Tag Archives: gifts

Christmas shopping on a budget revisited

13 Dec And now I look like this when I think about Christmas Shopping.....
Post written by Laureen Blakemore
Revisted 11/27/13
Last year I confessed to you a startling fact: I DO NOT LIKE SHOPPING! and I am VERY IMPATIENT!  Hard to believe, I know, but it remains true.  And though I actually am mellowing to the potential joy of shopping I still foresee a fair amount of retail therapy in my future before I can truly embrace the joy!
christmas-shopping
And so, once again, I believe it remains relevant to share with you my very slightly revised post about Christmas Shopping on a Budget.
I used to find Christmas  shopping to be a pain in the……. well you know what. Standing in line in crowded shops combined with the pressure to find exactly the right gift for each person on my list was not only frustrating to me, but was actually rather annoying.  Over the years Christmas shopping became an  exercise in frantically grabbing whatever I could find, as fast as I could find it and getting out of the door and back home as quickly as was humanly possible. Not much thought went into anyone’s gift. Friends or family members, who were unfortunate enough to come shopping with me, were usually left re-evaluating our relationship as they watched me turn into an impatient, obnoxious lunatic as I desperately tried to navigate my way through crowds and badly laid out aisles to find my way to the nearest cashier or doorway.
Candle sticks, purses,coasters and more under $20 available in Ten Thousand Villages in Fringe Benefit

Candle sticks, purses,coasters and more under $20 available in Ten Thousand Villages in Fringe Benefit

And now…….well I shop downtown, right here in Blacksburg.While I would certainly not pretend  that I suddenly find shopping to be my most favorite activity in the whole wide world ever, I have found that I can tolerate it a lot better and sometimes I actually even enjoy myself!
I hear a lot of people saying that it is too expensive to shop locally so today I set myself a challenge- to find out if it was possible to shop downtown for Christmas gifts that cost less than $20 each. Turned out to be a bigger challenge than I expected because there was just so much available to choose from. In many instances I found delightful gifts which cost less than $10 so now I am spoiled for choice! Shopping for the holidays is made even easier by our downtown merchants who offer a whole variety of special shopping events throughout late November and December leading up to the big day. Starting with Small Business Saturday on November 30, the merchants offer late night shopping hours, special sales, Sunday hours, and themed night such as Ladies Night (Dec 12) and Gents Night (Dec 19). These themed nights feature  free gift wrapping, Wish Lists,  personal shopping assistance, special discounts, refreshments and more. Yes- they even give us refreshments while we shop!
Reusable water bottle available at The Lyric Theatre

Reusable water bottle available at The Lyric Theatre

So what brought about this change of heart in my shopping attitude I hear you asking?  Well really it’s probably down to 5 simple reasons and I  want to share those with you.
1) I now know our downtown store owners, and they know me. They are used to my “shopping phobia” and are quick to offer shopping advice if needed and equally quick to know when I just want to be left alone! I have never had to waste my time searching for a sales assistant to tell me the price of an item, or to find out if they have the size I need in stock. Downtown the sales assistants, or in many cases, the owners, are on hand almost immediately if a customer has a question. And there is certainly something to be said for shopping in the places where “everybody knows your name” (to quote from one of my favorite old shows “Cheers”)!
2)  Every time I go and shop downtown I can absolutely guarantee that I will bump into somebody I know in at least one store. So now in addition to purchasing items I can catch up with friends and acquaintances, swap ideas about gifts for you know who, whom they just happen to know too! Suddenly shopping is a much less daunting task, it’s a social experience and I truly do love to be sociable! Often the shopping trip becomes much more than that- how fun it is to catch up with others and maybe move on from the store to one of the great restaurants or to The Lyric to catch a movie, or on a sunny day to hang out together at Market Square Park.

Delicious locally made chocolates, mugs, puzzles,Seeds of Happiness and more available in Uncommonly Gifted for less than $20

Delicious locally made chocolates, mugs, puzzles,Seeds of Happiness and more available in Uncommonly Gifted for less than $20

3) Our downtown stores have more one-of-a-kind gifts, unique and unusual pieces as opposed to the mass-produced items that are found elsewhere. Our stores offer a more low-pressure shopping experience and so many different options, so I am able to spend more time finding gifts that really suit members of  my family and my friends.
4) In our downtown stores the staff  are more familiar with their merchandise, and offer personalized assistance  in a low stress environment. And if they do not carry something I am looking for they let me know where I can find it elsewhere!
All your Hokie gift needs under $20 available in  Tech Bookstore, High Peak Sportswear and Bookholders

All your Hokie gift needs under $20 available in Tech Bookstore, High Peak Sportswear and Bookholders

