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Shopping Local During the Holidays

Shopping at local-owned retail benefits our local economy. We know this, but how often do we practice what we preach and truly shop local? With the holidays in full swing and many folks buying last minute gifts, take the time to log off Amazon and hit the local stores. Here’s a few you might consider in Indiana Dunes Country.


Chelle’s (Chesterton)

This little gem is a clothing boutique in Chesterton that features fair-trade and eco-friendly clothing. I love that when you purchase an item here, you know that the workers who made every stitch were paid a fair wage and worked in fair conditions. Why not let getting dressed in the morning contribute to a better world?

a leather bag

– I think I need this bag from Chelle’s.

handmade boots

– Oh. These boots. I need them as well.

Sheep’s Clothing (Valparaiso)

Whether you have a knitting granny or you know someone who just knits like a granny, Sheep’s Clothing has really neat yarn and fiber art supplies. Their rainbow wall-o’-yarn is a crafter’s dream! And if you’ve set a New Year’s resolution to become a little craftier, sign up for knitting or crochet lessons. Maybe next year’s holiday presents will include gifts you’ve made!

assorted yarns

– Yarn in every color and fiber you could need!

The Blue Butterfly (Portage)

A new age retailer carrying products and supplies for many spiritual paths from around the globe. They also have unique gifts, meditation tools, jewelry, crystals, candles, and much more! It’s a great place to find treasures for the more whimsical person on your list.

colorful stones

– Gemstones at The Blue Butterfly

Molly Bea’s Ingredients (Chesterton)

For the chef in your life! Molly Bea’s features bulk ingredients of many types, as well as vintage candies, local honey, loose-leaf teas, and whole bean coffee. It’s also a great spot if you need culinary ingredients but have dietary restrictions. Every time I’m in this store, I walk away inspired to bake something new.

assorted candies

– Candies at Molly Bea’s. Anyone else feeling the sweet tooth?

Evolution Artisan Confections (Valparaiso)

Seriously – these are the most artful chocolates you’ll ever buy. They’re so pretty that I hate eating them. Well, that is until I taste them. Their little chocolate mix-and-match boxes are great because you can choose the flavors. But if you need a quick gift, they also have gift baskets and such ready to go.

assorted chocolates

– Move over, Russel Stover! These chocolates are works of art.

O’Gara and Wilson Antiquarian Booksellers (Chesterton)

So. Much. Book. Love. This local bookstore is straight out of a picturesque magazine. They carry hard-to-find and vintage books as well as used books at reasonable prices. If you have someone in your life who is an avid reader, take them here and let them pick out a special book.

inside Ogara's bookstore

– Pretty sure O’Gara and Wilson is right out of a movie!

Acorn Acres (Farm in Kouts, Store in Chesterton)

Give the gift of local food! Yummy produce, humanely-raised meat, culinary ingredients and more can be found at this store. Consider buying a gift card or put together a basket of delicious local food.

shelves of fruit at a store

– Real food, grown by real people! Delicious, healthy, and local.

Want to check out more places to shop in the Indiana Dunes? Check out our page here.


This post was contributed by our Community Engagement Director, Brooke Allen.