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House of Lilac
Photograph: Courtesy House of Lilac/Sisi Smit

Meet seven local businesses we love

We’re throwing our support and our wallets behind these small but mighty enterprises throughout Florida

Written by Virginia Gil in association with TD Bank

There’s been a massive movement to shop local over the years. As big-box stores slowly push out the little guys, consumers are wising up to better ways to spend their hard-earned money—a cause we strongly believe in. Time Out’s ongoing Love Local campaign shines a light on independent makers and small businesses that make our cities great places to live. We’re using our platform to share their stories and all of the ways you can support them, including curating a list of local shops, food and culture we think you should know about. Check out our love local campaign in action below.

CTRL Cosmetics

This Miami-based, female-led cosmetics company was born out of founder Nina Steinberg’s own skin-care frustrations. “Having a compromised immune system along with several skin sensitivities, I went and took the necessary steps myself and met with leading cosmetic chemists to find answers,” says Steinberg, whose journey led her to create a suite of gentle, effective products that help achieve a healthy, glowing complexion for men and women.

CTRL Cosmetics
Photograph: Courtesy CTRL Cosmetics

Wynwood Letterpress

Bridget Dadd spent years working for luxury hotels before surrendering to her true passion: all things paper. She launched Wynwood Letterpress with cards she’d collected over many trips abroad and a curated selection of gifts, pencils and notepads that could make any office supply lover’s heart sing. While she’s left her namesake location, Dadd’s letterpress operates mostly virtually, offering email and phone consultations for personalized stationery, unique wedding invitations and every other printing need in between.

House of Lilac

Self-proclaimed recovering attorney Melanie Fernandez made embarking on a second life seem easy. After leaving the corporate world, she channeled all of her creativity into launching House of Lilac, a thriving flower shop that sells, ships and delivers everyday blooms. Female-owned and women-led, House of Lilac is a modern-day florist where customers can browse handmade gifts, get help arranging a bouquet on the spot and take classes on wreathe-making, creating a tablescape and other lifestyle tips that are way more fun to learn IRL than by watching YouTube.

ARTPool Gallery

Since 2008, this downtown St. Petersburg staple is a one-stop shop for creatives, artists and people searching for something unique to buy. Owner Marina Williams has a lot to do with the vintage boutique’s eclectic inventory. Not only is she the gallery’s director and curator, putting on monthly shows, but she’s also an artist, fashion designer and photographer. Much of what’s on sale she’s made herself or found while treasure hunting, so there’s no doubt you’re guaranteed something special every time. Not in St. Pete? Slide into ARTPool’s DMs and enlist Williams as your personal shopper. She’s always game to help.

LIGER’S! Superior Cookies

Photographer Julian Cousins stumbled upon his talent for baking just as the world was shutting down, which proved to be auspicious timing for testing recipes. Orders poured in almost immediately after he landed on the perfect batch and business boomed. Now the cookie business that started with local deliveries out of branded paper bags is a thriving online enterprise delivering handmade cookies all over the country. Liger’s! are among the best cookies in Miami–and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Liger's Superior! Cookies
Photograph: Courtesy Liger's Superior! Cookies

Ybor City Walking Tours

There’s no better way to get to know Tampa Bay’s historic Ybor City than on one of these walking tours. Started by long-time resident Lonnie Herman, the 90-minute excursions transport folks back in time from the area’s heyday as a cigar capital through decades of immigration waves and developments to what it is today. The tours are entertaining and paint a different picture of what you see walking down the city’s main streets. If you’re the type to pick up a guidebook when you travel, save paper and embark on one of these experiences instead.

Brew Next Door

Brew Next Door’s has gone through several owners in its 21-year history but it’s always felt like family. A handful of the original baristas are still back behind the counter whipping up espresso drinks, serving up wine (yep, there’s vino at this coffee shop) and making regulars and newcomers feel like they’re at home. Brew lacks the ego of hipster coffee shops but abounds in charm and character with its many bookcases and couches. It’s easy to get sucked in and, before you know it, an entire day has flown by. Brew has that effect on people.

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