Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

There's a lot of Made in America in the D.C. area on this Small Business Saturday.

As Thanksgiving plans come to fruition, seemingly never-ending grocery shopping lists are replaced by seemingly never-ending holiday shopping lists.

But hope is in sight. Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25 promises to offer more than enough Made in America gifts to fill Santa’s sleigh, adding a dose of holiday cheer to your holiday shopping experience.

Launched in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday is increasingly establishing itself as an important means of financial support for local businesses. In 2016, 112 million shoppers participated in Small Business Saturday, spending an estimated $15.4 billion dollars.

In the D.C. area, a wealth of events to mark the date will showcase not only local entrepreneurs but also local makers.  

Shop Made in D.C., which opened its doors this October, will offer products from over 40 Made in D.C. small businesses this Saturday. Sip complimentary coffee from Small Planes or nosh on samples of Saysa’s South Indian food to fuel you through your holiday shopping extravaganza. Shop Made in D.C. will also debut breakfast tacos from Tortilladora, one of its current fast casual vendors, as part of its festivities.

Customers who spend $75 or more at Shop Made in D.C. during Small Business Saturday will receive a free Shop Made in D.C. canvas tote; spend $100 or more and you’ll get a $10 gift card.

Also celebrating D.C. makers, local brewer DC Brau hosts its 5th Annual Made in DC Holiday Marketplace in conjunction with Think Local First DC and the Made in DC program. More than 30 local makers of goods and food will be featured at stalls within the brewery in northeast Washington. DC Holiday Marketplace shoppers (over the age of 21, natch) may also enjoy a pint of DC Brau in the brewery’s tasting room.

Across the Potomac in Alexandria, Virginia, the city’s Alternative Black Friday entices shoppers ahead of Small Business Saturday with exclusive discounts at more than 50 boutiques. Alexandria’s tree-lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. on Nov. 24 offers family fun to end what is sure to be a busy day. 

Alexandria’s Shop Small for the Holidays on Saturday makes shopping local an experience for the entire family with caroling by the Alexandria singers, a Santa Stroll down King Street at 11 a.m., and surprise giveaways from the Elf Prize Patrol. Alexandria will also offer free parking at its metered parking spaces on Nov. 25.

Also in Alexandria: fibre space, a local store that sells eco-friendly, locally made yarns, will conduct free workshops on Saturday, running from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., to teach participants how to make pompoms and tassels for gift decorations. Over the weekend, fibre space will sell gift bags that contain six Made in America items sourced from small, independent companies at a discounted price of $150.

Once you’ve gathered your gifts, the Torpedo Factory Art Center will giftwrap them for free between 12 and 8 p.m. While you’re there, be sure to also browse the work of the Torpedo Factory’s nearly 200 artists for just the right art with which to deck your halls.

If you’re looking to escape the stress of holiday shopping but still want to support local businesses, Saturday’s Thanksgiving Beer & Wine Festival over in Tysons at the Biergarten offers respite. The festival will showcase over 50 local craft breweries and wineries. Tickets purchased in advance cost $20 and include 10 tasting vouchers. 

And for those whose names remain on your holiday shopping list after this Saturday, our annual Made in America holiday shopping guide – to be released just in time for Cyber Monday on Nov. 27 – is sure to offer the perfect American-made gifts!


Small Business Saturday at Shop Made in D.C.
Time: Saturday, Nov. 25, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Location: 1330 19th St. NW, Washington, D.C 20036
Admission: Free

Made in D.C. Holiday Marketplace
Location: 3178 Bladensburg Rd. NE Suite B, Washington, D.C. 20018
Time: Saturday, Nov. 25, 1-6 p.m.
Admission: Free

Alexandria’s Shop Small for the Holidays
Alexandria's Alternative Black Friday

Location: Alexandria, VA
Time: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 24-25
Admission: Free

fibre space event: Making Yarny Gift Toppers
Time: Saturday, Nov. 25, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Location: 1319 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Torpedo Factory Art Center event: Free Gift Wrapping
Time: Saturday, Nov. 25, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Location: 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Thanksgiving Beer & Wine Festival, featuring local breweries ad wineries
Time: Saturday, Nov. 25, 1-6 p.m.
Location: Tysons Biergarten, 8346 Leesburg Pike, Tysons, VA 22182
Admission: $20 per person (includes 10 tasting tickets) for tickets purchased online; $30 per person (includes 10 tasting tickets) for tickets purchased at site