A few weeks ago, I posted about some great stuff I bought at a local antique shop. About a week after that post, I learned that one of those antique shops would be closing. Then I heard that another local antique shop I’d been meaning to visit was closing. Then I got an e-mail from another local shop that they would no longer have their brick and mortar location, and is going completely online. Last month, a local vintage store closed their store front. I never got around to visiting there.
Seeing so many local shops go under is heart breaking to me. I love shopping at local stores. I like finding unique and interesting objects. I like meeting people who really care about their businesses and what they sell. I like buying things that support an individual and not a corporation. Not to mention the fact that buying local is simply fantastic for your local economy.
I recently read about The 3/50 project, and I love what they’re doing. They’re encouraging everyone to pick three local shops each month and spend $50 at those shops. (Of course, you can shop at more shops than that, and spend more than that. It’s just kind of catchy to call it 3/50). Their site is full of information and resources about why shopping local is so important.
I have decided to be more intentional about spending money locally, and I’d like to challenge everyone else to try spending $50 locally every month too. At first, it may sound like a financial burden, but it doesn’t have to be. Just shift the money that you would usually spend at big businesses to local businesses. Instead of buying coffee beans at a chain store, buy them at a local coffee roaster. Instead of buying some cheap furniture at a big box store, buy some cool (much more durable) furniture at a local antique shop. Instead of buying clothes at the mall, hit up a local thrift or consignment store.
And just a note: as I’ve said before, I don’t think that big box, chain stores, and malls are necessarily bad. I just think it’s good to have balance. I still shop at Target, the Gap, IKEA, Starbucks and plenty of other big chain stores. But I try to balance that out with local independent businesses as well. I think that in all things in life, balance is key.