Is It Worth It? 2 Common Complaints About Shopping Local
During the time that I was running Collected Thread, I heard customers and friends lamenting on the difficulty of shopping local. And to be honest, a lot of their complaints were mine as well. It is frustrating to get out of the car, get your kids unloaded and grab your bags to realize that the shop owner ran out of lunch or is home with a sick kid. We are so use to it just being a grocery store or a restaurant or a bookstore that we forget that people, sometimes just one person, is running that business. So we get back in the car and try not to be too frustrated and remember that this is a person with needs too. But it is hard. This just railroaded our day and now the kids are losing their minds because the bakery was closed and they wanted a treat or whatever. I think remembering that humanity exists behind this business is good but the frustration is valid as well. The flip side to that is that it sure is a special feeling to walk into a restaurant or shop and know the owner. I love going into Chirps and Cheers and seeing Sami and Susan Kropp. They are two of the kindest people in OKC. Like, they are so kind that it is hard to be in a bad mood when you are around them. I love knowing that when I purchase something, I am supporting them and their darling shop. To me, that is worth the frustration.
Another complaint I would hear would be how hard it is to find certain items locally. During the big Shop Local movement in Oklahoma a few years back, the message of “Shop Local” somehow got distorted to buy absolutely everything local and if you don’t, you should feel really, really bad about it. I know that is how I felt every time I bought a $5 kids shirt from Target. I would run through the store hoping that I didn’t see anyone that I knew. I don’t think that shopping local means you need to strictly buy local nor should you feel shame when you don’t. I think it is just being conscious of when you can. And sometimes going a little out of your way to do so. Here is a simple example: I needed to buy Easter eggs and candy for both of my sons’ Easter egg hunts at school. I was going to grab them at (gasp) Walmart when a thought occurred to me. “I bet Homeland has Easter eggs and candy and they are a local grocery store!” And they did! Yippee! I don’t think buying local has to be a huge lifestyle change. I think it can be a simple thought process change. Stop and think, is this something that I can buy local or not. Do I have time to make one more stop? Can I get everything I need at Ely’s grocery store or do I need to go to Sprouts? Sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t...or you can, but it is going to add too much stress to your day. That is OKAY!!!!! I do think that a simple pause to reflect on what your options are is all the lifestyle change you need to do.
I know my pal, Kristen Vails Gilpin, will be covering this topic a lot more extensively in this blog. She is a wise lady and you should read everything she writes. I just wanted to throw my two cents in there!