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The Daily Wildcat

97° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Support Tucson artists for authentic experience

In a well-renowned hippy haven like Tucson, chock-full of craft stores, vintage shopping and local artists, shopping local and keeping money in the community isn’t difficult. Start the school year right with some local art from all over the city.

According to Independent We Stand, for every $100 spent at locally owned businesses, $68 stays in the community. Moreover, local shop owners need the help of the community to stay in business.

Outside of Ordinary, or Ooo!, on University Boulevard is managed by Tom Cassidy and his wife, Susan. He said that on an average day, all of his customers are courtesy of street traffic, which makes putting a conscious effort into shopping local even more important for local buyers.

Tucson isn’t short of vintage stores, and the stores aren’t short of interesting, one-of-a-kind items. Take a walk down Fourth Avenue and stop at one of the many vintage shops along the way, or head west to Gather: A Vintage Market, or Copper Country Antiques, the place responsible for the bejeweled rooster that guards my mediocre video game collection.

For local art to hang on your bleak residence hall walls, try going shopping while you sip your coffee at Caffe Luce or Epic Café. Both cafés showcase different local artists throughout the year.

At Epic Café, customers are introduced to different artists each month. Alex Hartley, a barista at Epic Café, said it’s a nice feature because it’s constantly changing and giving people something new to look at. “People’s reactions are always different,” she said.

Sarah Erickson, a junior studying Russian and linguistics, said she enjoys making a connection with local artists.

Erickson prefers Pop-Cycle on Fourth Avenue above most other shops. As a member of the UA Pep Band, she went to the store to buy a UA basketball shirt and began talking to one of the owners. After chatting a for bit, the owner made her a personalized, vintage basketball necklace to wear to the 2015 Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.

“You get a personal relationship, and you know exactly where your money is going,” Erickson said.

At Artful Living, Jeff Ferst sells prints of his artwork alongside his homemade skirts, straps for the Apple Watch and all sorts of accessories. The accessories are based off his own artwork and make for completely one-of-a-kind pieces.

Whether you’re looking for clothes, gifts or artwork to brighten up your room, local shops in Tucson have all of your needs covered. And by spending your money in your community, you can give back just as much as you take.

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