5) Smaller stores = shorter lines= less waiting time. Enough said!
We all know by now, I hope, that supporting local business is beneficial to the local economy as well. According to a Nov. 22, 2011, Forbes article by Deborah Sweeney, for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 gets returned to the community, either in employee paychecks, or through taxes. An Oct. 21, 2011, U.S. News article by Rachel Koning Beals corroborates this claim, adding that, in comparison, one Chicago-based study found that only $43 of every $100 spent at chain stores remains in the local economy. Sweeney describes local businesses as “the backbone of the community”. When you spend your money locally, you are supporting the people who live next door, the people who know your name!
Candles, tapestries, incense and more under $20 available in Nice Dreams

Candles, tapestries, incense and more under $20 available in Nice Dreams

And so with all of this in mind back to my challenge- Christmas shopping on a budget downtown. I found so very many items for $20 or less that I finally stopped looking. I have provided some pictures and ideas here for you as well as a list of most of  our downtown stores. I encourage you to take this challenge and come down and see how much is available- from $3 stocking stuffers in The Clothes Rack to $10 gloves in Fringe Benefit or Disappearing Tardis Mugs in Uncommonly Gifted: from a selection of art projects and coloring books in Mish Mish to all of your Hokie needs in High Peak Sportswear, Tech Bookstore,  or Bookholders: from beautiful works of arts and crafts in Matrix Gallery, The Gallery Store or Eucalyptus Massage Studio to cell phone accessories in Wireless Zone: from cool Kitchen accessories in Gourmet Pantry to all your gardening needs in Heavener Hardware. So many great gifts under $20 each, and in many cases, under $10 available in downtown Blacksburg! And if you are still not sure what would be the absolute best gift for your teacher/ boss/wife/friend/co-worker you can always get Downtown Gift Certificates  sold in $5 or $20 denominations at the National Bank of Blacksburg on Roanoke Street. They can be redeemed in more than 60 downtown businesses allowing the recipient to choose exactly where they want to spend their $$’s!
So come on downtown and take the challenge- get your Christmas gifts for $20 or less, you’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have during your shopping local experience!
Gifts of art under $20 available in Matrix Gallery

Gifts of art under $20 available in Matrix Gallery

310 Rosemont
208 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-961-5326
Alligator Alley
401 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-4287
Beliveau Estate Winery
104 W. Roanoke St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-961-0505
Boo Boo bunnies and other gifts created by local artisans available at The Gallery Store for under $20

Boo Boo bunnies and other gifts created by local artisans available at The Gallery Store for under $20

Bike Barn
424 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-443-3323
Blacksburg Pipe & Tobacco
408 N.Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-8457
Bookholders.com
125 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-808-4481

Socks, soaps, gloves, glasses, jewelry and more under $20 available in Fringe Benefit

Socks, soaps, gloves, glasses, jewelry and more under $20 available in Fringe Benefit

Capone’s Fine Jewelry
101 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-953-1000

Clothes Rack
105 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-8147

Eats Natural Foods
708A N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-2279

Eucalyptus Massage Therapy
201 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552- CALM

Arts, crafts, books, toys and more under $20 available in Mish Mish

Arts, crafts, books, toys and more under $20 available in Mish Mish

Friends of the Farmers Market
P.O. Box 568
Blacksburg, VA 24063
540-239-8290

Fringe Benefit
117 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-9777

Gourmet Pantry
401 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-1995

Greenhouse Boardshop
203 College Ave.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-3872

Kitchen accessories, gourmet foods, fun kitchen products and more under $20 at Gourmet Pantry.

Kitchen accessories, gourmet foods, fun kitchen products and more under $20 at Gourmet Pantry.

Heavener Hardware & Lumber
801 Kabrich St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-1221

Heirloom Originals
609 North Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060
552-9241

High Peak Sportswear
209 College Ave.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-953-1293

Huge variety of gardening gloves and other great gifts for the home and garden lovers in your life. Available at Heavener Hardware.

Huge variety of gardening gloves and other great gifts for the home and garden lovers in your life. Available at Heavener Hardware.

John’s Camera Corner & Gentry Studio
213 Draper Rd.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-2319

Kent Jewelers
210 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-3241

Mad Dog
109 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-961-4038

Matrix Gallery
115 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-3566

Fancy frames,soaps,ducks and more under $20 available at Mad Dog

Fancy frames,soaps,ducks and more under $20 available at Mad Dog

Mish Mish
125 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-1020

Nice Dreams
115-B North Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-4733

polished by claire v.
101 South Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
1540-342-5895

Sandra Eileen Designs
106 Faculty Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Stocking stuffers, toys, hats and more under $20 available at The Clothes Rack

Stocking stuffers, toys, hats and more under $20 available at The Clothes Rack

Tech Bookstore
118 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-552-6444

The Artful Lawyer Gallery Store
320 N.Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540- 443.9350 ext. 707

Uncommonly Gifted
208 S. Main St
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-1818

Unique gifts under $20 in Heirloom Originals

Unique gifts under $20 in Heirloom Originals

Vintage Touch
208A North Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-951-1901

Wireless Zone
304 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-961-4200

And now I look like this when I think about Christmas Shopping.....

