Shop Local Rochester: #Roc the Holiday!


the holidays are here




{ The holidays are unofficially here. Although I say, when 20-below weather arrives along with the snow … it’s full-on shopping season! So gear-up + get ready to hear what’s good from the #ROC. Because #ShopLocalRoc is bringing it this holiday season. }

This holiday, shop with a cause.


Two incredible websites + blogs, A-List Rochester + Flower City Fashionista, along with BESL { me } are bringing you access to Rochester’s best #ShopLocal spots + events, gifts + ideas. Why?? Because the holidays are about giving + getting. And that’s exactly what shopping local does for you + for our community.

be sustainable this holiday season.

give + get:

#ShopLocal is sustainable for our:

  • economy
  • environment
  • budgets

#ShopLocalRoc is a fun + festive way to make shop local a lifestyle { while giving the greatest gifts. }

look good, feel good:


Getting started is simple. { And you can win prizes! }

  1. Shop at a local store or event!
    • And if you want to participate in our contest …
  2. Take a photo
  3. Tag on Facebook or Instagram using: #shoplocalroc
  4. Be entered to receive great prizes from many of our prized shops around Rochester

The best way to spread Holiday Cheer,

is pledging #shoplocalroc loud for all to hear.

Take the { Polar } Pledge. Get loud about it! Why not?

  1. Write a pledge.
  2. Post on Social Media.
  3. Voice your #shoplocalroc feats.

Pledge’s are simple solutions you resolve to take while holiday shopping this season. It could be anything! Some quick ideas are:

  • Before heading to the big box store for children’s toys … I’m going to Archimage on Monroe Ave!
  • Instead of catching that sale on dish ware for the party … I’m going to try my local VOA!
  • Forget the mall for one-stop-shopping. I’m hitting South Ave in the South Wedge!

Let us know what your plans are on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram, and hashtag #shoplocalroc.

{ To be eligible for the contest, include a photo of what you’ve purchased. }

make it count:

every $1 spent locally has 3x the impact!

#ShopLocalRoc makes it easy for you to make it count! For all of the best gift giving + gift guides, check-in with:




Sustainability + Activism: Why Shop Local?

(Above: Danielle Ponder of Danielle Ponder and The Tomorrow People live at The Bug Jar, 4/5.)





Magix is why we Shop Local. Magix, a unique clothing boutique that sold an affordable and eclectic array of designer, boutique, and vintage items, was located on South Avenue, directly across from Thread, in the heart of the South Wedge shopping district. I discovered Magix during my 2nd Southwedgeucation. Southwedgeucation–you know–City Newspaper’s  late summer evening that buzzes with shoppers, strollers, businesses, food trucks, bars, music shops, boutiques, and more to celebrate the South Wedge . A September evening that bustles with the volume and energy every single other weekday night, certainly weekend, should generate. I found Magix. I found glass beads straight from Ghana. I found vintage and thrifted items. And shamefully, even I–the Shop Local Campaigner–even I seldom returned. Magix, which closed this past July, might have closed for any number of reasons. But it’s safe to surmise it was due to a lack of awareness. A lack of Shop Local know-how. Every single person I revealed the magic to about Magix? None had been before. Not necessarily because we don’t know. Because it’s not familiar.


Don’t let habit dictate your Shop Local. Habit. What is habit? Most habits are bad, no? Habit is the unthinking actions we ascribe tendencies and routines because we either have to (brushing teeth), we don’t think about it (tapping fingers), or we need to cope (smoking).

Why let shopping–why let life–be just another habit.

Make shopping and living a conscious action. Think about it. Shop Local is still convenient. It’s just that Shop Local is also conscious. Shop Local is affordable. Shop Local is unique. Shop Local is activism.


