Tags Posts tagged with "holiday shopping"

holiday shopping

Ewes and Coos Felted will be at the Winter Holiday Market.
The Cinnamon Candle will be selling custom-scented soy candles at the Winter Holiday Market.

Time to shop! The historic Setauket Neighborhood House, 95 Main Street, Setauket will transform into a winter wonderland this Sunday, Dec, 10 as the Three Village Historical Society presents an indoor Holiday Market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Over 30 vendors will be on hand including artist, woodworkers, makers, bakers, florists, felters and creators of all kinds offering gifts for everyone on your holiday list in a warm and cozy atmosphere.

Participating vendors include:

Alex Greco Lettering

Ally Liff Designs

AnTiAmy’s Gifts

Contessa’s Designs

Sweet Woodland Farm

Tend Coffee

The Cinnamon Candle

Dara Saol Jewelry

Finest Macarons

Clovis Outdoor Services

Dan McCarthy Wildlife Art

Ewes and Coos Felted

Grateful Bread Microbakery

Inspired Stones

Janet Kurnatowski Studio

Li Li’s Creations

Monika Botanika

OHoney Bee Farm

Old Post Candle Company

Petals, Paper & Thread

Julia Vogelle Pottery

Stormy Garden Soapworks

Sweet Legends Bakeshop

The Granola Plant LLC

The Nautical Arts Workshop

The Pot City

The Spice Cabinet

The Well Fed Family-Pampered Chef

Three Village Historical Society

Tracy Marlowe Jewelry

White Hat Silver

Wolf & Timber

Sweet Melissa’s

Cozy Knots

The Big Cheese

For more information, call 631-751-3730 or visit www.tvhs.org.

Pixabay photo

By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

Let’s take a look at how the stock market is doing these days and what we should be doing with it. On the whole, this has been a good year for stocks. Through the end of October of this year, the total return for Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index is 10.7 percent. While recent high interest rates paid by banks, money markets and treasury bonds have sucked some money away from equities, we might be further encouraged to get out of the stock market. Every time the Federal Reserve has raised rates with the intention of cooling down inflation, savers with cash have benefitted. Even short term treasuries are currently offering north of five percent return.

Don’t do it, according to Jeff Sommer, who writes, “Strategies,” for the New York Times  Sunday Business. Here is why.

A new study gives further evidence that buying and holding is the surest way to profit on the stock market. Wei Dai and Audrey Dong of the asset management fund Dimensional Fund Advisors did the following research. They came up with 720 market-timing strategies, applied over different time periods and conducted on a variety of stock markets. Except in one anomalous instance, the “passive investing” strategy, meaning we buy-and-hold while minimizing costs to get as much market return as possible, is the best course to follow. We can do this through traditional mutual index funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs that are like mutual funds but trade like stocks). Or we can make up our own mutual fund with a combination of diversified individual stocks. The idea is to just ride the ups and downs of the market. But in doing that, we have to accept losses some years for overall gains in the long run.

For example, in 1982, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which simply put is where the price of a select 30 U.S. stocks are added together, hovered around 1000. Today, that number is 35,475. Over a period of 40 years, the Dow snapshot of the market increased 35 times. But that also means there were years when the Dow declined. If we needed to sell then, at a low point, in order to secure some cash, we might have had to take a substantial loss depending on when we had bought into the market.

“People are always trying to figure out ways of beating the market,” said Ms Dai, meaning selling high, then buying low. “But moving in and out of stocks isn’t a good way to do it,” she added. While we may be able to see a low, it is very difficult to foresee when to get back in at the beginning of a rise. And most of the big money is made during the early stages of a rise, when the market takes off and we are left to run after it.

Can individual stock picking be a winning strategy?  That is, at best, extremely rare. Those who remember him highly regarded Peter Lynch, who managed the Magellan Fund for Fidelity (1977-1990) and who seemed to sense potential winners consistently over the years. His fund became so successful, it would alone move the markets. 

“Most active fund managers can’t beat the market year after year,” according to NYT columnist, Sommers. And so his advice, along with the research from Dimensional’s latest study, tells us to just be average and float on the overall market through index funds.

Of course, if you want to add a little spice to your life, as I sometimes get the urge to do, you can do the following. You can follow the advice offered above for the bulk of your equity investments but keep a small percentage, just five to ten percent for stock picking. That way, if you succeed on ferreting out winners, you can beat the market a bit. You can bask in the shadow of Peter Lynch. But if you lose, the result isn’t too bad.

