Shop small. Shop Local. Shop Alumni.

While the turkey is cooking and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade streams across the television screen, we know many of you will be flipping (or scrolling) through Black Friday ads, thinking of the best holiday gifts for your loved ones. This year, we invite you to add these alumni-owned businesses to your list, and shop Lion local! 


Bookish Jennifer Battles, ’96, and Sara Putman. 

Location:     115 N. 10th Street, Fort Smith (Brunwick Place)

Contact info:    479-434-2917;

Bookish loves local authors and building the reading community. This November it will feature weekly author events. Browse for a good book and get to know the authors!


Card + Cloth Kaci Collins, '12, and Natalie Hedrick

Location:  4300 Rogers Ave. Suite 23, Fort Smith.

Contact info:   479-522-0512;


Carrot Dirt - Jessica Parker ’09, and Brandon Parker ’09

Location:     4300 Rogers Ave., Suite 32, Fort Smith

Contact info:     479- 222-6625;

It’s not often eating is both delicious and healthy, but Carrot Dirt accomplishes just that with its completely plant-based drinks and food. Along with in-house smoothies and juices, Carrot Dirt offers special-order holiday pies and desserts. This holiday season, bring something to the dinner table that everyone can enjoy. 

Chapters on Main - Debbie Foliart, Alan Foliart, and Christian Westbrook, ‘18

Location:     816 Main Street, Van Buren

Contact info:     479-471-9315;

When you are shopping on Van Buren’s historic Main Street, be sure to stop by Chapters on Main, for a good new or vintage book, and a hot cup of chocolate or coffee or tea, or a latte, or a snack – you get the idea; the coffee bar is as varied as the bookshelves.


Clinger Holsters - Chris Tedder, ’10 

Location:     1316 E Main St, Van Buren.

Contact info:

If you choose to carry, choose to carry in comfort. Although Clinger Holsters doesn’t have a storefront, on the website, buyers can see holsters in a variety of styles and at a variety of price points. Many holsters are available in two days, all within 10 days.


Core Public House Jesse Core, ‘96

Location:     701 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith.

Contact info:     479-755-6633;

Core Public House is the perfect place for a drink after work or before a show at the Convention Center. Why not take a friend for a holiday libation?


Cryo Fort Smith  - Bridget Thompson,’03 and Brian Thompson

Location:   2501 Market Trace, Fort Smith;  

Contact info:

Recover, relax, rejuvenate. Mobile cryotherapy, compression, and red light therapies are available.


Fort Smith Coffee Company - Kaity Gould, ’09 and Gabriel Gould, ’08 

Location:     1101 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith

Contact info:     479-226-2437;

Escape the cold this winter and stop in for a hot cup of coffee. Fort Smith Coffee Company launches its winter menu for the holidays this December. Hand-crafted and meticulously roasted, the coffee and other drinks pair well with made-from-scratch pastries.


Fort Smith Popcorn Company - Casey Millspaugh,’11


Contact Info:     479-441-9533

Look for the distinctive black bags in area venues or place an order online. Whether the person you are shopping for is a Dill Pickle or a Strawberry Frosting, the perfect gift awaits.


And if you are going to be visiting the Shops at Brick City – and you know you are – be sure to check out these alumni businesses:

NIXXA’S CHIC BOUTIQUE, boutique and photography, Kendra Tedford, ’19

SCARLET ROSE, boutique, Nicole Woodyard

EXPRESSIVE DESIGNS BY BJ, school spirit wear, Brenda Morris, ’86, and Jeff Morris, ’96

Brick City is at 3215 S. 74th St. in Fort Smith.


Gadget Grave - Cole Thornton ’06

Location:     4900 Rogers Ave., suite 103i, Fort Smith

Contact info:     479-431-6091;

Instead of replacing that glitching phone completely, why not have a local team of professional technicians fix it? Gadget Grave will have its biggest savings of year on Black Friday, Nov. 29; Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30; and Cyber Monday, Dec. 2.


South 28th Boutique Naomi Lee, ‘17 and Constance Elmore, ‘14

Location:     4300 Rogers Ave., suite 54

Contact info:     479-719-2019;

If you have a hard-to-shop-for young lady who wants to set trends, not follow them, check out the unique and chic at South 28th Boutique.

Bell Tower Magazine
Date Posted: 
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
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