After nearly a full year of pandemic lockdown and slow reemergence, many of us are happily progressing towards the magic and wonder of the holidays. Travel bans and restrictions have eased, we’ve been able to connect in-person with our families during the Autumn holidays, and some have even returned to the office. 

Interestingly, how women dress has shifted and, in some cases, shifted permanently. 

Industry analysts suggest that the popularization of athleisure styles and casual dress flooding social media has intensified interest in diverse footwear options. Women who once favored heels have shoveled them to the rear of their closet in favor of ballet flats, mules, clogs and…the newest power shoe for women…sneakers

Massachusetts is home to many well-known, legacy brands as well as numerous independent footwear designers who are equally invested in creating footwear to enhance the wearer’s comfort and sense of style including Adelante Shoes, Clarks, the original "FiveFingers" creator Vibram, and Cocktail Sneakers, which resides in the coastal town of Marblehead.

“Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the type of world you want.” ~Anna Lappe

One of the primary advantages we’ve had while residing in Marblehead is the incumbent circle of local businesses—many of which have been built and are operated by women—with whom Cocktail Sneakers has partnered and supports. By raising up our community members, we support our neighbors and local economy, as well as homegrown companies who have designed, develop or retail unique gift options including Swell Marblehead and Pirouette. Local businesses are the lifeblood of every community, whether the local grocery or liquor store, ice cream stand, restaurant, coffee house, donut shop or even sneaker company.

For those not yet ready to buy or even interested in buying right now, there are plenty of ways to show support for local businesses.  

    • Get social: Snap a quick picture or leave a comment or review on a local business website to give a boost to a local business. Follow the business’ social channels, like, share or comment on their posts. It takes no time at all and goes a long way to help a local business. 
    • Write a review: If you’ve purchased an item, chatted with a small business owner, had a pleasant experience shopping (online or in person), consider writing a review. Adding a picture or two of items purchased, meals enjoyed, or people you’ve met while frequenting a local establishment brings more life to your review and personal experience. 
    • Spread the word: Sharing your personal insights about a favorite haunt, store, or online shop helps encourage others to investigate or follow on social those businesses you think worthwhile can help local businesses gain greater visibility. Because so many local businesses find ways to collaborate in area events (fairs, expos, trunk shows), sharing the details of those events with your circle when you see them advertised, helps too! 

Supporting local businesses is beneficial to all as most owners are residents and perhaps neighbors, who will often go the extra mile for community members they know they’ll see around town. We hope this holiday season, our local Marblehead, Salem, Peabody, Danvers, Newburyport, and Cape Ann neighbors will consider a stop by our warehouse to peek at upcoming designs…and perhaps, to exit the building with a new pair of Cocktail Sneakers. 

For those ready to buy, Wicked Local’s Christine Stevens helps remove the guesswork about shopping local: How can you beat the holiday supply chain woes? Shop local on the North Shore!

Happy holidays!