And now I look like this when I think about Christmas Shopping…..

I used to look like this when I thought about Christmas Shopping.....

I used to look like this when I thought about Christmas Shopping…..

Okay, not really. Just checking to see who read to the end! Share your favorite downtown place to shop for the holidays here and be entered in a draw to win Downtown Gift Certificates. Draw will take place on December 23.

Christmas shopping on a budget

19 Dec Stocking stuffers, toys, hats and more under $20 available at The Clothes Rack
Post written by Laureen Blakemore

Anybody who knows me well knows this fact about me: I DO NOT LIKE SHOPPING! And yes I will admit it- I am also VERY IMPATIENT!  I used to find Christmas  shopping to be a pain in the……. well you know what. Standing in line in crowded shops combined with the pressure to find exactly the right gift for each person on my list was not only frustrating to me, but was actually rather annoying.  Over the years Christmas shopping became an  exercise in frantically grabbing whatever I could find, as fast as I could find it and getting out of the door and back home as quickly as was humanly possible. Not much thought went into anyone’s gift. Friends or family members, who were unfortunate enough to come shopping with me, were usually left re-evaluating our relationship as they watched me turn into an impatient, obnoxious lunatic as I desperately tried to navigate my way through crowds and badly laid out aisles to find my way to the nearest cashier or doorway.

And now…….well I shop downtown, right here in Blacksburg.While I would certainly not pretend  that I suddenly find shopping to be my most favorite activity in the whole wide world ever, I have found that I can tolerate it a lot better and sometimes I actually even enjoy myself!
I hear a lot of people saying that it is too expensive to shop locally so today I set myself a challenge- to find out if it was possible to shop downtown for Christmas gifts that cost less than $20 each. Turned out to be a bigger challenge than I expected because there was just so much available to choose from. In many instances I found delightful gifts which cost less than $10 so now I am spoiled for choice!

So what brought about this change of heart in my shopping attitude I hear you asking?  Well really it’s probably down to 5 simple reasons and I  want to share those with you.

1) I now know our downtown store owners, and they know me. They are used to my “shopping phobia” and are quick to offer shopping advice if needed and equally quick to know when I just want to be left alone! I have never had to waste my time searching for a sales assistant to tell me the price of an item, or to find out if they have the size I need in stock. Downtown the sales assistants, or in many cases, the owners, are on hand almost immediately if a customer has a question. And there is certainly something to be said for shopping in the places where “everybody knows your name” (to quote from one of my favorite old shows “Cheers”)!

2)  Every time I go and shop downtown I can absolutely guarantee that I will bump into somebody I know in at least one store. So now in addition to purchasing items I can catch up with friends and acquaintances, swap ideas about gifts for you know who, whom they just happen to know too! Suddenly shopping is a much less daunting task, it’s a social experience and I truly do love to be sociable! Often the shopping trip becomes much more than that- how fun it is to catch up with others and maybe move on from the store to one of the great restaurants or to The Lyric to catch a movie, or on a sunny day to hang out together at Market Square Park.

3) Our downtown stores have more one-of-a-kind gifts, unique and unusual pieces as opposed to the mass-produced items that are found elsewhere. Our stores offer a more low-pressure shopping experience and so many different options, so I am able to spend more time finding gifts that really suit members of  my family and my friends.

4) In our downtown stores the staff  are more familiar with their merchandise, and offer personalized assistance  in a low stress environment. And if they do not carry something I am looking for they let me know where I can find it elsewhere!

5) Smaller stores = shorter lines= less waiting time. Enough said!

We all know by now, I hope, that supporting local business is beneficial to the local economy as well. According to a Nov. 22, 2011, Forbes article by Deborah Sweeney, for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 gets returned to the community, either in employee paychecks, or through taxes. An Oct. 21, 2011, U.S. News article by Rachel Koning Beals corroborates this claim, adding that, in comparison, one Chicago-based study found that only $43 of every $100 spent at chain stores remains in the local economy. Sweeney describes local businesses as “the backbone of the community”. When you spend your money locally, you are supporting the people who live next door, the people who know your name!

