Whether you’ve lived in the same town your whole life, or routinely travel 3,000 miles to see your family, you can relate to that feeling of warmth, nostalgia, and comfort that immediately washes over you when you step back into the place that will always be known as “home.” For me, it’s San Jose, California – while I have completely adopted Milwaukee as my second home and immersed myself in the culture (hint: there’s more to it than cheese), the way I feel when my plane touches down at SFO is unmatched. The desire to feature local artists and crafters, appreciation for handmade products, and the sheer regard for a little place called home are all driving forces behind our newly curated Close to Home shop.
We’re thrilled to introduce this new concept and provide our customers with a way to shop their favorite local makers, as well as discover new ones. I invite you to step into the world of Close to Home and see the products for yourself. I’ve highlighted some of my favorites below.
As you can see, the products radiate hometown pride, and make the perfect gift to a friend (or yourself!). I love how a lot of the items are very specific and representative of what it means to call a certain place home – for instance, if you’re from Minnesota, you know hockey is everything. If you call Chicago home, you live for the Blackhawks and Cubs.
Besides the utter charm of the items, another layer of distinction presents itself in the fact that all the vendors in the Close to Home shop were carefully selected to ensure quality and proximity. You won’t find big-name retailers churning out kitschy hometown products here; these are all local, authentic vendors who live and work in their communities, and love to share their appreciate for their home with those around them. It means a lot to Bon-Ton, a hometown department store, that we are able to provide them with a platform to reach new customers and receive brand exposure. See what some of our makers are saying about the results they have seen since starting to sell with us…
Because of my business with BonTon, I was able to quit my engineering job and focus on my growing business full-time. I have also been able to hire even more people in our community, so my products are not only celebrating where we live, but we make them there as well!
– Jennifer, Tandem for Two
Bon-Ton’s commitment to small business is refreshing. This program is proof that the purview of locally made goods is not just arts & crafts – but real durable consumer goods. Programs like these are great steps towards building and diversifying our economy.
– Robert, Peninsulas
Excited about the Close to Home shop? So are we! We are constantly adding new products to our site, which you can shop here. You can also shop carefully selected products in our stores. Want to see what our vendors are saying, and learn more about their business behind the scenes? Stay tuned for our new monthly blog series: “Meet the Maker”, where we will give you an exclusive look at select makers.