Monday, November 19, 2012

Buy local

Note to self: If you really like a store, shop there. If you are happy it is in your neighborhood, make a point of letting the proprietor know you feel that way. Even if you are almost completely broke (as I sometimes am) stop in and make a small purchase when possible.

I am making this note to myself because a pretty little store called Eye Candy Antiques is calling it quits in my neighborhood. I don’t know the proprietress well, but each of the three or four times I was in the shop, Anita was unfailingly helpful, kind and friendly. Her shop was a little jewel box, with her love of pink, girly, sparkly things on full display in beautiful presentations. I don’t know the story behind Eye Candy closing, just that the owner said the economy had been really hard on her business. She said it was her dream to own a store, and her dream is coming to an end.

Some store shots from Eye Candy’s Facebook page:

Now it may seem that as an online vintage clothing dealer I might not care to try to make a case for buying locally, but I consider what I do to be a different worthy thing. I have a small business— is not—and I work hard to make it as a sole proprietor. Small businesses online also are great places to shop, but for now I’m thinking about the small stores in my city, Spokane.

For many shop owners I’ve met here, the store is their Dream Come True—their heart and soul is thoroughly in it. Further, they are tasked with making their rent, paying bills and other brick-and-mortar store realities. They need customers.

But there’s a selfish side to this too: I need to go into a shop and browse. Especially with Christmas coming, I remember very fondly the days when I, as a young girl, would go into shops with my mother, the idea being to find a present for someone in particular. I would let my imagination roam as I looked at things and carefully picked them up and turned them around. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but this was just as good if not better, this non-keyword search. I found a music box that played a tune my father always sang, I found gloves that perfectly matched my mother’s blue eyes. I found books and toys and napkins and jewelry that I had no idea I was looking for until I found them.

I’m pretty certain that Anita is going to make it. She’s got style and talent and passion, and her dream is most likely going to find a new way to take shape. I just wish her lovely little store wasn’t closing. (If you are in Spokane, she is offering 50% off most items right now. The store is located at 3017 North Monroe.)

Now, I just need to make sure I go to the other shops I am glad are open. Here are just a few, with images from the stores’ Facebook pages and websites.

Wonders of the World

Painting by Ric Gendron from Tinman Gallery

Atticus Coffee and Gifts
Boo Radley’s
Auntie’s Bookstore
Tossed and Found
The Chocolate Apothecary


Dina@VintageAdvantage said...

I love this post! I agree wholeheartedly with everything...
I'm going to make an effort to buy things from all the little local businesses that I enjoy having in my life. I think I'll start tomorrow with the bakery down the street ;-)


denisebrain said...

I think we all just need a little push to get out there and keep our home town businesses going—or even better, thriving. I'm glad you agree Dina!

Giselle said...

It's such a shame when great local shops have to close because they are not making enough business. You often find the most unique little treasures in these stores. This Saturday, 11/24, is Small Business Saturday. Everyone should go out this weekend and support their local businesses while getting the Christmas shopping out of the way!

Olivia said...

I agree very much with all your ideas. I am from Toronto and I am lucky that there so many great local small vintage shops there. They sell goods for such god prices that I started recently to buy there many things that I normally would not think of buying at vintage stores. Shopping at vintage stores saves our environment as well as our frees our economy.