And so with all of this in mind back to my challenge- Christmas shopping on a budget downtown. I found so very many items for $20 or less that I finally stopped looking. I have provided some pictures and ideas here for you as well as a list of most of  our downtown stores. I encourage you to take this challenge and come down and see how much is available- from $3 stocking stuffers in The Clothes Rack to $10 gloves in Fringe Benefit: from a selection of books and coloring books in Mish Mish to all of your Hokie needs in High Peak Sportswear, Tech Bookstore, Campus Emporium or Bookholders: from beautiful works of arts and crafts in Matrix Gallery or Burnt Creative to cell phone accessories in Wireless Zone: from cool Kitchen accessories in Gourmet Pantry to all your gardening needs in Heavener Hardware. So many great gifts under $20 each, and in many cases, under $10 available in downtown Blacksburg! And if you are still not sure what would be the absolute best gift for your teacher/ boss/wife/friend/co-worker you can always get Downtown Gift Certificates  sold in $5 or $20 denominations at the National Bank of Blacksburg on Roanoke Street. They can be redeemed in more than 60 downtown businesses allowing the recipient to choose exactly where they want to spend their $$’s!

So come on downtown and take the challenge- get your Christmas gifts for $20 or less, you’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have during your shopping local experience!
Happy Shopping!

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310 Rosemont
208 N. Main St.
540-961-5326
A boutique for men and ladies!
Alligator Alley
401 S. Main St.
540-552-4287
Men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, featuring Lacoste, Barbour, Berle, Vineyard Vines, Sperry, Lilly Pulitzer, and Eliza B. See ya later, Alligator!
Beaux Arts Galleria
105 E. Roanoke St.
540-443-0003
Mid-20th Century home furnishings, vintage lighting products and museum-quality home decorations from around the world.
Bike Barn
424 N. Main St.
540-443-3323
Bike Barn offers bicycle sales and service in the New River Valley. Bike Barn is a drop off point for tubes, tires and metal bike parts for recycling!
Blacksburg Pipe & Tobacco
408 N.Main St
540-951-8457
Our mission is to provide our customers with an enjoyable experience and the finest tobaccos available. We carry some of the finest cigars in the world.
Bookholders.com
125 N. Main St.
540-808-4481
BookHolders.com buys/sells used college/general books & new apparel.
Burnt Creative Boutique
320 N.Main St
540-230-7550
Specializing in regional handcrafts, fair trade goods, and carefully selected vintage finds.
Campus Emporium
207 N. Main St.
540-552-1051
YOUR ONE STOP HOKIE SHOP for gifts, clothing and merchandise
Capone’s Fine Jewelry
101 N. Main St.
540-953-1000
Custom designs which incorporate only the highest quality gems, stones and metals.
Clothes Rack
105 N. Main St.
540-552-8147
A wide selection of college apartment essential tapestries, handicrafts and eco-conscious clothing reminiscent of the 60′s.
Eats Natural Foods
708A N. Main St.
540-552-2279
Blacksburg’s premier natural foods store offering a wide selection of organic, natural and gourmet foods; wine and beer brewing supplies, supplements, and body care products.
Eucalyptus Massage Therapy
201 S. Main St.
540-552- CALM
We look forward to working with you, and encourage you to start getting healthier with massage therapy! Also selling jewelry and artworks
Fringe Benefit
117 N. Main St.
540-951-9777
Women’s Fashion, gifts and jewelry with Ten Thousand Villages located inside!
Gourmet Pantry
401 S. Main St.
540-951-1995
Everything kitchen and more! Sign up now for Cooking Classes- visit the website for details.
Greenhouse Boardshop
203 College Ave.
540-552-3872
Professionally serving the needs of people who ride skateboards and snowboards.
Heavener Hardware & Lumber
801 Kabrich St.
540-552-1221
Lumber, rentals and so much more for those projects around the home and garden.
Heirloom Originals
609 North Main Street
552-9241
Antiques,gifts and originals on North Main. Stop in and see us!
High Peak Sportswear
209 College Ave.
540-953-1293
Your best source for t-shirts, golf shirts, hats, and all types of imprinted apparel and gift items!
John’s Camera Corner & Gentry Studio
213 Draper Rd.
540-552-2319
Views of Historical Blacksburg on display and for sale. Buy Blacksburg postcards and all of your camera needs in the heart of the downtown.
Kent Jewelers
210 S. Main St.
540-552-3241
Your diamond source
LaLac Boutique
208 A North Main St.,
540-552-0070
An accessories boutique that offers a variety of fashion forward jewelry, scarves, hats, purses, sunglasses, stockings, belts and more. It is our mission to bring our customers the the latest trends in a friendly, comfortable environment
Mad Dog
109 N. Main St.
540-961-4038
Mad Dog offers clothing, accessories, and home goods for all styles.
Matrix Gallery
115 N. Main St.
540-951-3566
Quality handmade American crafts….beautiful, functional & fun!
Mish Mish
125 N. Main St.
540-552-1020
Providing the Best in Supplies to Those Who Create Since 1970.
Nice Dreams
115-B North Main St
540-552-4733
Gifts, novelties and tobacco
polished by claire v.
101 South Main St
1540-342-5895
We offer highly indulgent manicures, pedicures, and spa services at a fabulous price, in a memorable setting! Also selling purses and Bare Minerals products.
Tech Bookstore
118 S. Main St.
540-552-6444
Tech Bookstore is your place for Virginia Tech textbooks, gear and supplies. Buy or sell used and new textbooks, find official Virginia Tech gear, and purchase software and gifts.
Wireless Zone
304 N. Main St.
540-961-4200
Your Local Verizon Wireless Premium Retailer in Downtown Blacksburg since 2002. Also selling XM Radio.
.

