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Support the Delta by Shopping LOCAL During the Holidays!

Support the Delta by Shopping LOCAL During the Holidays!
By Elizabeth Phelps

One great way to help the local Delta economy — which over time, helps create more jobs in the area — is to keep your shopping dollars at home.

What that means is when you’re buying holiday gifts, don’t just head straight to Ebay or Amazon; head on over to a local shop. Not only does it keep your dollars working in your own community, but it is a whole lot more fun to shop when you can see what you’re buying in person!

One great example of a small business where you might find holiday gifts is TurnRow Book Company, in Greenwood. There aren’t many special indie bookstores left in the state. There’s Lorelei Books, in Vicksburg; Lemuria, in Jackson; and Square Books, in Oxford. Turnrow is another to add to this list of bookstores that aren’t part of big, impersonal chain of stores.

Just as with most all small, local businesses, small bookstores have something big box stores cannot provide: character, personal attention, and dollars returned to one’s local economy. TurnRow Book Company is a small bookstore with a “huge selection of signed books for kids and adults.”

Manager Steve Iwanski’s sensibilities range from knowing good books to having good economic sense. Steve perks up when asked about his top reading choices for Christmas shoppers.

“Sure,” he says. “I’ll be happy to give you a list of my favorite books for Christmas.” But Iwanski also shared a piece of economic wisdom.

“For every $100 that you spend at your local independent businesses, $52 stays in your community,” he said. “If you shop at a big box store or a chain, only $13 stays in your community. We’re advocating for folks to shop local this holiday season more than ever before.”

In the case of TurnRow, it also has a spiffy café that transforms into a venue for authors signing and reading from their books. Artists also display their work, and local musicians perform in the café in the evening.

As for Steve’s book suggestions for Christmas shoppers, well, here they are:

Children’s Books

“King Alice,” by Matthew Cordell (A Child’s First Book Club selection for September, 2018)

“The Wall in the Middle of the Book,” by Jon Agee (A Child’s First Book Club selection for October, 2018)

“The Lying King,” by Alex Beard (A Child’s First Book Club selection for November, 2018)

“The Day You Begin,” by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael Lopez

“The Good Egg,” by Jory John and Pete Oswald

Middle Grade/Young Adult

“A Long Line of Cakes,” by Deborah Wiles

“Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe,” by Jo Watson Hackl

“Harbor Me,” by Jacqueline Woodson

“Louisiana’s Way Home,” by Kate DiCamillo

“Map of Days,” by Ransom Riggs

Adult Fiction/Nonfiction

“These Truths: A History of the United States,” by Jill Lepore

“In the Hurricane’s Eye,” by Nathaniel Philbrick

“The Southern Living Party Cookbook,” by Elizabeth Heiskell

“The Fifth Risk,” by Michael Lewis

“The Reckoning,” by John Grisham

Happy holiday reading! And remember…shop local!


Shopping local during the holidays is great! There are many options for supporting local businesses in the Delta, and many places to shop, but here are just a few ideas to get you started:


Miss Dell’s General Store, 145 Delta Ave., Clarksdale

One of the truly quaint places to shop in the Delta, Miss Dell’s is an old time general store that offers a variety of goods.

Cat Head Delta Blues and Folk Art, 252 Delta Ave., Clarksdale

Not only is Cat Head a music venue, but it has a great collection of art. This is probably a better place to find gifts for the adults in your life, and you’re sure to find something in this shop that is just…cool.

Magpie Gifts and Art, 253 Delta Ave., Clarksdale

Find kids’ clothing, home decor, greeting cards, gift baskets, and more.


TurnRow Books, 304 Howard St., Greenwood

A great selection of books including national bestsellers along with local and regional favorites. There are many signed copies of books available.

Fincher’s, 301 Howard St., Greenwood

What a great selection of sweet clothing for children! There’s also lots in this shop for adults to love.

The Mississippi Gift Company, 300 Howard St., Greenwood

Find a wide array of gifts for adults and children. And who doesn’t love the Mississippi Gift Company’s famous cheese straws?

Delta Emporium, 216 E. Johnson St., Greenwood

If you’re looking for gifts, household items, furniture and more, this shop probably has the holiday gift you’re looking for.

Smith and Co., 211 Fulton St., Greenwood

Find a selection of clothing for men, women and children with an outdoors theme. This shop also has other types of supplies for the outdoorsman on your shopping list. Great place to buy for dads!


Elizabeth A. Phelps was raised on the Gulf Coast. She is a writer, speaker, teacher and youth program facilitator. She has won awards for writing and inspirational youth programming using the arts.

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