she does sell ready to wear items on her website.

For those looking to get a custom denim jacket, they must make an appointment to meet with Peterson at her ‘she shed’ where she can consult with customers about their designs.

. She also offers gift certificates.

To place an order or obtain more information visit shopgorgeousthings.com. 

Remedy Salon and Spa 

Remedy Salon and Spa owner Michelle Keoghan  recently launched new services, including airbrush tanning and artisan sculpting,  but what customers can take home from her business adds is a holiday bonus.

Remedy Salon and Spa expects to see an increase in sales of its custom gift sets, which vary in pricing from $30, $50, and $100 based on the size of the sets.

Each box comes with skincare items and hair care products and an extra surprise. Additionally, each gift box is decorated with sparkly ornaments and other aesthetic items.

“I advise getting a gift box and dissecting it because there is something free in there you can take for yourself,” Keoghan joked.

Some boxes come pre-loaded with goodies or customers can create their own boxes.

“We curated and sourced luxury and sustainable products. We have a lot of products in the salon that are made by local women as well,” Keoghan said.

While the products are unique in their own respective ways, Keoghan believes that what makes the boxes special is the efforts her staff goes to make sure the boxes look like a gift.

“We’re always trying to make everything like a gift year-round,” she said.

  Info: Remedysalonandspa.com

Time to Eat Arizona

After being frustrated with the way they witnessed other delivery services treating customers and how much money restaurants sacrificed to third-party delivery services, Melissa Magallanez and her friend Yvette Ramos decided to take matters into their own hands. 

“We saw the way that other third-party delivery services took so many profits from the restaurants that were already struggling and that they didn’t seem to care about the consumers,” Magallanez said. “We thought ‘why not do it right,’ delivery should be a convenience and not a negative thing on both ends.” 

From there the two launched Time To Eat Arizona, a service that focuses on supporting local restaurants by providing delivery at a lower cost to the restaurants and providing first class customer service.

“Our drivers focus on giving a good product and focus on giving a good product and represent the brand and the restaurant,” Magallanez said.

The two also pride themselves on their constant presence within the business.

“With other big corporations, if there is a problem you won’t get through to the owners or anyone for that matter,” said Magallanez. “With us, we’re always there either running the dispatch or checking on our drivers, we’re going to make sure things are right.” 

With most people about to spend their days out shopping for gifts, Magallanez and Ramos want to take the stress out of preparing a meal by taking the stress out of delivering food.

Time to Eat has a website and a mobile app that customers can place their orders on.

Additionally, a couple of the company’s partnered restaurants have a link to Time To Eat Arizona on its websites.

“We hope people give us a try especially because around the holidays there is an effort to support local businesses,” Magallanez said. “I hope that during that time, people will think of us and use us as a local aspect.”

Information Timetoeataz.com

Tortilla Flat

Tortilla Flat not only offers holiday gifts for sale but this beloved Arizona landmark also offers a rich history and famous chili at the Superstition Restaurant & Saloon.

The authentic Western town is also home to a mercantile filled with items that make fantastic gifts for everyone in your life.

Some of the best-loved items include new stuffed animals in familiar desert-inspired shapes like cacti, Smokey the Bear and rattlesnakes, which make cuddly gifts for kids and adults alike.

Jewelry lovers will love the wire art jewelry crafted by local artist Netty Riggs as well as stunning stone pieces also crafted by a local artist, Sam Chavis.

For those shopping for interior design and art lovers, Tortilla Flat offers Native American-inspired art by Sharon Gilbertson as well as geometric pottery produced by Arizona artist Livinnia Boschenstein.

Tortilla Flat is also a must-visit shopping destination for Arizona-inspired books, souvenir t-shirts, magnets and much more.

Tortilla Flat’s mercantile also serves as a village post office.

Information: tortillaflataz.com.