Show your support for your community, shop Small Business Saturday

Your holiday shopping experience can be more than browsing online or going to the big box or chain stores. Shop locally on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, and not only will you help the local economy, but you might also find a unique gift or get that special customer service that small businesses offer. Here's a sampling of what you can find in Downtown Lansing.

Behold Beauty provides cosmetic service tailored to an individual's facial structure

Brittany Waters
Brittany Waters

New to the scene this holiday season is Behold Beauty, cosmetic tattoo studio and academy. Sister to its flagship location in Detroit, the newly renovated storefront located downtown at 110 W. Washtenaw St. is now open for business.

Cosmetic tattooing aka permanent makeup enlists specialty tattooing techniques to enhance natural features such as skin, eyes and lips. Each service is custom tailored to an individual’s facial structure with the use of measurement and color matching.

Our signature service, microblading, targets eyebrows by manually placing hairlike strokes into the skin to create symmetry, fill sparse areas, and increase definition. I grew up nearby and I’m excited to bring our expertise to the city and contribute to what I believe to be a major resurgence downtown.

Aside from providing services like powder brows and lip blush, Behold’s mission is to disrupt the beauty industry by inspiring self-expression and unapologetic individuality. To the Behold team, this means cultivating imagery, conversation and tattoos encouraging people to break free of who they think they should be by shining a light on who they want to be.

We welcome you to follow our journey on social platforms @beholdbrows or inquire about a complimentary consultation via our website

Brittany Waters is the founder and lead microblade artist of Behold Beauty.

Looking for a colorful gift? Capital Hippie has the answer

Laura Castle
Laura Castle

Capital Hippie, the place you go for color, is a local business in Downtown Lansing. The store is one of the most colorful places you’ll visit while you’re walking Washington Square and I love it that way.

Capital Hippie stemmed from my experience as a person who loves tie dye and also wears a size XL in clothing. The places I found tie dyes I loved unfortunately didn’t always have my size or larger and that’s when I decided I was going to fill this gap myself.

I started my business by making tie dyes for myself and friends and soon after that, friends and family were buying my creations. Then came selling online plus pop-ups and Afterglow, a space at Middle Village Micro Market and then finally a space all my own at 121 S. Washington Square.

The store carries sizes from XS to 5XLT and it’s all about giving people the opportunity to wear clothes that make them feel good!

I also work with local artists and businesses to fill the store with jewelry, art, poems, stickers and fun. My hope is that people walk into the store feeling welcome and comfortable and leave feeling a bit lighter and brighter!

Capital Hippie has found a home in downtown Lansing and continues reaching goals and expanding the colors of tie dye to people all over the states. The community has been welcoming and wonderful over the past year. Last week we celebrated 10k followers on Facebook and the official one-year mark of Capital Hippie having a physical location.

Visit the store this holiday season 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Laura Castle is the owner of Capital Hippie, bringing tie dye and a whole lot of fun to downtown Lansing.

Sweet Encounter, a destination bakery in the heart of Lansing

Nikki Thompson Frazier
Nikki Thompson Frazier

Sweet Encounter Bakery is new to the Square. We opened in downtown Lansing on Feb. 16. We specialize in gluten free treats, eats and, cooking classes for all ages. We offer catering for any size event, and we ship our desserts nationwide.

Sweet Encounter is a destination bakery and the type of business downtown Lansing needs. It’s the only bakery café in the area that caters to individuals with school allergies.

Sweet Encounter is helping to change the face of downtown Lansing by enticing people to come in, sit for a while and enjoy time with colleagues, friends, and family. When you walk into the Knapp’s Centre, the smell of cinnamon and spice will overtake you. The bakery is a welcome addition to the revitalization of this historical landmark.

This holiday season stop by for our signature hot chocolate bombs or sign up for a pie making class. Looking for the perfect client gift? Sweet Encounter offers personalized cookies, cupcakes in a jar and other novelty gifts anyone on your list would love.

Nikki Thompson Frazier is the owner of Swee Encounter, ready to sweeten your day.  

Houseplants, classes and more at Neva Lee's

Faun Donald and Luke Trusnovec
Faun Donald and Luke Trusnovec

Neva Lee's is growing with a newly expanded space. With this larger storefront expect to see more plants, more planterly things (the Lansing experts on houseplants), more gift items (everything you need for your sassy plant friends), more classes (make something and hang with your friends), and more events (music, video games and general awesomeness).

Over the next few months, we are working to add a lounge area gathering place for hanging out and making new friends. This spot will include a coffee bar, additional arcade games and live music coming soon.

Neva Lee’s is located at 109 S. Washington Square. Visit for holiday shopping from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Check us out on Facebook to see current happenings and updates.

Faun Donald and Luke Trusnovec are the owner of Neva Lee's, a nifty little plant shop.

Explore, create or play with science gifts from Impression 5

Erik Larson
Erik Larson

Impression 5 Science Center is an interactive STEM learning museum that is designed to encourage guests to PLAY with science, CREATE new things and ideas using science, and CHALLENGE their understanding of science. Our mission is achieved through the creation of hands-on exhibits and engaging educational programming.

