Shopping Small in Bloomington-Normal

I grew up in a family where shopping small has always been important. My mom would always make it a point to take my family to restaurants, stores and other establishments that weren’t well known by most or were not located outside of our town of Edwardsville, Illinois. Ever since going away to college that desire to shop small went away slowly because I didn’t know where to go. I went with what was quick, easy and convenient for my shopping needs. However, once the pandemic hit my perspective went back to what it once was. Small businesses were going through a hard time staying afloat and it showed me once again how much I loved supporting small businesses, and really how special these establishments are. Here are three of my favorite local establishments that you guys need to check out!


  1. 1. The LashRoom

    The Lashroom is a hidden gem here in Bloomington-Normal. This luxury beauty bar just started up last year in the thick of the pandemic. Anyone (male and female) that are looking for lash extensions, a nice facial, or body wax this is the place to go. They are coming up on their one-year anniversary on March 1. Although they had an unfortunate situation on their hands they powered through and still have loyal customers, and for a good reason! From high quality service to high quality lashes they have it all. If you are a new costumer or apart of Greek life here at Illinois state you can receive a 20% discount, and if you are a college student you automatically get a 15% to make the price even more reasonable for a college kid budget. Give them some support and check them out, as I know I will.

  2. 2. FruGALS

    This thrift store, located in downtown Bloomington, is one of my favorites in the area. I always find myself thrifting at Goodwill or Plato’s Closet, and although those are great places to find unique pieces for your wardrobe, it’s always good to switch things up once in a while. All of their clothes are for women as it is easy to find your size, along with many other trinkets, and home décor that you would normally find in a thrift store.


  3. 3. Fusion Brew

    Fusion Brew is a beloved coffee shop in the area, and I personally have been supporting them since I was a freshman. I am sure Illinois State students are familiar with this establishment, but it had to go on the list as it never fails to disappoint. From the coffee lovers to the coffee haters there is something for everyone at Fusion Brew. Personally, I’m not a huge coffee drinker, so I typically opt for their smoothies and baked goods. Every now and then, when you’re craving an iced coffee or something a little bit different from the typical Starbucks drink, stop in here,hang out with some friends and enjoy the delicious beverages they have to offer.

Although most places are doing much better as the world is now used to the pandemic life, there are still businesses out there that need support. I personally think it is fun to shop and support places that are no where else and these are the places that make Bloomington-Normal special. This is your reminder to never forget to shop small!