The Shop Local Campaign in Rochester, NY is sustainability. Shop Local is sustainable for entrepreneurs. Shop Local is sustainable for community development. Shop Local is sustainable for cultural identity. Shop Local is sustainable for individual budgets. Shop Local is sustainable because it preservers local talent and nurtures sustained growth. (See Go Buy Rochester’s explanation of the Multiplier Effect.)

Why not turn your consumerism into activism?

Shop Local in Rochester, NY for your every single day needs, every single day. This is why we Shop Local. So that good things–quality businesses with character, that enhance our cultural identity and work with our daily budgets–so that good things stay alive. So that they thrive. So that we thrive.

And don’t just #shoplocal…




Danielle Ponder and The Tomorrow People Saturday, April 5 at Bug Jar. Incredible Local Music venue. Watch for review on Liana Gabel’s “Rest and Heal” album. Saw her too. Loved it!


(watch me to watch some seriously good music)


Know a good spot? Have a cool routine? Please share!






Barbara Ellen Shops Local.

We’re Shopping Local.

Above: Shop Local at Antiques, Heirlooms & Art in Canandaigua, NY.

Sweater: $5 Leather Boots: $25 Slip: $8 Vintage ’50’s Dress: $35

Hey Guys!

Shop Local has always been a dominant theme on Barbara Ellen blogs. All of them. (Baby: Big Sister: That’s because Shop Local is Rochester, NY. Shop Local is unique. Shop Local is sustainable. Shop Local is economical. Shop Local is affordable. Shop Local is our city. Shop Local is the #roc in Rochester, NY.

So, it’s time for us to support Shop Local! Every Day. Every single day. Shop Local isn’t just birthdays and festivals and other special occasions. Shop Local is a lifestyle. Shop Local is a convenient, affordable, individual lifestyle. With this blog, I will share, discuss, celebrate, capture, depict, and discover Shop Local, around Rochester, NY, and #shoplocal only! < Don’t worry. You can still find my musings–mental health, fashion/style, spiritual, and otherwise–on Tumblr: {It’s pretty + it’s wise + it’s slightly edgy.}> I cannot wait to hear from all of you about your own #shoplocal favs and finds, tricks and tips!! Please share them all! … Like right now, below. Comment. Post. Share!

Why do you #shoplocal?

< I’ll Begin >

  • I Shop Local because it supports incredibly talented, often lesser-known, artists and entrepreneurs in our community. I Shop Local because these artists and entrepreneurs often use more sustainable processes and materials to create a product that is way more unique than any major retailer’s. I Shop Local because great gifts and great style always have great stories! I Shop Local because, given a choice, I will always support Rochester, NY and our community, first.
  • You Shop Local because…

Can’t wait to Shop Local with you!



Narrative. #ROCkin that Spidey-Sense.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
(Taken from Google Images.)
Rochester is, in fact, a hot spot for film. (GeorgeEastman. Eastman Theatre. Rochester International Film Fest. High Falls FilmFest. The Little Theater. The Cinema Theatre. ImageOUT: The Rochester LGBT Film& Video Festival.) And now for Spider-Man film. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, to be spidey-cific. Filming for some of the hot chase scenes takes place today, and so Momsly & I used our Spidey Senses on Monday to scout the talent.

