I have always believed in shopping locally, and I very much attribute that to my upbringing. I was raised to believe that you must always support local first, before all else. While these are values I have always held tightly too, I have been as susceptible as the next person to The Curse Of Amazon.
While I appreciate that corporations like Amazon do have “real people” behind the steering wheel, they are not necessarily the people you feel that you can relate to. Yes, they provide jobs for ‘common folk’, but more often than not the people at the top have long since ceased to be ‘common folk’.
I have grown up in a family which is in part self-employed and I think that it does give you a different outlook on life. There’s a whole lot of behind the scenes stuff that people just don’t see. Starting up and running your own business is not all fun and games – in fact it’s not really any fun or games, regardless of how passionate you are about what you’re doing. There’s no escape – no clocking out at 5pm and forgetting about everything. It’s a lot of stress and long hours…but people do it because it’s worth it.
We have, in my eyes, a certain level of responsibility as community citizens and as people to support these businesses to make sure that it is worth it. Make somebody’s dream come true. Watch them flourish.
Maybe the whole making dreams come true magical thing isn’t for you, so what if I reminded you that shopping locally means that the money you are spending is staying locally. You pay your money to that local cafe and the cafe owner is going to spend some of that money in a local salon or petrol station or dance school. People who need the support of people are more likely to support the community and support fellow local businesses – it’s a really nice loop to get stuck in.
You often find that there is better customer service when you shop locally, and you may also find that when you pop into a shop they will often be willing to offer different services to what you can get from a global corporation. Small business owners will go above and beyond when they can, just to make sure you have as positive an experience as possible.
So, for this ‘challenge’, how exactly am I defining “shop local”? I have broken it into a few definitions:
- A local independent retailer.
- If shopping online, purchasing from an independent retailer such as an Etsy store.
- If I feel the need to purchase something which is only available in a chain store I will purchase it from my local branch.
It is now time to set forth and see how I get on! I will be sharing my adventures into the world of shop local with you all, and in the mean time if any of you have any suggestions or recommendations of places that I should check out let me know in the comments below!
Do you shop local?