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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Why Now Is the Time for Local Holiday Shopping

Nov 30, 2020 01:00PM ● By Allison Gorman

Custom Crystal Creations at 16 Cedar Street in Dobbs Ferry

Small businesses have to weather all kinds of storms, but staying afloat during Covid-19 has been an epic challenge. We talked to several local business owners about how we can support them this holiday season.

“Pandemics are possibly the worst thing that can happen to small businesses,” says Shira Adler, founder of Synergy by Shira Adler. Her advice? Use this unique opportunity to throw them a lifeline.

“Offer hope and healing,” she says. “Shopping at local businesses allows us not just to stay open, but to continue to serve our beloved customers and communities.”

By navigating the pandemic and finding ways to stay open, small businesses have already stepped up for their customers, notes Shima Chayvet, owner of Universal Healing Arts Connection.

“Many of us have invested not only money, but our soul, into providing items to our communities to help raise awareness and create a safe place for you to go, with business owners and staff who care about you and your loved ones. Now we need your help,” she says.

Ann LaGoy, owner of Sound Earth, says it’s important to recognize small businesses for what they are—our neighbors and friends—and to understand the outsized impact we can make by spending our holiday dollars with them.

“It’s well known that each dollar spent locally circulates many more times within the local economy than big-box stores,” she says. “Shopping locally is an investment in our community.”

With that advice in mind, here are some great local gifts we found. Remember: Each one of these gifts will make two people happy.



Holiday Musical Three-Wick Candle ($32.99)

Custom Candle Co. just unveiled its new Holiday Musical Candle, made with all-natural soy wax and three cotton wicks. It comes in three scents—Balsam Fir, Slate and Pine Needle—and has a unique feature, says store owner Marcie Manfredonia.

“On the back of each candle there’s a QR code,” she says. “When you scan it with your smart phone, it takes you to a website where you can listen to holiday songs for free. You can also save our playlist on Spotify for free.”

Right now Custom Candle is running an in-store holiday sale: Buy one candle or piece of jewelry and get a second half off. Customers receive a free wick cutter and cloth mask with every purchase over $75. Some exclusions apply.

Shop in person at Custom Candle Co., 25 Depot Plaza, Bedford Hills, NY. Order by phone at 914.218.8357. Shop online at



Amethyst Crystals (Prices vary)

The most unique and interesting gifts Universal Healing Arts Connection, is selling this year are its amethyst crystals, says Shima Chayvet.

“Not only do they relieve stress, soothe irritability and balance mood swings, but they also dispel anxiety,” she says. “Amethyst also activates spiritual awareness, opens intuition and enhances psychic abilities.”

She notes that comparison shopping will verify that her store’s amethysts are priced below the competitive market price of other retail stores.

Shop in person at Universal Healing Arts Connection, 4 Crestview Ave., Cortlandt Manor, NY.  Order by phone at 914.737.HEAL. Shop online at or



 Nurture Synergy Spray ($39.95)

SHIRA ADLER, sells five proprietary CBD-infused aromatherapy sprays: Clear, Center, Nurture, Inspire and Smile. But for this season’s gift-giving, she recommends Nurture as the antidote to an overwhelmingly challenging 2020.

“If you or someone you love struggled emotionally this year—if your heart ached, became drained or depleted—just spray it two to three times around your face, morning and evening or whenever you need it,” she says. Use the coupon code NaturalHoliday to receive a discount on the regular single-spray price of $39.95, or save even more on the full five-spray series for optimal benefits. 

Shop online at, using coupon code NaturalHoliday. To stay on top of deals, subscribe to the newsletter at and follow Shira Adler on social media @The1ShiraAdler and @ShiraSynergy.



Holiday Aroma Mini-Basket ($20)

Ann LaGoy’s favorite offering from Sound Earth this year is the Holiday Aroma Mini-Basket, which she calls “a thoughtful, feel-good gift.”

“Each of the scent options, made with therapeutic-grade essential oils, has a specific positive purpose: relaxing, soothing, invigorating,” she says. “Pick your pleasure!” She also loves it for its reasonable price. “The giver doesn’t have to break the bank to express their care for the receiver,” she says.

Shop online at


Holiday Hours at Custom Crystal Creations in Dobbs Ferry

Custom Crystal Creations, a metaphysical gift shop in Dobbs Ferry, will hold special holiday hours in December, with complimentary gift wrapping, shopping help and a free stone at checkout, says owner Stefanie McCauley.

“We have lots of great gift ideas, and we can help you pick out the perfect gift for that special someone,” she says. Gift certificates are available too.

When McCauley opened Custom Crystal Creations in September 2018, her intention was to create “a center for healing with crystals and everything spiritual,” she says. “I have a wonderful team of practitioners that offer Reiki healing, tarot card readings, psychic mediumship and past-life readings. It’s a quiet place to come and relax and rejuvenate the heart and soul.”

Holiday hours are December 16-19, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; December 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; December 22-23, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; and December 24, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The shop will be closed December 25.

Location: Custom Crystal Creations, 16 Cedar St., Dobbs Ferry, NY. For more info, follow the store on Instagram @custom crystal16, or visit it on Facebook at custom crystal creations.

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