Ever Get Dressed Up & Walk Down Main Street, in Rochester, NY, During Rush-Hour??
Liberty Pole.
And daffodils.
It started with a strategic stroll down Main Street, from East Ave to South. Swarms of city slickers, workers, and students flood the brick-paved sidewalks. Flowing red swing jacket, wafting gray & charcoal cape-coat. Sunglasses. Momsly and I strolled. We looked for glamour &, absolutely, we looked the part. It is no wonder Moms & I were mistaken for tourists–i.e. who tried really hard–when we stalked our first downtown hotel.
Bear Hugs from Indiana. 
Babsy, she nudged. I turned toward the bar. I bet they’re with the film. Momsly spied a weary looking four-some of normal-looking people who sat inconspicuously near the Hyatt Regency bar.  No they’re not, mom.
Momsly heard that the actors (and by actors, I mean stunt-doubles) and film crew were bunking at the Hyatt on Main. We had no shame in seeking them out. As soon as we walked in, Moms directed us up the stairwell & toward the main bar. When I suddenly became incredibly self-conscious of our amateur paparazzi skills, I diverted all action toward the gift shop. And let me tell you, you don’t know Rochester, NY until you’ve been in the Rochester Hyatt Regency Hotel Niva Gift Shop.
Actually found in the Rochester, NY
Gift Shop at the Hyatt.
Upon check-out, Momsly & I received the thrill of our lives. As we were shoppers in a hotel gift shop, the cashier—appropriately—asked if we were from Rochester, NY. Amused, Momsly & I quickly claimed our Rochester residency. And then moved onto business. Sharply, Momsly invoked her spy-senses and probed into the whereabouts of our Spidey stars.
Has there been a lot of increased traffic? Well what about the out-of-towners? You know, {nudge nudge}  for the event. The event?! Why the film. Spider-man. Have you seen many actors for the film??! She finally exclaimed.
The cashier, a young and smiling woman, laughed. Promptly, she informed us how the stunt people & crew are booked at the Radisson, next door. Sullen-faced & disappointed, Momsly and I turned to leave. Obviously, to book-it directly to the Riverside Convention Center. And that’s when it happened. Our sweet 15 seconds.
Wait a second. The cashier looked directly our way. She scanned our swing jackets, and oogled the cardi-cape; analyzed the shit-eating grins slapped across our faces. You two are extras. You are in the movie! I knew it!! I knew you’re not from Rochester. The cashier’s mouth hung ajar.
Us? My mother’s hand moved demurely over her chest. Our eyeballs agape. Us?? Why, certainly we are not. {Pause.} In the film, that is. And coyly, as if nothing ever happened save for the giggles that erupted from our bowels, Momsly & I turned on our heels. Practically movie stars.
Emma & Me
and Revlon and CVS.
Radisson Riverside Convention Center & The Freak-Out.
Now our senses were honed. Pruned for spider-lebrity. We knew where to go, and we knew that we (maybe) belonged. Watch-out Emma Stone. After our first attempts to enter through the Radisson’s rotating front doors were thwarted–they’re locked, permanently–a lovely bell hop let us in.
Mom. We are stalking people. We don’t even have a room here. She and I aimlessly wound around the first floor only to find barricades at every door, which required room keys. I don’t want to go to the bar! They’ll know. They’ll know that we’re fakes. My voice dropped to a whisper, and then suddenly rose. What if the police find out?!
Hotels are public spaces, Momsly authoritatively declared. But I’m pretty sure they’re not. Homeless people can’t just loiter in the hallways of hotels. What’s the difference between the homeless & the strategically stalking? I’m not sure the difference is huge. And I made my concerns known.So, we used the ATM. It was a good cover.
This cameraman is clearly from …
YNN News Station.
And even though we never spied even one Spider-Man celeb, or crew member, or stunt person, we did see trucks. Rows and rows of NYS and NJ licensed plates trucks & SUVS, black and white, that lined the Radisson’s main atrium. Men with rough voices and glimmers of accents  who uttered terse instructions. These are film crews. We sensed it! And then, on the stroll back down Main, I saw him. Him. A photographer. A very official and professional looking photographer. Who Momsly claims snapped a pic of us as we slyly shuffled away after sniping one of him, first.
Take-that Spider-Man film man. We found you. We are vicariously famous through you. Spide-cess!!
Reveling in the Spidey-Scent.
Rest of the night? Coffee at Spot on East & CVS shopping on Winton. Pretty glam. We had some good coupons and saved $6.50. Then I earned $5 in bonus cash. It was pretty much the most spidey-tacular night, ever. Love you Moms-spidey!
Barbara Threet make-up line.
Also at the Hyatt Regency.
Here’s to