When you choose to support small, local businesses, craftsmen and makers of all kinds, you reap the rewards. Not only does shopping locally keep your income in your immediate community, it also contributes to sustainability, job creation and fair wages, as well as reduces the effects of inflation. Plus, local entrepreneurs tend to provide diverse products that are aligned with their passions while also focusing on the needs of their clients and communities.
Ogden Publications and Mother Earth Living are nestled in the heartland—Topeka, KS to be exact—and as purveyors of local goods and services, we thought we’d showcase some places in Kansas City, MO, to help you expand your list of the best local businesses.
Illustration by Fotolia/paulrommer.
Indigo Wild’s factory is located in the Crossroads, and they are the minds behind Zum Soap. Although soaps may be their best-known product, Indigo Wild now makes a wide range of goodies for your body and home—from soap and body oils to laundry detergent and candles. All Zum products are cruelty-free and vegetarian; most are vegan and gluten-free, as well.
They also support local non-profits and charities. For every Y.U.M. Bar sold, Indigo Wild donates 1 dollar to the Kansas City Sheltie Rescue. They’re also active with local cancer-supporting charities through their Betsy product line, which gives back to breast cancer patients and survivors.
Where to find Zum?
Check your nearest natural grocer, local co-op or other local business that stocks locally-made items. Larger chains, such as Kroger, Hy-Vee and Price Chopper also carry Zum products. If you’re not sure where to start, visit Indigo Wild’s store locator...you might be surprised how easy it is to find.
Kansas City Urban Potters
Kansas City Urban Potters (KCUP), formed in 2014, is collective of full-time studio artists creating functional pottery, from tableware to planters. Through community events, exhibitions and local partnerships, KCUP hopes to bring contemporary pottery to local and regional audiences.
KCUP was awarded a 2016 Rocket Grant which has allowed them to create a venue—the Kansas City Urban Potters Project Space—that provides space to “create, educate and engage” with their community and other local makers.
The Jeweled Gypsy
Looking for fashion on the go? Then, The Jeweled Gypsy is just the spot for you! Much like food trucks have swept the nation, mobile fashion boutiques (a.k.a. fashion trucks) are following a similar path. The Jeweled Gypsy is Kansas City’s first fashion truck and specializes in truly one-of-kind pieces from local and up-and-coming designers that won’t be found in your average retail store. A majority of their items are also handmade.
Where to find The Jeweled Gypsy?
They make regular appearances at First Fridays in the Crossroads. Other dates may be added, so follow them on social media to keep up-to-date on their whereabouts. You can even host a fun girl’s night, bachelorette or birthday party by booking The Jeweled Gypsy.
Urban Provisions General Store
This modern-day general store is filled with a variety of handcrafted products. Whether you’re looking for soap, the perfect new cocktail mix or home décor, Urban Provisions is sure to have something uniquely you. All products stocked are 100 percent American-made, but local wares are their true passion.
Made in KC
If you’re still on the hunt for items made in Kansas City, check out Made in KC. Originally started to help local artisans reach the greater Kansas City Metro area, Made in KC now features work from hundreds of local artists and makers in their five locations throughout Kansas City and the surrounding area.
Even if you’re not a local with tons of hometown pride, these shops are the perfect places to pick up a unique, KC-inspired souvenir for yourself or a loved one on your travels.