Torte Jeff Pie Co. Photo by Heidi Sutton

Thanksgiving is a time to connect with loved ones, enjoy a meal and express thanks for our many blessings. And for many, it marks the Last Supper before weeks of bustling traffic and relentless shopping.

We remind our readers, as they prepare their shopping lists, of the monumental importance of patronizing local businesses.

Mom-and-pop stores are the backbone of our local economy. Without them, our community would be diminished.

Vacant storefronts are all too familiar along the North Shore. These blights are not only eyesores but a reflection of recent disruption and struggle for our commercial sectors.

E-commerce continues to precipitously harm local downtowns, siphoning away customers and setting unsustainable market rates for smaller vendors who lack the bulk purchasing power to compete.

COVID-19 lockdowns further accelerated the decline of small businesses. In many cases, Amazon and a few other prominent web retailers were the only options available for consumers.

Local mom and pops are struggling to stay afloat today. But crucially, they depend upon our patronage. And we depend upon their survival.

Unlike the conglomerates, small business owners create jobs and pay taxes within our community. When we support them, the dollars we spend stay here, recirculating back into our local economy instead of shipping off to some distant corporate headquarters.

And aren’t we all tired of seeing these massive megastores and online retailers cornering the market, consolidating more power and desecrating our downtowns?

On Long Island and across America, the predatory and monopolistic practices of Big Business are forcing smaller retailers to shutter. And rather than resisting this stranglehold on our local markets, we willingly participate in the game, prostrating ourselves at the altar of sweet deals and unbeatable prices.

In the Faustian bargains of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we trade away the soul of our community for a 20% discount. In failing to patronize local businesses, we complicitly enable the decline of our commercial districts and are accountable for the potential loss of our community as we know it.

Through our dollars, we can speak truth to entrenched power and wealth. We can shop locally despite the hot deals elsewhere. We can choose to invigorate our small businesses, knowing that if we don’t, no one else will.

This Saturday, Nov. 25, marks the 13th annual National Small Business Saturday. We ask our readers to come out in force, prioritizing the local storefronts in our community. And then, we must continue supporting them for the remainder of the season and throughout the year.

Our actions will determine the face of our area, so let’s all do our part — because when we shop small, we are all enriched.

Photo courtesy of WMHO

Time to shop! Black Friday returns to the Stony Brook Village Center, 111 Main Street, Stony Brook on Friday, November 24. Shop Black Friday store sales all day long throughout the village, with holiday favorites by the Celestial Holiday Carolers and a petting zoo by Rocking Horse Farm in the inner court from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Make a stop at The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame to view their new exhibit: Billy Joel: My Life, A Piano Man’s Journey at 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance at www.limusichalloffame.org.

A full list of Black Friday sales will be available online at stonybrookvillage.com. For more information, call 631-751-2244.

The Cinnamon Candle will be selling custom-scented soy candles at the Winter Holiday Market.

By Cayla Rosenhagen

Garland-bedecked main streets and ancient forests blanketed in sparkly snow aren’t the only idyllic qualities of wintertime in the Three Villages; it is the area’s warm and embracing community that invokes the holiday spirit above all else. That said, there’s nothing that says “community” and “holiday spirit” better than a winter market! 

From farmers and chefs to crafters and artisans, vendors from all over are welcome to participate in the very first annual Three Village Winter Market, hosted by the Three Village Historical Society on Dec. 10 and 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

As the TVHS says on their website, “Give big by shopping small”—and locally —this season. Not only does shopping locally at fairs and markets support the community we love, but it can also reduce our carbon footprint. Plus, you’re bound to find one-of-a-kind items that are homegrown, handcrafted, or home cooked. According to Dan Murphy, the TVHS staff member organizing the event, “There is something personal when you visit these small shops and vendors. I love the care that everyone puts into their work; it’s not just an item to sell, it is a passion, an art, and it’s worth sharing and certainly worth supporting that type of art and creativity.”

Located on the grounds of the Three Village Historical Society’s headquarters at 93 North Country Road in Setauket, the Winter Market is expected to feature at least 50 vendors selling everything from soaps, candles, beeswax, stained glass, and chainsaw art to wine, cheese, chocolate, and macarons. 

Keep an eye out for adorable and skillfully made felted gifts at Ewes and Coos Felted; delectable, homemade treats at Barry’s Baked Goods; fragrant soaps; and balms at Amadeus Aromatherapy; beautifully crafted stained glass ornaments and hangings by Cashmere Pecan; custom scented soy candles by The Cinnamon Candle, woodworking inspired by our rich maritime history by The Nautical Arts Workshop and so much more. The event will also feature a children’s crafting station and is dog-friendly 

Stop by the Society’s museum, located in the circa 1800 Bayles-Swezey house and decorated in Victorian-era holiday finery to check out their award-winning exhibits and the gift shop’s exclusive holiday offers. Admission to the museum is free, but donations are welcomed. 

