If you still have a few names to cross off your holiday gift list, you’re not alone. According to a survey by market research company NPD Group, 52% of holiday shoppers expect to pick up gifts during the week before Christmas. For those of you among that 52%, here’s a little bit of holiday cheer -- there’s still plenty of time to find handmade gifts that do good for artists and artisans, not only in Chicago but also in countries all over the world.
In Evergreen Park, Brewja Co is hosting a one-day pop-up on Dec. 23, offering freshly roasted coffee, Mexican hot chocolate, and items from Chicago-area artists. Owner Esperanza Salgado says she wanted to offer an option for last-minute shoppers as well as local women of color to showcase their work.
“I draw from my own personal experiences, and as a trained musician and artist, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to find these opportunities with other folks and I knew that I needed to make room at the table,” Salgado said. “But that didn’t just mean for myself, it also meant for my community and the people that also share identities with me.”
In Andersonville, Chicago Fair Trade is hosting its 8th annual holiday pop-up shop through Dec. 24 with a wide range of handmade items from home décor to jewelry from over 30 countries.
“Everyone so happy when they come in here and buy things to know that the money is going to pay fair wages. Part of fair trade is environmental sustainability, community development,” says Chicago Fair Trade executive director Katherine Bissell Cordova. “So it’s just a way to vote with your dollars and when you buy fair trade you’re voting for a more fair, just world.”
And on the Magnificent Mile, Belmont-Cragin small business Colores Mexicanos offers handmade artisan items from states all across Mexico through the end of December. The pop-up is one of three such partnerships in the tiny shopping district to bring small local businesses to Michigan Avenue.
“We are very lucky and very blessed to be here, represented our culture,” said owner Erika Espinosa. “This has been a very big step for us as community, as family business. We are very proud to represent our culture here in downtown to be the first Mexican cultural place on the Magnificent Mile.”