Urban Squirrel: An innovative small business inspired by frugal living.
While Mindfully Spent often focuses on minimizing purchases, most of us do spend a few dollars here and there for non-essential items, especially during the holidays. When we do, we can choose to invest in businesses that inspire us and add value to back to the community. In the lead up to Small Business Saturday, we'll be highlighting two businesses that do just that. Post photos by the talented Scott Haydon Photography of Tacoma, WA. #ShopSmall
Tacoma’s Antique Row is lined with interesting shops that tease the eye. From nightclubs with vintage signs, to coffee shops, to artfully arranged boutiques, to wander this retail stretch of Broadway in the heart of the city’s downtown feels like a glorious daydream. Perhaps every shop that lines the block is local, and each serve up a huge dose of authenticity, character, and charm along with whatever goods they may be selling. Even in this setting, Urban Squirrel stands out.
Urban Squirrel is the brainchild of Summer and Daniel Briggs. When they began their shared life in a modest apartment, they didn’t have a lot of dollars to spend on furnishings. They used creativity, keen design instincts, and lots of DIY effort to make that first apartment a home, filling it with innovative, upcycled décor. Their resourcefulness and stylishness are still in full effect today, and they are on display at Urban Squirrel.
Summer and Daniel had built a number of successful Etsy shops (Millesime designs, Paper Monkies, and Mille Bebe) before opening a brick and mortar store in Tacoma. Urban Squirrel opened in April 2015 and features reasonably-priced upcycled, handcrafted, and vintage décor (the kind that we drool over in magazines); gifts; and handmade greeting cards (just $2!). But Urban Squirrel’s wares do not stop there. The Briggs have a bigger vision for their business.
The back section of Urban Squirrel is built to inspire. Those hard-to-find supplies that are at the heart of almost every amazing DIY home décor project? They have ‘em. Bins of reclaimed treasures can be found in the back of the store. Those of us who aren’t naturally creative can find project ideas and instructions right beside the bins. The projects are unique and most don’t require special skills or tools. Summer and Daniel plan to expand their services and offer DIY project classes in 2017. Urban Squirrel also sells “Spark Bags” made to ignite creativity ($2 - $10).
The Briggs have created a business that inspires others, allows them to use their creativity, and gives back to the community too. Since they opened around 3 months ago, they have supported local non-profits in fighting hunger and supporting at-risk youth, while participating in local events. In addition, they are generally darn proud of their city and wouldn’t hesitate to tell you so. I would venture to guess that Tacoma is darn proud of them as well.
For online shopping... Urban Squirrel is on Etsy:
- Millesime Designs - The Briggs's primary online home décor shop
- Paper Monkies - Vintage books and paper goods
- Mille Baby - All things vintage baby & childhood
This post was fueled by huge and genuine admiration for Urban Squirrel and what its owners are doing in the community. It is not paid content.