Diversifying Your Spending and Experiences in St. Louis


If you’ve read any of my recent blog posts, you’ll know I am a huge supporter of local St. Louis businesses! Not only do I make it a priority to shop locally, but I also like to make it my normal practice to diversify my spending. This has opened so many opportunities for my family and me to learn about other people and cultures. We get to experience everything that makes St. Louis unique, and that comes from all the people who live here! I love celebrating my neighbors and seeing my daughters celebrating the cultures of their friends!


Diversifying your spending and experiences is a really intentional process. It can seem like a daunting task at first, as initially, it requires a lot of time researching businesses and events. But do not fear! I am going to give you some tips on how to get started. Once it becomes your practice, it’s so easy! If you need some extra inspiration, you can refer back to my food guides which feature many diverse local options.


Start with identifying awareness months throughout the year, such as Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May), Pride Month (June), Hispanic Heritage Month (September), among so many others! During those months, research local businesses and restaurants that are owned by members of our community celebrating those events. You will try so many new things! Once that month is over, make it your normal practice to visit them throughout the year.





Once you’ve added a great list of local businesses and restaurants to your rotation, start to look at local events that celebrate communities in St. Louis or neighborhoods you don’t normally frequent. I’ve chosen to highlight this topic during August because the Festival of Nations is back in Tower Grove Park from August 27-28th. This is my absolute favorite family-friendly event each year because it celebrates all of the cultures represented in St. Louis. I usually go both days to enjoy all the wonderful food, music, dancing, and handmade items featured at the festival. Some other local events I love are: Cinco de Mayo on Cherokee Street and South Grand Dine Around (South Grand is very culturally diverse!).





I also have some favorite shopping destinations to keep my spending local and diverse in St. Louis. Zee Bee Market is a fair trade artisan shop with two local stores with wonderful gifts for people of all ages to enjoy. They also carry Forai products, which have a great mission of supporting immigrant women. Their baby and kids items are too adorable to resist! Artists First is a fun art studio that supports artists with disabilities. On Thursdays, they have an integrated youth open studio where they welcome children of all abilities. Honeycomb is a hidden gem children’s store that is women-owned, featuring sustainable products for moms and kids— as well as some fun art and movement classes!





It can be a long journey changing your habits to support local and diverse businesses in our community. Especially as a mom when routines and convenience are everything! I won’t say my daughter has always been open to trying all the new places to humor her mommy, but I can tell you she always asks to go back (sometimes after a mini tantrum on the way there …). I love when she starts a sentence with, “can we go back to the one place where we did (insert awesome local experience here)?” it warms my heart to know she’s making memories in her local community that she loves to share with others. And on that note, I love finding new places and experiences! Please leave me a comment to share your local favorites, so I have some new things to try!

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Haley was born and raised in small town Kansas. She moved to St. Louis after graduating from the University of Kansas to attend graduate school at Lindenwood. Her 2 year plan to live in St. Louis turned in 12 when she met her husband. They were married on home plate at Busch Stadium in 2015 and are parents to two girls, Presley (4) and Piper (7 months), Haley stared her career as a Certified Athletic Trainer working at high schools all throughout St. Louis. After returning to nursing school she was a Trauma ICU nurse for 5 years before taking on her current role as the Injury Prevention and Outreach Coordinator at a Level 1 Trauma Center. Outside of work Haley blogs about local food and businesses as part of the Yelp Elite Squad, volunteers for Make-A-Wish MoKan, and loves strength training and self care. Haley considers herself a “wrangler of tiny females”. She loves raising a strong willed preschooler who both challenges and amazes her. Haley loves living in St. Louis and feels it has so much to offer to inspire children and foster creativity. You can follow her at @mamastrebs.


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