Happy Holidays in Downtown Blacksburg!

4 Dec christmas-story1

Ken_Julia1 TubaChristmas 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Need more Tuba………….to participate in the 4th annual Downtown Blacksburg TubaChristmas!
TUBACHRISTMAS events are presented throughout the world. TUBACHRISTMAS was conceived in 1974 as a tribute to the late artist/teacher William J. Bell, born on Christmas Day, 1902. Through the legendary William J. Bell we reflect on our heritage and honor all great artists/teachers whose legacy has given us high performance standards, well structured pedagogy, professional integrity, personal values and a camaraderie envied by all other instrumentalists. The first TUBACHRISTMAS was conducted by the late Paul Lavalle in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink on Sunday, December 22, 1974.
TubaChristmas in Blacksburg is sponsored and presented by Downtown Blacksburg Inc and the Department of Music at Virginia Tech.

BLACKSBURG – FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7 – TIME: 6:00 pm
LOCATION: Blacksburg Farmers Market Square
REGISTRATION: 3:00 pm, Virginia Tech., Department of Music, Squires room 243
REHEARSAL: 4:00 pm, same
PARKING: Kent Square garage, 207 Draper Rd.
CONDUCTOR: Dr. Dave Ball
COORDINATOR: Elizabeth Crone 540-998-5972

For more information or to sign up to play in TubaChristmas please contact Elizabeth Crone at ecrone@vt.edu

Winter Lights Festival

Friday, December 7, 2012

Downtown Merchants annual Open House- 4-8pm, late night shopping, free gift wrap, snacks and beverages, holiday specials.
Deo Gloria will stroll through the stores and streets caroling as they go!
4:00-7:00pm Holiday Gift Market, with free hot chocolate and hot cider from DBI & more in Market Square Park
4:00- 5:30pm- Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus at The Lyric (bring your own camera)
5:00pm Caroling with Blacksburg Children’s Master Chorale in Market Square Park
5:30pm Tree lighting with music from the Blacksburg Children’s Master Chorale on Henderson Lawn
6:00pm TubaChristmas in Market Square Park.Co-sponsored by the Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and the Department of Music at Virginia Tech
7:00pm Holiday Parade co-sponsored by Blacksburg Parks & Recreation Department &Virginia Tech Chapter of Circle K

Holiday Gift Market Vendors:
Deo_Gloria
The Green Market – fresh produce and preserves
Birdsong Farm – beeswax candles, soaps, etc.
Mystic River – lavender products
Greenstar Farm – fresh produce, vintage jewelry
Beyond Homemade – baked goods
Little Blue Woman – candles
Honeywood – wooden bowls, etc.
Sterling Bridge Dairy – cheese
Cavalier Farms – produce, preserves, eggs, meat
Buckeye Mountain Forge – ironware
Les Delectables – baked goods
Under the Green Umbrella – baked goods, salsas, cider and lemonade
Friends of the Farmers Market – market t-shirts, posters, aprons
Jen Richter & Jenny Huffman-Christmas cards, art prints, handmade books, some original paintings
Alexander Black House- Holiday cards & ornaments.
Kourtney Hunter – fresh Christmas wreaths
Spangler Family Farm – popping corn (in gift bags – unpopped)

Eucalyptus Massage Therapy Art Show & Open House

Friday December 7th, 4-8pm
Come meet George Wills, featured artist, and the staff of Eucalyptus!
We now have custom therapeutic jewelry
for anxiety and stress reduction and locally crafted gifts!
Holiday Gift Certificates Online or during desk hours!

An Artful Open House

In The Artful Lawyer, at The Creekmore Law Firm
Friday Dec 7, 4-6:30pm
With the sounds of Deo Gloria in your ears, and the anticipation of another Tuba Christmas and parade in your heart, add some artful cheer to your evening with us! We will have new art on the walls, from artists who showed with us over the past year to a preview of artists to come in 2013. Christmas cookies and drinks will be served as we gather together before the tree lighting as well. All are welcome!

