Small businesses, big niche: Local retailers offer alternative to big-box rush for holiday shopping

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald A sign outside Once in Hilo Boutique Gallery describes what shopping locally can do for the community on Tuesday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Jasmine Hemon takes customer orders while working at Nector Cafe in Hilo on Tuesday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Artists Bob Newell and Emilia Cecilia take a moment to pose inside One Gallery while working in Hilo on Tuesday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Baha Ra poses for a photo next to his self-designed t-shirts inside Once in Hilo Boutique Gallery on Tuesday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Dustin Smith makes a latte while working at the Nector Cafe in Hilo on Tuesday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald From left, Poha Henson, Tracie Yoshimoto, Vicki Schulte and Carole Mae Makanui hold a Small Business Saturday banner while posing in the Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo on Tuesday.

Although some holiday shoppers have big plans, sometimes the best plans start by thinking — and shopping — small.