I like my money right where I can see it: hanging in my closet. -- Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

21 November 2010

Shop Small!!

I have always loved to shop small...local shops with hand selected merchandise and personal attention to detail and service.  I avoid chain stores like the plague---racks after racks of "the same".  Have you ever noticed that you can be dropped into any state and town and go to "The Mall" and they ALL look alike-same shops, same restaurants, same plants, same music...how boring, how impersonal! As consumers we have become numb and almost programmed that when we need to shop we head for a mall...but turn around...go local!

 Growing up I would shop along with my Mom in our town's "Centre". The bakery, the pharmacy, the shoe store, the clothing shops, the grocery store, the fruit store, the deli, the card shop, the beauty shop, the dry cleaner, penny candy at Woolworth's, a slice of pizza and a movie were all located in one square area. The Center was a destination and from one end of the Center to the other you could find whatever you needed. 

In the late 80s and 90s small towns across the country were hit very hard  as stores shuttered their doors and  many Main Street centers became ghost towns with crumbling old buildings and no one stopping as they drove through .  Recent years have seen a wonderful resurgence and revival --restoration of lovely old architecture and spaces filling with wonderful specialty stores, excellent restaurants and service shops.  We are learning to rediscover that Main Street is The street.  I love that I can park once and visit my local bank, dry cleaner, the shoemaker, grab lunch, pick up anything any  house could ever need at the hardware store on the corner, buy a wedding gift, mail a card, pick up a book to read, have my hair cut, get my nails done...
all by business owners who know me and are there to help and keep me coming back.
 As the daughter of a small business owner I grew up in a retail world where customers were familiar faces and families grew up shopping in my Dad's store. I of course am a small business owner so I know the importance of customer loyalty to a small businesses survival. Now more than ever there are so many ways to shop and acquire goods and services...the competition from on line resources is staggering... that is why I love this idea of Small Business Saturday supported by American Express- Saturday November 27, the day after Black Friday is a day to support and applaud the small businesses we love to visit on our Main Street.  RSVP on Facebook and receive a $25 American Express credit for shopping at your favorite small businesses on Small Business Saturday....and if you "like" Small Business Saturday on Facebook American Express will donate $1 to Girls Inc., one of my favorite organizations "Inspiring all Girls to be Strong, Smart, and Bold"  American Express will donate up to 1 million dollars to help encourage a new generation of women entrepreneurs-Go Girls!!  Please click and support  Girls Inc!  ...and remember to Go! into town and Shop Small on Saturday!