I made a mad dash today to one of my favorite stores in Lawrenceville today (and will mention Meg – aka Sparkle Queen) to take care of some gifts for friends and me…ok, quite a little cache for me…However, had a good time seeing familiar faces, awesome unique gifts, and of course felt some happy in my heart for going to my own town to support First Friday. As I shopped at Sparkle!, I realized that I really almost get a sense of guilty pleasure because I can actually get some goodness shopping “local.” The thing is I (and so many others) often get so caught up in ourselves and our busy lives that we sometimes make the decisions to shop ’till we drop at the big corporate monsters instead of taking a quick detour and going downtown to find something. You know how it is. You save the trip you determine to “go local” when there is a special sale, an event, or you are dawdling through. And inevitably you walk through that small shop, business, restaurant or cafe and exclaim “Wow! I should come here more often!” But we don’t. In fact, you probably fall back into behavior in the name of convenience. Now I know sometimes the big business is necessary just like small business. That debate isn’t for me to argue on this blog as some expert blogger on the subject will more than have that covered.
There are a million solutions out there, but here is my challenge to you- start and make a point to go “local” on the First Friday of the month- and spread the wealth, figuratively & literally. Take the family and shop for necessities or gifts (the local hardware store will have that missing gizmo for the thing- and some tips on making it work longer); the restaurant you visit will not only have some awesome cuisine but I bet they will remember you and your name- and even acknowledge your visit bringing you a sweet tea without request; and the farmers markets- hello happy foodies! I guarantee your dinner will taste even better than dining out. So many scenarios and so many reasons to integrate into your personal life. Take on the first challenge – if you didn’t do it yesterday then enact it today or next week. But get into the habit- trust me on this one, it will warm your heart and improve the soul.
Wait ’till you see the NEXT challenge.
Tell me a few of YOUR Favorite Places when YOU go “local.”