By Erica Diaz | firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve all been encouraged to shop locally for years. We know it’s good for boosting community economy. We know it’s typically a more environmentally friendly and sustainable option. We know it’s especially important this year in the wake of COVID-19. What you may not know is that hard work and surviving adversity are written into Oakland Park’s history.
A Little Bit of History…
In the 1920’s, wealthy Palm Beach investors abandoned the exclusive resort community they had begun building. That left Oakland Park residents, mostly poor farmers at that time, with a massive city and almost no economy to support or maintain it. Incredibly, residents were able to rally and re-build a local economy, saving the city.
A hundred years later we find ourselves facing a different type of adversity, but many residents are once again calling on Oakland Park’s spirit of community to get us through. This time, however, we have an advantage.
Shop Locally This Holiday Season!
Oakland Park has blossomed from its humble beginnings and is now a city filled with artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs. Our neighbors are colorful, clever, and ambitious. Shopping locally isn’t limited to just fellow farmers anymore and it doesn’t mean sacrificing quality, variety, or creativity.
Look at some of the holiday gift options available right in your community.
Cash Is King
This year, everyone could use a little boost to their bank account. Cash is one of those gifts everyone loves to get, but you’ve got to admit that giving it can be a little boring. Well, Rina Unwrapped is far from boring!
Run by Corrina La’Shay, who is just as lively and fun as her creations, the company creates one of a kind boxes stuffed with cash. You choose an amount, and the team works with you to put together a custom creation.
What you get is more than just a cool box, but we’ll leave you to check the customer reaction videos on Instagram to see what we mean.
This Gift Doesn’t “Succ”
If combining art and nature is the sort of thing you’re looking for in a gift, South Florida Custom Succulents might have just the thing you never knew you needed.
Ranging in size from tabletop to full landscape installations, these creations are seriously impressive – and easy to care for. You can select containers ranging from whimsical to modern, and plants in a wide variety of colors and shapes.
Don’t limit yourself to arrangements, though. They certainly didn’t.
The company also does succulent arrangement parties and corporate events. Not only are they fun, they’re easy to do in a socially distant way.
Is It Even Christmas Without Coquito?
Calling it “Puerto Rican eggnog” is a little misleading, since many recipes don’t involve eggs, but coquito absolutely mirrors some of the flavors and all of the holiday spirit of eggnog.
Take your typical holiday flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and combine them with coconut and rum and you get the true flavor of Coquito: Christmas with the flavor of the islands – “sabor de la isla”.
It comes in flavors like chocolate or mango, but it’s hard to top the original. Henri Rivera makes what some call the best and most authentic Coquito you can get around town.
Give the Gift of Art
Local artists have always been a major part of South Florida culture, and that’s no different now. Artist Cheryl Brown works out of her studio in Ft. Lauderdale, but the artist behind Cielo Clayworks calls Oakland Park home.
She creates amazing ceramics like ornaments, plates, and pottery; which are all perfect for gifts. Cielo Clayworks also teaches and offers events if you’d like to gift someone a hands-on experience!
Spending more time at home has got a lot of people dealing with some serious cabin fever. Consider sprucing up someone’s space with a mural courtesy of artist Niki Gilmore.
Gilmore’s work covers a range of things, but it’s the oceanic scenes that really scream South Florida to us. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with a cool octopus in the corner?
A New Take On A Classic Gift
If you’re going to give flowers, why not give them in an unforgettable way? Bluebelle Florals is a local boutique florist only serves the tri-county area. The small operation has created a buzz for their willingness to just go for it – often using unusual plants and striking color combinations.
That boldness can also be seen in their business motto. They almost challenge clients to go big, or “gild the lily.”
If you’re looking for a gift that’s truly one-of-a-kind, why not consider gifting someone a floral arrangement created just for them?
Satisfy Their Sweet Tooth
If you’ve got a chocoholic on your list this year, a little bit of deliciousness courtesy of Naty’s Brunch Table might be just what you’re looking for. The company offers a Holiday gift set with a mug and a wrapped cocoa bomb – just add hot milk or water and enjoy.
The “ba-bombs” not only come in white and milk chocolate, but this year they’re offering a “Grinch ba-bomb”, which, honestly, is perfect for 2020.
You can choose whether you’d like your ba-bombs decorated more playfully or elegantly based on the recipient.
Naty’s Brunch Table also offers a variety of other delicious gifts… but we’re too busy drooling over these bomb ba-bombs! It’s a chocoholic thing.
Looks like Oakland Park has everything you need to have a happy, healthy, and delicious holiday season!
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About the Author
As a child, Erica told her kindergarten teacher that she would grow up to be a singer, doctor, veterinarian, writer and teacher; and she absolutely meant it. Her career has taken her on some odd and interesting journeys that have indeed seen her front bands, work to help the sick or injured (humans and animal,) teach – and so much more. She wordsmithed her way through it all; writing for a head spinning wide variety of clients.
A few years ago, a freak accident with glitter and the resulting social-media blitz offered up another plot twist. That one-in-a-million accident became a one-in-a-million opportunity. Because of it, Erica has been able to share her anti-bullying message with millions, write for some of the most beloved celebrities and public figures, and bring local, national, and international news and current events to her readers.
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