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc & The Lyric Theatre invite you to a FREE movie

“A Christmas Story”26-Leg-lamp-christmas-story

December 8- 3pm
Santa and Mrs Claus will be available for pictures following the movie in the lobby. Bring your own camera.
Happy Holidays from
Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.& the Lyric Theatre

Main Street Inn- Holiday Open House December 9

Please come and enjoy Main Street Inn ‘s warm and festive Holiday setting. The Holidays bring out the best in all so please have a seat in our welcoming lobby and warm yourself with the crackling fireplace. We will be serving hot cider with cinnamon sticks and freshly baked holiday cookies. We will offer tours of our accommodations and an overabundance of holiday spirit. “Make a Night of It” when you visit Main Street Inn on Sunday, December 9 for the VICCC Holiday Open House Tour and receive 15% off your stay. We look forward to hosting you this holiday season!

Nest Realty – Holiday Open House December 9

We are participating in the 3rd annual Holiday Open House Tour to benefit the Valley Interfaith Childcare Center on December 9 from 1-5pm. Join us for an afternoon of holiday cheer as you tour homes, gardens and businesses in Blacksburg. Nest Realty will be hosting a gingerbread house decorating contest and the decorated houses will be on display for guests to view and vote on their favorite during the tour. The entry fee is $10 and you will receive a pre-made gingerbread house to decorate as you choose! The winner will receive lots of accolades as well as a donation made in their name to VICCC. Come by Nest today to get your gingerbread house or contact Tina Merritt and she will have one delivered to you. 540-440-1678 tina@nestrealtygroup.com. Get your creativity on and support VICCC! You can also purchase tour tickets in advance at Nest Realty, 400 N. Main St.

Special Holiday Shopping Nights

Dec 13- 4-8pm- Ladies Night
Dec 20- 4-8pm- Gents Night
Including free gift wrap, personal shopping assistance, wish list creation,special discounts, refreshments and so much more.

christmas-story1

Downtown Holiday Shopping Guide

19 Dec bumpersticker

FREE PARKING at all metered spaces now through January 3 makes it even easier to make Downtown Blacksburg your holiday shopping destination this year!

Great gifts for all are available in our downtown stores, so we have put together this brief guide to what you will find, where and when. And if you are still stuck on what to buy the person who has everything you can purchase Downtown Gift Certificates from the downtown branch of National Bank of Blacksburg.Now you can also purchase gift certificates and Blacksburg t-shirts and prints online at:Downtown Merchandise
Gift certificates are redeemable at over 60 participating businesses- you can get everything from a massage to a smart phone; from dinner in one of our many restaurants to a frozen treat in Rita’s or the Frosty Parrot; from shoes to tea services; clothing to snow boards!


Holiday Shopping Specials- Please note- all of our stores are CLOSED on Christmas Day

310 Rosemont- Uggs are in- Uggs slippers and boots make great gifts!
OPEN Mon-Friday- 11am-6pm, Christmas Eve-10am-3pm

Alligator Alley- Buy one get one half off on many items throughout the store
OPEN Mon- Friday- 11am-5pm, Christmas Eve- 11am-4pm

Beaux Arts Galleria- Holiday Sale 30% off online and in store orders
OPEN Monday–Friday 10am–6pm,or by appointment.

Bike Barn-Monday- All 2011 bicycles are 20% off. Emotion Kayaks are being sold AT COST.25% of bikes are Reduced!!
OPEN Tues-Thurs- 10am-5:30pm, Friday- 10am-6:30pm, Christmas Eve- 9:30am-5pm

Blacksburg Pipe and Tobacco- Many specials PLUS the great prices we have on all our products.
OPEN Mon- Friday-10am-6pm, Christmas Eve-10am-4:30pm

Bookholders-20% off all apparel
OPEN Mon- Thurs- 9am-8pm, Friday 10am-8pm, Christmas Eve- CLOSED

Campus Emporium-Sugar Bowl items now in! Special sale prices on many items throughout the store.
OPEN Mon- Friday- 9:30am-7:30pm, Christmas Eve- 9:30pm-3pm

Capone’s Fine Jewelry- 15% off Citizen watches. Holiday Hospitality Room offers a little extra pampering while you shop!
OPEN Mon- Thurs- 10am-6pm, Friday- 10am-6pm, Christmas Eve- 10am-5pm

Clothes Rack-Summer Dresses are on sale!! Buy Local- an eclectic shop for all of your eclectic needs!
OPEN Mon-Friday- 11am-7pm, Christmas Eve- 11am-4pm

Community Arts Information Office (CAIO)- Gifts of Art by Blacksburg Regional Arts Association
OPEN Mon-9am-3pm, Tues- 9am-3pm,& 4pm-6pm, Weds- 9am-3pm & 4pm-6pm,Thursday- 9am-3pm, Friday-4-6pm

