A few days ago, a photographer friend of mine came up with a great idea. After wedding season was over, she was struggling to make ends meet. She is a mother, a wife and a great artist who runs her own business. With all the news about Wall Street, taxes, the Whatever% and this poor economy, she made the plea to her friends, family and community to make the effort to skip the big-box stores this holiday season and shop local. Through her blog: We Are Bellingham, she is taking the time out of her day to promote local crafters and their skill. Whether they have a small shop, work out of their home, do craft shows or run an Etsy shop or website, she wants to help them.
What better way to spread Christmas cheer? Think of it this way: when you go to a department store and buy a cute dress for your daughter/granddaughter/friend, who is benefiting from your purchase the most? I’d say it’s the girl getting the dress and the store’s bottom line. When you buy from an individual crafter, not only is that little girl STILL getting a cute (and probably one-of-a-kind) dress, but the person who made that dress can now afford to pay rent, send their kid to gymnastics, pay for that family vacation, or just support their crafting addiction.
I’m not saying that every small local crafter is desperately in need of money to make ends meet, but many are. I’m also not saying that the people who work in big-box retail don’t deserve your business, but you don’t have to buy EVERYTHING from them just because it’s a one-stop-shop. What I am saying is this: think before you shop. Stop someone walking down the street to ask them where they got their beautiful crocheted scarf, the cute flower in their daughter’s hair, that purse that you’ve never seen anything like before. Go to a local arts & crafts show. Spend 15 minutes an evening checking out Etsy (you can even look for shops in YOUR area code).
This is taken straight from Jen’s blog, and I couldn’t say it better:
“I am starting this blog because we need this.
We need to support each other.
We need to shop local.
We need to tell the rest of the 99% what they are missing out on when they go to the mall instead of visiting our local shops, browsing our websites, checking out our etsy stores and noticing our little houses and apartments filled with hand made AWESOME.
I am Jen Owen.
I am your neighbor.
I am a mother of three and wife.
I am a friend and an advocate for our Veterans and Deployed Soldiers.
I walk to raise money for Cancer research.
I dress up like zombie slayers and run around old mental hospitals with my family and laugh with them – just for fun and memory sake.
I am a professional photographer and I love my job.”
You probably already know that Becca and I have our own shops, and we may not be local to you, but the internet is local to everyone. Over the next few weeks, the two of us will be introducing you to some of our favorite creators. Not just what they do or make, but who they are. I feel that if you know who you’re buying from, and can feel a personal connection, it just makes what you’re buying all the more special, whether you’re going to give it as a gift or keep it for yourself.
If you have a small business, offer services that you want people to know about… create art, music, jewelry, armor…anything…please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org