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Back when I first started writing about budget living in 2001, Cyber Monday was a big deal for smaller, "indie" online shops and e-commerce startups (like Amazon, ha!) trying to stand out against brick and mortar. These days, however; there's really no difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday — except that a small group of Made in USA advocates have started a campaign to shift the focus to shopping from the online stores of smaller, independent, locally made brands and services.
Much like why I shop Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, today I'm psyched to shop the first annual "Makers Monday" and share these 10 awesome discounts from some of my favorite indie shops & startups.
Happy bargain hunting!
1. BOW & DRAPE
My love for Boston-based mass-customized fashion startup Bow & Drape (and its founder, Aubrie Pagano) is no secret — I've been shilling for the indie label since well before their Kickstarter campaign, including rants about my obsession with their patented Cardimono designs. Today, take an extra 30% off AND get a $30 gift card to share the love when you use code CYBERMONDAY30 at checkout. Hop to it!
2. LISA CONGDON PRINTS
Long before I had the honor of sharing a mention with Lisa in this BuzzFeed roundup of creative workspaces, I've been a HUGE fan of her unique original paintings & illustrations — and supported her plight to get major retailers like Urban Outfitters and Cody Foster to stop stealing her designs for profit. Today, show your support for original art and illustrators by shopping her online stores (Etsy and Big Cartel) while taking 20% off with code THANKSGIVING.
3. CUPPOW LIDS
Not only have I shared my admiration for Somerville-based Cuppow in stories I've written for the Boston Globe, and use their BPA-free & phthalate-free lids daily to convert my Mason jars into coffee mugs, I'm also a huge fan of their social responsibility mission and charity line of products. Today, choose to shop small and give back with 20% off at Cuppow.com using the code CYBERCUPPOW.
4. THE GROMMET
First launched as a daily discovery engine for finding cool, unique, independently made gifts and products, Somerville-based The Grommet is a one-stop-shop for finding something for everyone on your list — from DIY mushroom-growing kits to a modern spoon designed to perfectly dunk an Oreo and everything in between. Check out their "Joy of Giving" sliding scale discounts today — the more you buy, the more you save, and they make it easy to fill up a cart & be done with holiday shopping! Save $5 off $50 all the way up to $125 off $500, no code required.
5. SHOP SWEET LULU
From must-have striped paper straws to glittery washi tape and DIY Christmas cracker building sets, Sweet Lulu has the absolute best selection of independent and Made in USA holiday party supplies and gift wrapping. Stock up now to save big bucks and make your gatherings utterly Pinterest worthy using code CYBERMONDAY for 25% off sitewide until midnight tonight.
6. TWICE CLOTHING
Online swapping and consignment shopping have really made wearing secondhand style the new "new," and Twice is my favorite. Read all about my experiences using the service to sell & buy secondhand designer clothing, and head over to LikeTwice.com for 40% off sitewide with code SURPRISE40 through midnight tonight.
7. BARK BOX
I'm a huge fan of subscription services as gifts because they literally keep on giving, and for any pet owner it doesn't get better than BarkBox — a great way to discover new independent & small-batch makers of treats, toys, and gear. Plus, if you use code APABBX1 through midnight tonight, you'll not only get $10 off any order but BarkBox will donate $15 from each purchase to Austin Pets Alive, the local rescue here that's leading the No-Kill City movement nationwide.
8. CLOSET DASH
Another newbie to the online swapping-secondhand shopping world, ClosetDashShop.com is offering 50% off sitewide with code CYBER through midnight tonight. Though I haven't used the site yet myself, I do spy hundreds of holiday party-worthy dresses from Made in USA labels like vintage DVF and Nanette Lepore, which would be $40-50 with the discount!
9. BOURBON & BOOTS
One of my new favorite indie marketplaces since moving to Austin, Bourbon & Boots carries a huge selection of small-batch Southern makers (and other Made in USA products) that make great gifts for anyone else who loves life below the Mason-Dixon line or culture just inspired by it. Get free shipping sitewide until midnight tonight!
10. DARBY SMART
Another gift that keeps on giving, subscription service Darby Smart is the perfect package for the maker gal in your life. Starting at just $19, these monthly DIY kit boxes contain everything one needs to create a Pinterest-inspired project, anything from a trendy bracelet to a studded clutch or an etched his & hers barware set. Through midnight tonight, take $35 off sitewide with code INSPIRE.
Story: Copyright 2013, Shoestring LLC & Melissa Massello.
Photos: Courtesy of retailers, Instagram.