Welcome to Gone Local!
Welcome to our passion project! We're excited to be here and to have your support along the way. I am Kristen Santiago, the woman behind-the-scenes, and I own Gone Local Erie. But I would not be here without the assistance and support of my husband, David! (And our dog Theia, who insists on being involved in everything.)
David and I are actually the second owners of this business. We were both already entrepreneurs with a soft spot for our hometown, so Gone Local seemed like a natural next step for us. You can read more about the two of us and our backgrounds here.
So how did we find Gone Local? During the pandemic shutdown in March 2020, we had the opportunity presented to us to acquire this business from its original owners, Kathy Brugger and Patti Kidder.
These two women opened Gone Local in the 2019 holiday season as a small popup shop in downtown Erie. The store was open for three months, attracted many shoppers, and was a huge hit! But running a retail store is no joke, and Patti and Kathy decided it was in their best interests to focus their time and energy on their families. But that's where we came in!
Because of the pandemic, however, David and I chose not to reopen the brick-and-mortar store and instead focused our efforts on providing a safe and robust e-commerce site.
Gone Local Erie is a corporate gift supplier and retail store dedicated to selling products made in Erie and Northwest PA. As of the time of this post, our business is still completely online, with nationwide shipping, as well as local pickup at Andora's Bubble Tea Shop available. Our mission is to simplify the "shop local" movement in our area by uniting Erie's makers and small businesses in one location.
The most important fact about this business: we wouldn't be here without the makers and small businesses of Erie! Them, along with our customers and supporters, are what make up this incredible community. It's so important to shop local, especially nowadays, so we love being able to utilize our platform to provide not only visibility to local makers, but also a one-stop-shop for the community to support their neighbors.
David and I were both born and raised in Erie, and there's a reason we're still here. Erie is experiencing a renaissance and rebrand, and there's never been a more exciting time to live here. There are so many incredible opportunities available for entrepreneurs, coupled with a community ready to provide support.
As for Gone Local, we're excited to keep growing this community. When the timing is right, we intend to move into our own physical space once again, in order to give our customers a more convenient local shopping experience.
It's amazing what a community can accomplish when everyone is united under a common goal. Our city can only succeed, for us and for our future generations, if we believe in it and put in the effort to make it great.
Thank you for sticking with us as we work on this together! Shop local here: www.gonelocalerie.com/giftbox