If you are interested in participating as a vendor, please reach out to the TVHS through their website at www.tvhs.org/wintermarket to sign up. Artisans and small businesses of all kinds are welcome to bring their wares to sell. Each space is 10×10 feet, and participants are required to bring their own tents and tables. Vendors can purchase a spot for $100 for one day or $150 for the whole weekend. These fees are non-refundable unless the whole event is canceled due to inclement weather. Please reach out to Dan via email for additional information at [email protected].

“It truly is so inspiring to see so many Long Island-based entrepreneurs that bring so much talent to the table,” said Mari Irizarry, TVHS director. “This Winter Market honors their struggles and their craft. Our one and only wish that we’ll be sending off to Santa is that the community comes out and helps each vendor completely sell out! … See you at the Winter Market!” 

For more information, call 631-751-3730 or visit www.tvhs.org.

Photo from WMHO

Black Friday returns to Stony Brook Village Center on Friday, November 25. Shop Black Friday deals all day long throughout the village, with carolers, live music, and a petting zoo from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., as well as the opening of the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.

Enjoy carolers throughout the day.

Rocking Horse Farms will be set up in front of the Rustic Loft with a variety of animals for children to pet.  Burke and Brenda will be performing original and cover songs in the genres of R&B, Roots, Blues and Contemporary Acoustic at the Stony Brook Post Office. The Celestial Holiday Carolers will be performing holiday music throughout Market Square (shops between Luca Modern Italian Restaurant and Harbor Cleaners). Black Friday deals will be available all throughout the open-air center. A full list of Black Friday deals and sales will be available online at stonybrookvillage.com mid-November.

The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame will be open to the public. The upstairs exhibit space will feature a permanent “Hall of Fame” with plaques and exhibits recognizing the over 100 and growing inductees. The main exhibit space will be the first rotating exhibit “Long Island’s Legendary Club Scene: 1960’s – 1980’s”.

Black Friday in Stony Brook Village is sponsored by News 12. For more information on Black Friday in Stony Brook Village, visit stonybrookvillage.com or call (631) 751-2244.

Linda Johnson of Chocology at a previous Women's EXPO. Photo by Heidi Sutton
Popular marketplace of LI women entrepreneurs back for its 22nd year.

Save the date! The highly popular Women’s EXPO heads back to the Middle Country Public Library, 101 Eastwood Blvd., Centereach on Thursday, October 6, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Time to shop! Photo by Heidi Sutton

Featuring more than 80 vendors, the  indoor event provides a marketplace for Long Island women entrepreneurs who create or distribute a variety of products, including jewelry, pottery, soaps, food and more. This event is a great opportunity to support local women entrepreneurs while shopping for holiday gift giving.

The Women’s EXPO is presented by the Middle Country Library Foundation. Proceeds will help to support the library’s Miller Business Center, which supports regional economic development by meeting the information needs of the business community, promoting a literate and job-ready workforce, and providing employment information and career exploration opportunities.  Sponsors include TD Bank, People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union and BankUnited.

“We are excited to be back celebrating women entrepreneurs on Long Island with the 22nd annual Women’s EXPO, after two years of limitations due to the pandemic.” says Sophia Serlis-McPhillips, the Director of the Middle Country Public Library.

For more information go to www.WomensEXPOli.org or call 631-585-9393, ext. 296.

METRO photo

There are certain things Cyber Monday and the internet can’t do for us as we shop during this holiday season. While the sales may be great online, there are some downfalls that we’ll experience this year making shopping locally even more important. 

The next several weeks are going to be hard for devoted holiday shoppers thanks to COVID-19 and the continuous supply chain concerns that are happening across the country. 

Experts are anticipating that large retailers like Apple and Amazon will experience a hit with sales due to shipping issues and staffing challenges. And although this will be tough for those businesses, it will also be a stress for the consumers themselves. 

Whereas shopping via online Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals in the past was an easy click with shipping coming days after, buyers might see a delay in receiving those products in the mail. 

But this might be a good time for us to take a step back and really support our neighbors who own their own shops in our local villages and towns. 

Instead of anticipating a package in the mail — which might not even get here on time — we should head into town and shop small this holiday. The goods will be there right in front of us and we can take them home that day — easy one-stop shopping that makes our lives easier, but also provides income to a family owned business. 

