It's shopping season and everyone is saying "shop small" or "shop local". Maybe you are kinda tired of hearing about ALL of the events, pop-ups, and shows. If you are like me, you are likely a bit confused. Which event was that one? Who shared that on facebook? Why is that local store only open for 2 days! Really, I don't want to leave the house; I think I'll do all my shopping online.
The task of shopping small may seem a bit overwhelming, but I promise you it is worth it! Check out this awesome infographic about why it is so important to shop small/local.
As you can see, shopping local and small can have a huge impact on the economy and environment. "If every family in the US spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy." THAT'S HUGE! That means more jobs and more money for all of us!
But on the road to shopping euphoria there can be a lot of potholes. So lets look at some of these arguments head on.
1. I want to shop online.
What do you think etsy.com is for? Many of your local makers and business have shops there, as well as hundreds and thousands of other people. These people may not be in your exact local community, but if you pay attention to where they are from you can easily support small business across the country (not a bad thing). Not into etsy? Be sure to check out your favorite business or maker's website, you can often purchase directly from them.
2. The item I want is only carried in big box chain stores.
First, check and see if there is an alternative. Could this item be made better by someone else? If it isn't, consider buying it from a local distributor. For example, I love the lodge cast iron products. Instead of buying them at a big box store, I can instead buy them from my local Mack Hardware. I know the owner, and I know his local business will get a cut of the item I'm purchasing.
3. I'm not buying products.
That's cool. Services like photography or massage, local restaurants or coffee shops, dance lessons, etc are all SUPER great ways to support your local economy.
4. Shopping small is more expense.
It's not. Seriously, if you are buying quality goods and services the prices will often be comparable or even cheaper. I'm not saying that the crap is not cheaper. Buying crap and not buying quality is a whole other discussion. Don't believe me that buying small and/or local is cheaper? Read THIS Forbes article.
5. It takes effort to look up who is local or to go to a local event.
Good things are worth the little bit of extra work! Is it really that much easier to drive to one of the big box stores as it is to drive to farmers market or local shop?
Do I have you convinced yet? Well, I hope I do. Once you catch the bug, you will find all kinds of ways to shop small and local all year long. Farmers Market vs Grocery Store. Local Restaurant vs Chain Restaurant. Small Maker vs Big Box Store. I think you get the point. :)
Shameless Plug: If you are interested in supporting me, a very small business who uses recycled materials and puts as much money as possible back into the local community, you can visit me at an in-person event, and of course, you can always see what is in the Shop.
xo - Kelly
PS. Big thanks to Britt Parker, the self appointed Shop Small Queen, who is working her butt off to do her part. Thanks to her, I found the great infographic.