Christmas Gift Solution: LoLo is Here to Help

Christmas Gift Solution: LoLo is Here to Help

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  • Carolyn Fagan

    Carolyn Fagan is a writer. After spending a life in Rhode...

    Gift cards suck. They’re very objectively the laziest gift—they’re usually impersonal and they force the gift-receiver to choose how they spend the money, which often defeats the purpose of a gift feeling like a luxury you wouldn’t, or couldn’t, get for yourself. However, unless you’re a Pinterest-reading, DIY-crafting, extremely organized pro, chances are that you get lazy when it comes to giving gifts. Now, you don’t have to feel lazy. You can feel like a full on philanthropist, a la Charlie Kelly, because LoLo is here to give reason to your gift-card giving ways.

    LoLo, or Locals Supporting Locals, is a wonderful Asheville organization that has teamed up with a myriad of local businesses and restaurants to help you give the gift cards, and gifts, of your dreams. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up on the website, here, or download the app, here for Apple and here for Android.
  2. Check out “Send Gifts.” You can give everything from a beer tasting at Oyster House ($5) to a water bottle from Black Dome ($12), to a bike tune-up at Youngblood Bicycles ($65).
  3. Some of the gifts give a higher value than they cost, similar to Groupon. Yay for free money.
  4. You earn rewards! Not for giving gifts, but for making purchases at participating businesses. It’s called “LoDough,” and it rules. Basically, whenever you shop local using the app, you receive LoDough points that allow you to cash in for rewards. Many of the rewards are donations; to Brother Wolf, to Asheville on Bikes, to the Asheville Museum of Science. Other rewards include a Bhramari pretzel! An Asheville Sandwich Company sandwich! Or even a Curtis Wright Outfitters half day wade fishing trip (275 dollar value!!) From December 16-22, it is Double Dough December at LoLo, at which time members will earn 10% when shopping at Foot Rx, Takeout Central, India Garden, Cinnamon Kitchen, Relax and Rejuvenate, and Youngblood Bicycles.

The adorable LoLo team: Matthew Simpson, Jordan Stone, Jessica Resler, and Clark Harris.

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    One of the best parts of LoLo, besides supporting local businesses, is that if the gift is not used, you receive credit. Of course, you’ll be hoping that your gift is used and brings absolute joy and gratitude to the gift-receiver, but no one will blame you if you’re secretly sending out gifts you want in hopes of them coming back as credit to your account…

LoLo is currently available in North Carolina in Asheville, Black Mountain, Chapel Hill, Hendersonville, and Durham, Spartanburg in SC, and Andersonville in IL. The organization is hoping to further expand across NC into Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and more, in 2017, but is open to welcoming any cities that want to participate in the program. LoLo is working super hard to "keep the local vibe alive," and is a much-needed reminder that where you spend your money matters, not just because it helps your local economy, but because spending dollars can often serve as a voice, since you are more likely to know the people and policies you are supporting when you buy local. So close out of your Forever 21, H&M, and Amazon tabs and go join LoLo