Impression 5 To Go, located inside Impression 5 Science Center in downtown Lansing, is the premiere science-themed toy store in Greater Lansing. Science Center staff carefully curate the offerings in an effort to provide opportunities for continued science exploration, even outside the walls of the Science Center itself. We as a team believe that learning is a lifelong process, and we hope that the items you will find inside Impression 5 To Go will support your continued scientific discovery.

If you are unable to visit Impression 5 To Go, we also offer an online store option that includes the convenience of shipping. Please check us out at the following link:

Impression 5 To Go is an important piece of the Science Center’s long-term sustainability plan. All proceeds from your purchase will directly support our mission of equitable STEM education for all.

We appreciate your business and look forward to assisting you with finding the perfect science themed gift! Thank you for your support and commitment to shopping locally!

Erik Larson is the executive director of Impression 5 Museum.

A Novel Concept is our dream bookstore brought to life

Elise Jajuga
Elise Jajuga

A Novel Concept, the new women-owned bookstore in downtown Lansing, opened our new storefront on Oct. 15. In March of 2021, the two of us, Elise Jajuga and Christine Peffer Bennett, met up on a cold Saturday morning to walk up and down South Washington Square and take stock of the available retail spaces in the neighborhood. We had been dreaming about opening a bookstore downtown, one that would provide Lansing bibliophiles with a community-driven space to experience the unique joy of physically wandering through a bookstore and discovering a favorite new author or a favorite new small publisher. Our conversations that day led us to a single-minded vision of bringing our dream bookstore project to downtown Lansing, a neighborhood that we could see beginning to pulse with new energy.

Christine Peffer Bennett
Christine Peffer Bennett

We spent the 2021 holiday season testing and growing our vision for A Novel Concept inside the Middle Village Micro Market, a downtown small business accelerator, and by March 2022 we had found our permanent home at 222 S. Washington Square, becoming the first women-only-owned building in the neighborhood. After months of renovations, we officially opened and are beginning to settle into our first holiday season in our own storefront. Also joining us inside our shop for the holiday season is Dear Ollie, a stationery and illustration studio owned and operated by local artist Sara Pulver.

A Novel Concept aims to foster community, discovery, and connection. We currently host a monthly book club and have held several author events in our shop, and plan to continue adding to our calendar even more opportunities to connect with fellow Lansing bibliophiles.

Elise Jajuga and Christine Peffer Bennett are owners of A Novel Concept.

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Nelson Gallery offers a range of art pieces from local artists in a historic building

Jen Estill
Jen Estill

Nelson Gallery is a space that brings well-curated art and design to downtown Lansing in a one-of-a-kind building. The gallery offers pieces on display and for sale from numerous local artists and across a number of mediums, from ceramics to paintings to fibers.

Located on the first floor of the historic former Liebermann's at 113 S. Washington Square, the gallery’s building was originally designed by renowned mid-century architect George Nelson. We restored the space two years ago to pay homage to the building’s artistic roots, preserving original mid-century displays and CSS shelving. The gallery invites visitors to step into the past, mixing authentic mid-century interior design elements with a curated collection of handmade pieces.

In addition to regularly displaying fine art pieces for sale and browsing, the gallery regularly holds rotating exhibitions. Exhibitions feature cohesive collections of works from local artists, following a universal theme and inspiring a specific direction of thought.

This holiday season, Nelson Gallery will have new seasonal pieces on display. Fiber art ornaments will be a returning crowd-pleaser, and one-of-a-kind, Raku-fired ceramic Santa figurines will be in the gallery for the first time this year. Whether you’re looking for functional tableware, decorative accents, or fiber wall art, there’s a unique piece for everyone on your list at Nelson Gallery.

Nelson Gallery is located at 113 South Washington Square in Lansing, and our regular hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Jen Estill owns and operates Nelson Gallery for beautiful artisan gifts this holiday season!

Kringle Holiday Market, Downtown Lansing Inc.'s newest holiday event

Jazmin Anderson
Jazmin Anderson

I'm Downtown Lansing Inc. new events & market manager. One of my first initiatives at Downtown Lansing Inc. is launching the first ever Kringle Holiday Market, which is an opportunity for residents, daytime workers, and families to create holiday memories while shopping, ice skating, and eating delicious street food. I'm excited to bring that holiday nostalgia with a modern twist to my hometown and hopefully inspire some new traditions in Lansing. You’ll be able to catch something different each time you come to the Kringle Holiday Market. Santa’s coming to town one day, we’ll have a horse-drawn carriage another day, a craft day for kids, and so much more.

The Kringle Holiday Market will take place 3-7 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays starting through Dec. 17. It will be the first of many fun activities happening at the historic Reutter Park. After the holiday season, there will be a lot of other opportunities to enjoy different activities and events at Reutter Park and throughout downtown Lansing. Stay in the loop about all things Downtown Lansing Inc. by visiting

I'm a Lansing native and love connecting with people in the community, supporting local, and exploring all the nooks and crannies of our city. Being able to bring events and activities to the community that I love and grew up in is a dream. I think we can make downtown Lansing a place where all Lanstronauts see themselves — a place to meet new people, make memories with friends and families, and explore the many things that our city has to offer.

Jazmin Anderson is the events & market manager for Downtown Lansing Inc.

This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Shop locally this holiday season, Small Business Saturday is Nov. 26