Shopping small comes with its own benefits: we can see the products, touch them and measure them for size. We can find unique things that may not be available on a larger company website, making that gift a one-of-a-kind present the recipient will treasure. 

And on top of that, it provides that shop owner with extra money to pay their own bills. Shopping small is a win-win for everyone.

After a tough two years post the initial outbreak of the pandemic, mom and pops have been hit hard with little ability to recover. 

By shopping locally this year, it brings money back to the economy which then goes back to our own street repairs and our community. 

We know that online shopping is usually easier, but with the current state of inventory and the surrounding issues, it might actually be better to walk over and visit a family owned shop. 

Try it out this holiday season, and you certainly won’t be disappointed. 

Pixabay photo

By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

Who typically thinks about inflation?

Inflation is one of those words that cuts both ways. Low inflation is considered a desirable thing by borrowers and the Federal Reserve. A lot of inflation can be a disaster for the financial markets and for everyone’s pocketbook. 

Those who deal with money and work in finance keep an eye on inflation. After all, inflation refers to a general increase in the price of goods and services in the economy over time that corresponds with a decrease in what you can buy with the same amount of money. And if your money is going to be devalued, best keep that eye. 

Years ago, I learned a simple definition for inflation: too many dollars chasing too few goods. Because of disruptions in the supply of goods, demand has currently outstripped supply. You can tell that from some of the empty shelves at the stores. Consequently, when products or services are scarce, we pay more for what we can still get.

When that happens suddenly, we all pay attention to inflation. Pull up at the gas pump and fill your tank. What do you know? The price for the exact same gas that you used last month has gone up. Go into a restaurant and order your favorite dish. It now costs a little more. The proprietor has no choice but to charge more because he or she had to pay more for the ingredients, due to disruption in delivery. That’s inflation. The government tracks inflation with the Consumer Price Index, or CPI. They leave gas and food out of the Core Index because those tend to be more volatile from one month to the next. But we can’t leave them out. We have to pay for them.

So how are we doing with inflation now?

Initially, rising prices were thought of as transitory, the result of pent-up demand that was suddenly released with the drop in COVID cases and the increase in vaccinations, that would even itself out before long. But prices of goods and services are still up while supply continues to be disrupted. Additionally, people have had more money to spend on those goods and services as a result of the billions in government aid.

As of this week, the CPI was up 5.4%. That’s how much prices have increased in a year. This is well above the Fed’s targeted rate of two percent, but so far there seems little interest on their part to raise rates and slow inflation. Social security checks, which are intended to keep pace with inflation, will be up 5.9% next year, the most in four decades. When rates are raised, it costs more money to borrow, whether for business expansion or mortgages, and that works to slow down inflation and growth. It seems the Fed still believes present inflation will diminish when current disruptions fade. President Joe Biden (D) has announced plans to keep ports open 24/7 to try and ameliorate the supply delays. But trucks and truckers are also insufficient.

There are other, less obvious signs of inflation. I attended the New York Press Conference two weeks ago and stayed for three nights at a hotel in the center of Troy. For the same room rate, we had no room service, no one cleaned the bathroom or made the beds. Clean towels were left in a bag outside our door. Breakfast was included, but there was only coffee, some wrapped Danish and small containers of yogurt. When we asked for bread, we were told there had been no delivery for many days. So in essence, we were paying the same money but getting less, like the old trick of getting candy for the usual price but in a smaller box. That’s inflation, too.

What actions should we take?

We probably should do our holiday shopping now, while some of the gifts we want are still available and at current prices. We might want to nail down a mortgage rate soon if we are in the market. As for our investments, who ever knows?

Middle Country Public Library in Centereach hosted the 19th annual Women’s EXPO on Oct. 3. Thousands came out to kick off their holiday shopping at the one-day event presented by the Middle Country Library Foundation and the library’s Miller Business Center.

More than 80 women entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to introduce their products, which included jewelry, children’s books, soaps, candles, chocolate, fall crafts, clothing and much more. Fifth Season restaurant offered lunch in the EXPO Café. 

This year’s lead sponsor was Bank of America. The event was also sponsored by Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP of Ronkonkoma; People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union; BankUnited; TD Bank; Jefferson’s Ferry; and the Greater Middle Country Chamber of Commerce. Vendors interested in participating in next year’s event are encouraged to visit www.womensExpoli.org. See more photos of the event at www.tbrnewsmedia.com.

Photos by Heidi Sutton