Okay let’s be clear – when I say that we should be shopping local this holiday season, what I really mean is that we should be shopping local ALL YEAR LONG. Especially here, in Duluth, where we have an amazing community of artists, musicians & talented people living together on a hill. I will be the first to admit that I have a small obsession with Target Boutique – but I also know how important it is to support small businesses right next door. Being that I am now a small business owner myself, I realize how vital word of mouth is. Since I have a forum where I can chat about, well – basically anything – I thought it would be fun to showcase some of my favorite local shops for all of you to see. Some you may know & some are brand spankin’ new to Duluth. Regardless, this blog post gave me an excuse to visit some of my fav places, chat with local owners & even do a little christmas shopping myself. So, get your shopping lists ready, here we go – 7 Reasons why you should shop local this holiday season:
1. If I say it again I may go blue in the face – shopping local puts $$$ into our community. We all benefit from buying from our neighbors. It is just the right thing to do.
2. There are hidden treasures in every local shop you walk into. I can go to Old Town Antiques every week (hi, my name is amanda and I am an antique junkie) and find something new to bring home. Currier Bliss, which is a vendor located in Old Towne Antiques, always has me drooling over their amazing refurbished items.
3. Wearing & owning unique one-of-a-kind items is cool. You know that phrase “everyone else is doing it”? Well it’s time to take that out of our vocabulary. Be a cool kid, buy unique and local things.
4. When you buy local you are supporting local organizations. Awesome – everybody wins. Did you know that non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses? Truth. I even googled it.
5. Supporting local businesses keeps our friends, families & community employed. Most small business owners have put everything they can into their dream. For me it was sacrificing time with friends & family to spend sleepless nights getting a photography company started. It was hard – it is still hard. I have millions of to-do lists clouding my brain, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Ask any local small business owner if it’s been easy – I bet you get a smile followed with a thoughtful shake of their head. You know what their thinking? They are remembering all the late nights, stacks of bills, struggles & tears that brought them to accomplishment and success. And even then there are daily obstacles to staying above water and survive as a local business.
6. Knowledgeable staff. When you walk into a local store you are more likely to find someone who supports what they are selling (& knows much more about it) in comparison to those working at a larger retail store. This is not to say that employees of bigger commercial businesses are not good at their job – they are great. But I know that when I walk into Lake Superior Art Glass, I will be talking to my friend Dan (the owner & artist) about his own work. In a local business, you most likely know the person behind the counter – and they know you. They have a great understanding of the products they’re selling, and they take time to serve their customers.
7. Investment into the community. Our local businesses are owned by people who live here, work here, and are invested in the community with much more than just their dollars. They live next door, drop their kids off at school & wait in traffic – just like you. By supporting local shops you are supporting your own community – and that is pretty awesome.