Eats Natural Foods- Everyone’s a member on Christmas Eve & will receive 15% off. Live Local t-shirts on sale here!
OPEN Mon- Friday- 10am-8pm, Christmas Eve- 10am-5pm

Fringe Benefit- Follow the sparkles to great deals throughout the store, amazing accessories available!
OPEN Mon- Friday- 10am-8pm, Christmas Eve- 9am-4:30pm

Gourmet Pantry- Wine Tasting on Christmas Eve 12-4pm
OPEN Mon- Friday 10am-8pm, Christmas Eve 10am-5pm

Greenhouse Boardshop- Exclusive VT Flip flops here as well as all your boarding needs! Live Local t-shirts on sale here!
OPEN Mon- Friday- 10am-8pm, Christmas Eve- 10am-6pm

Heavener Hardware- Always great gifts for the home and the tool lover in your life! Live Local & Steppin’ Out t-shirts on sale here!
OPEN Mon-Friday- 7:30am-6pm, Christmas Eve CLOSED

Heirloom Originals-Antiques, gifts and originals- something for everyone!
OPEN Mon-Friday 10:30am to 4:30pm, Christmas Eve- 10:30am to 5:00pm

High Peak Sportswear -Your best source for t-shirts, golf shirts, hats, and all types of imprinted apparel and gift items!
OPEN Mon- Friday- 10am-5pm, Christmas Eve -10am-3pm

Homebody- 20% off all clothing and don’t forget the Elephant Poop Paper!
OPEN Mon-Friday 10:30-7pm, Christmas Eve- 11:30am-2pm

John’s Camera Corner- Always a great deal and if it is still here on Christmas Eve it’s on SALE
OPEN Mon-Friday- 10am-5:30pm, Christmas Eve-10am-2pm

Kent Jewelers-New Pandora Inventory now in!
OPEN Mon- Friday- 10am-7pm, Christmas Eve- 10am-5pm

Mad Dog- Coats 40% off  Sweaters 30% off
OPEN Mon- Friday- 10am-7pm, Christmas Eve- 10am-2pm

Matrix Gallery-A wide variety of pottery, glass, jewelry, wood, leather, candles and more
OPEN Mon- Friday-10:30am-7pm, Christmas Eve- 10:30am-4:30pm

Mish Mish- Many sales including easels, starter kits and paint sets. Live Local t-shirts & George Wills Downtown prints on sale here!
OPEN Mon- Friday- 9am-6pm, Christmas Eve- 10am-4pm

Tech Bookstore-33% off ALL VT clothing and gifts
OPEN Mon-Friday-9am-5pm, Christmas Eve- 10am-5pm

Ten Thousand Villages-Fair trade international craft supplier. Crafts from around the world from an ethical supplier. Located inside Fringe Benefit.
OPEN Mon- Friday- 10am-8pm, Christmas Eve- 9am-4:30pm

The 6 PAK Store at The Cellar- Christmas Ales are now in!
OPEN Mon-Friday- 11am-12midnight, Christmas Eve- CLOSED

Wireless Zone- 25% off all accessories including blue tooth, chargers and more, plus many specials on Christmas items
OPEN Mon- Friday- 10am-7pm, Christmas Eve- 10am-2pm

While you are shopping don’t forget to stop in one of our wonderful restaurants, services or the Lyric Theatre to enjoy the full downtown experience! Full list of downtown businesses may be found at www.downtownblacksburg.com

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Guess Who’s Celebrating 25 Years in Downtown Blacksburg!?!

29 Oct Matrix

Post written by Karen Quina Doyle

Revised: 11/16/12- Matrix Gallery is celebrating it’s 25th Birthday! Another year older and another year better and better! Come and join the celebration 11/16/12 4-8pm in Matrix Gallery.

Stepping into Matrix Gallery  on a late October day that might best be described as a mix of drizzle and bluster with a touch of grey, the forecast immediately brightens as shop owner Lana Jaurez ushers me in with her warm smile and easy way.

Lana Juarez

A few steps more, and I’m fully immersed in the company and domain of the attractive, petite shop owner with chocolate eyes and silvering bob.  I know in an instant I’ve just entered the realm of someone who is right in her element, doing exactly what she loves and even more obviously meant to do.

The Road to Blacksburg

As an Art Major at Tech in the ’70s, Juarez had her heart set on working at a Downtown Blacksburg craft shop in the spot that is now Poor Billy’s.  It closed before she got that chance.  Waiting and wishing for someone to reopen it, she took to the road as a juried artist specializing in stained glass, a craft, which by her own admission, she hasn’t pursued in a while.

The journey would ultimately take her across the country just as it had as a young “Navy brat” transported from California to D.C..  It was during these more recent ventures that she met most of the artists and artisans “from all over” she still represents to this day.  Even though she has long since left the juried arts circuit, the latest works of those early acquaintances are still exquisitely displayed right next to her more recent finds.

