110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Jen Horton
posted Dec 4, 2012 - 12:08:20pm
There may be two things standing after the Zombie Apocalypse: a certain Orlando theme park, and a certain big-box store.
And the good people of the world will march on, gray-faced and brainwashed to the beat of the megalithic entities (zombies, it’s the truth).
There’s only one way to defend against the end of the world as you know it: Buy from your local independent merchants.
The money stays in your town, the merchants pay taxes with you, their children go to school with you. When you buy products from them, you make your home strong. (And stave off zombieism!)
Plus, there are just some things you can’t get at a big-box.
Here are just a few.
To see the staggering array of potential gifts, park your car in your Downtown area, get out, and wander in and out of the amazing aisles of your small-box store. (It’s guaranteed to stave off zombieism.)
West Volusia is more intelligent than the average region.
Proof? It has a goodly number of bookstores, and none of them are mass market, such as The Muse Book Shop, Cliff’s Books, Family Book Shop, and Half Off Books.
Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble have dominated the electronic-book market, and created a playing field in which the independent bookshops have no equipment.
The erosion of the paper market has hit booksellers in the pocket.
The American Booksellers Association (ABA) has released the KOBO e-reader as an answer to a Nook or Kindle.
The KOBO e-reader is as user-friendly and has as many pretty bells and whistles as the mainstream e-readers. The difference is that buying a KOBO puts a little bit of money in the bricks-and-mortar businesses, instead of sucking the money out into the vastness of cyberspace.
The Muse owner Janet Bollum said the KOBO will not be sold at mass retailers. It’s designed to not put booksellers out of business, she said.
The KOBO is easy to use, and purchasing books can be done through the bookshop’s website, or the KOBO website.
Bollum said there are two sizes — a traditional-size e-reader, and a compact version — about the size of a paperback — with more than 200,000 book titles available.
“The ABA made it easier for us to compete in this market,” Bollum said. “You can be supportive and shop local, and still have the latest gadgets.”
Bollum said the addition of the e-readers to her shop gave her a new dimension.
“I used to say The Muse was the best of both worlds, new and antiquarian books,” she said. “With the addition of the e-book, it’s now the best of all worlds.”
A couple of miles north on Woodland Boulevard, Savannah Johnson talked about her excitement about finally being able to have the “latest gadget.” Johnson is 18, and a third-generation bookseller. An employee of Cindy Raible, owner of the The Family Book Shop, she is the granddaughter of Judy Mathys, the founder of The Family Book Shop.
“I have been waiting for this,” she said. “Until now, I’ve been unable to join the e-reader crowd, because I have to support my business. I can finally have an e-reader.”
You don’t have to have an e-reader, which means you don’t have to buy a KOBO, she said. You can download the KOBO app on any device with app capabilities: a phone, a computer, a tablet or another e-reader.
“The Kindle is Amazon-only,” she said. “KOBO is for everything.”
The KOBO app allows you to purchase e-books through the KOBO store. When you join KOBO, you register with a local bookshop, such as The Muse or Family Book, and a small portion of your purchase is returned to that store in the form of royalties.
“I have one; I use it every single night,” Savannah said.
The Muse Book Shop is at 112 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand, Visit their website at www.themusebookshop.com.
The Family Book Shop is at 1301 N. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand. Visit www.wordperson.net.
J.C. Figueredo talked about how local bike shops, such as his JC’s Bike Shop, give more to the recipient than a big bow.
A bike is a good gift, for yourself or for your loved ones.
“Bicycling is healthy, it’s great recreation, it can be a family activity, and it’s environmentally friendly,” J.C. said.
The experience of buying a bike from a bike shop versus a big-box store is not comparable, he said.
“You get quality, and you get customer service,” Figueredo said. “Nothing here is one-size-fits-all; it’s all customized to fit you.”
JC’s Bike Shop is at 345 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand.
Do your body good
Melissa Basso, owner of Bikram Yoga Lake Helen, said that gift certificates for massage and yoga are amazing gifts.
“Beginning yoga is good for anyone. I have students from 15 to 80, of all shapes and sizes. I have students who run marathons, and people who are 200-300 pounds overweight.”
Her studio is the only hot-yoga facility in West Volusia. The air in a Bikram studio is heated to get the body warm and ready for the stretching and conditioning postures.
“Yoga tends to make you feel really great. There are always lots of smiling, happy faces when you leave the studio,” she said.
Bikram Yoga Lake Helen is at 210 Cassadaga Road. Visit www.bikramyogalakehelen.com.
Jeannie Perry, owner of the gardening center Roses and Gargoyles in Lake Helen, said her shop has a mix of handmade home and garden accessories.
If you’re thinking inside of the box, consider gardening boxes as a gift, or at least a container.
“Some people don’t have room for a regular garden, but they’d like to have a garden,” she said.
Container gift baskets are a perfect way to make use of any space. Perry has an organic vendor who harvests seeds for vegetables, herbs and flowers. The seeds can be stored for up to two years, and can be started easily.
“It’s a good gift,” she said. “You can combine that with a container, or gardening tools, or organic soils or fertilizers, and create one big gift for them to get started.”
To give a thoughtful gift to a more advanced gardener, Perry said, “You have to think outside the box when it comes to giving a gardener a gift. You can create a basket, pick and choose the items and tools you think they’d like, or you can give a gift card.”
Roses and Gargoyles is at 220 Cassadaga Road in Lake Helen. Visit www.rosesandgargoyles.com.
Handmade and vintage
There is no shortage of vintage and antique stores in West Volusia.
Little Shop Around the Corner is among the newest of them.
Owner Karen Arey said her antique-boutique is featuring a lot of old-fashioned Christmas items at this time of year, including vintage ornaments.
“There isn’t one thing we particularly specialize in,” Arey said. “We have handmade soaps, collectibles, vintage kitchen items, furniture and toys.” Call Arey at 386-734-6789.
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