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Colorado Business Owner Shares the Importance of Shopping Locally This Holiday Season

The holiday season goes hand-in-hand with exchanging gifts with loved ones. It’s also an essential time of year for keeping small businesses, like mine, afloat. It’s not only meaningful, but it’s advantageous to support, spotlight, and cherish all small businesses here in Colorado and everywhere because they have great services and products that many have been missing out on. Shopping locally is more important than you may realize.

READ — How to Prepare Your Finances for the Holiday Season

I am proud to run one of the women-led small businesses that are leading the way with online tools, despite being harder hit by Covid. Meta’s recent Global State of Small Business Report found that women-led small businesses have effectively flexed to shift their business online, often more so than their male counterparts. Globally, 57% of women-led small business owners report using digital tools to communicate with customers, compared to just under half of businesses led by men.

Here’s the story of how my business came to be. In February of 2016, I was having lunch in a restaurant with my family when I wished out loud that I wanted a way to make adult coloring portable so that whenever I had a few extra minutes, I could pull a small coloring “kit” out of my purse and color away. Having plenty of colored pencils was important to me, as well as a built-in pencil sharpener. That was the day that COLORpockit became an idea that blossomed into a passion.

Our plan to get COLORpockits into retail stores was interrupted because of Covid and we had to pivot to focus solely on online sales through our website and other online retail sites. We turned to Facebook ads, including video ads, to get our name out to new potential customers and help drive sales. The ads give us the opportunity to invite people who interact with us to follow our Facebook Page.

READ — 5 Ways Small Business Owners in Colorado Can Survive Inflation

We also created a private Facebook Group called COLORpockit Community, where members share their coloring and support one another. I post coloring tutorial videos in the Group and let members know about upcoming sales. I’m excited that so many people are joining our Group and have access to this kind of support and encouragement.

We are thrilled to see that Coloradans are making an effort to shop locally.

My hope is that we can be mindful of the businesses we are choosing when we go to purchase a gift. Small changes can lead to huge impacts down the road. This year let’s think about the ways we are shopping locally and work harder to shop small and choose independent businesses.


Img 8774Dalaine Bartelme is the Owner and Chief Colorist of Colorpockit – the portable coloring system.

How to Prepare Your Finances for the Holiday Season

The year’s closing months are an ideal time to be proactive about your finances and set yourself up well for the holiday season and the new year ahead. For many, financial concerns often rise with expectations to spend on gifts and entertaining family and friends this time of year, and this pressure may feel amplified given the uncertainties of today’s economy. According to a recent survey by Deloitte, Colorado consumers plan to spend 12% less compared to last year.  While worrying doesn’t solve much, having a plan to manage financial challenges can help ease the stress.

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Here are some tips for tackling your money stress and taking control of your finances during the holiday season from Bank of America’s Better Money Habits®.

Determine a Goal and Create a Budget for it.

Write down everyone you plan to give gifts to – from your nearest and dearest to your in-laws and the mail carrier. Then put a dollar figure next to each name. Setting price limits help you keep your holiday budget on track. For big-ticket items, start saving in advance and utilize your bank’s automatic transfer feature.  And keep in mind costly shipping fees – keep watch for special “free shipping” days.

Make Your credit card work for You

Many credit cards offer benefits from purchase protection and free credit score information to loyalty points and monetary rewards for everyday purchases like groceries and gas that help stretch your dollars further. Review what benefits your credit cards may provide. However, it’s essential to manage your credit responsibly and pay your credit card bill on time and in full each month whenever possible.

Make the Most of Your Income

When money is tight, it’s important to make the most of the income you do have. Know that small steps add up. For example, you may not be able to cut any one expense by $500 a month, but you may be able to identify five that you can cut by $100 each. Identify nonessentials you can scale back, such as entertainment and dining out, and do more free activities. And if you see that perfect gift but it’s out of your budget, price shop online – many stores will match the lowest price.

Homemade Gifts Are Always Appreciated

Homemade presents are great ways to save money while creating something memorable. These gifts might not work for everyone on your list, but they’re good options for some. Consider photos for grandparents or cookies for your kids’ teachers.

To help stay financially fit during the holiday season, Bank of America offers a wealth of free tips and advice though


Roberto HernandezRoberto Hernandez is the Financial Center Manager at Bank of America , Denver