Opening the Doors on a New Chapter

Realizing she could no longer wait for someone else to reopen that craft shop, she, along with two others who have since moved on, opened the gallery November 7, 1987 just a few blocks up the road in what has remained its permanent location at 115 North Main Street.

Working Her Magic

During a visit that was altogether too brief, I immediately grasped the notion behind her success when two random gentlemen, one with a clear agenda and one without, appeared in her doorway. The more decisive of the two made quick work of coveting a dove sculpture, a premeditated gift for (it was apparent) a very special lady, though he was in no apparent hurry.

Every dog has his day!

He and the engaging Juarez lingered over musicians and friends they had in common along with a shared love for Keb’ Mo’, who (unbeknownst to him) had prompted the whole exchange by way of Lana’s sound system.   The other, asking where one “might find antiques in town”, was greeted with the news that he could easily find “future antiques” right there in Matrix Gallery!  It was clear to me that no one could open that door without feeling the urge to come in and find what would surely become a treasured heirloom.  Even I was not immune.  I ended up leaving with the perfect gift for a friend’s new arrival: a baby rattle crafted out of a single piece of American black cherry at the hands of Victoria, TX wood turner and furniture maker, George Bagnall.

Art from All Parts

The array of artists reads like a travelogue as diverse as Juarez’ journeys — Whiting, WA; Burlington, ND; Corrales, NM; Easthampton, MA; Arcata, CA; Haiku, HI – though weight and prominence are equally given to local and regional artists including Blacksburg’s own David Crane, Beverly Nachlas, and Sally Mook as well as Floyd’s Sarah McCarthy, Richmond’s Robin Cage, and the Shenandoah Valley’s Marsha Heatwole.  The offerings range from pottery to glass, jewelry and wood, leatherwork, and hand-forged steel among a variety of other media.

“I believe it’s important to continue the tradition of honoring things made by hand,” Juarez intones.  “Even though this is new,” she urges, cradling a pottery mug with heartfelt appreciation, “it’s ancient.”  With a compassion that is hard to miss, she emphasizes how hard it is for the American artist to make it, especially now as things are moving too fast at the hands of technology.  “It’s something we can’t afford to lose,” she says with an impassioned plea.

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Tell Us What You’ve Found There

Do have a favorite artist or prized acquisition from Matrix Gallery?  We’d love to hear about it. Please share your story with us in the comments section, below.

When you’re through, go by and wish Lana a Happy 24th Downtown Blacksburg Anniversary!  We dare you to leave empty-handed.

Matrix Gallery is open seven days a week.

Learn more at www.matrixgallery.com.

The Gift of Art

21 Dec jewels

“Our aims are to make quality art events affordable, attractive and accessible to our members and to the public; and to encourage and support one another while fostering creativity and joyfully exploring the arts.”

Promoting the arts in the New River Valley since 1950, the Blacksburg Regional Arts Association is a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Partner, a member of the Blue Ridge Arts Council, and a non-profit volunteer organization. Showing now in the Community Arts Information Office (149 College Ave), is a holiday display of art and craft by members of the Blacksburg Regional Art Association.

The Gift of Art
The work of the following artists is featured in this special exhibit- Dale Norton, Toni Bowman, Marie Collier, Paula Golden, Susan Hensley, Nancy Norton, David Pearce, Mary Ratliff, Cecilia Riegert, Robi Sallee, Lois Stephens, Donald Sunshine, Joanne Sunshine, and Gerri Young.
Items available include art in a variety of media- from carved wooden bowls, sparkling beaded jewelry, and woven rugs to photography, stained glass, and watercolors; guaranteeing that there really is something for everyone. And that includes something for everyone’s budget. You can buy your friend a beautiful handcrafted stained glass Christmas tree for as little as $12. Original holiday cards, customized jewels, and recycled glass pendants add to the mix. Give the gift of art, created by local artists; the gift that keeps on giving all year long.

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The exhibit runs from December 1-30, 2010 and all items on display are available for purchase so drop in and find a gift for someone special!

Community Arts Information Office, 149 College Ave, Blacksburg
Hours of Operation: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Mon. – Fri
10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Sat. *
1:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Sun. *
* As Staff is Available

For the first time in sixty years of service, the BRAA has a public presence! “It’s a place to gather, welcome visitors, show our art, store our stuff, and toot our horn. Our office is located at: 149 College Avenue, Blacksburg, VA 24060, in the Central Arts Information Office (CAIO,) near the Lyric Theatre and across the street from Theatre 101, and Henderson Lawn. It’s the heart of the developing Downtown Blacksburg Arts District.” says President and local artist, Nancy Norton.

Want to know more about how you can support the BRAA? Check out the website: BRAA or call: 540-552-0552.

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