One-of-a-kind finds buying local this holiday season

Local shopper Dawn Cousino says, "Local ownership is very important for people in the community to support the people that live there. It builds communities.
Local shopper Dawn Cousino says, "Local ownership is very important for people in the community to support the people that live there. It builds communities.
Report by Tanieya Lewis - email
Posted by LS

Where are you doing your holiday shopping? This year, you may want to think about buying local for the holidays.

Dawn Cousino walked into the tiny toy store at a Maumee shopping plaza hoping to buy a Christmas present for her nephew. To her surprise, "There was ton of old-fashioned toys in there that I had when I was younger... toys my brothers played with. So it was kind of like going into an old-fashioned toy store, bringing back those childhood memories."

One-of-a-kind toys at a one-of-a-kind business. Dean Nelson says that's the point. The stuff I have in the store, you probably can't find anywhere else in Toledo." The south Toledo resident has owned Wizard Kids for three years.

This has been a tough sales year for his and other small businesses. Nelson is working alone this holiday season after laying off his two employees. "Our sales are down 20%, so that's a big drop."

Now he's counting on Christmas shoppers to survive. Cousino says, "Local ownership is very important for people in the community to support the people that live there. It builds communities. It's builds networking skills."

That's why Cheryl Schmidt says she buys local when she stocks her shelves at the Taste of Toledo. "When we buy products, all the money stays within our area or at least the state of Ohio."

The specialized service provided at mom-and-pop shops face big competition from the convenience of big chains. But as customer Thelma Tisdale points out, "It's close to where I live, and it's quick."