If you've read my blog for the past couple years you might have noticed that I occasionally talk about shopping at local stores. I've listed lots of reasons why. One is in my own self-interest (I'm not gonna lie) because without local stores, I won't have anywhere to teach! Okay, I could still teach online and at my house but it just isn't the same. And I can go on about how you have access to the owner at your LSS, whereas you don't at the box store (Michael's and Joann's + now Target and Walmart)...how you can make special orders and requests at your LSS...how you can meet others and make friends during crops and classes at your LSS...you can take classes from designers IN the industry at your LSS...they order product from smaller manufacturers that would never get picked up by the box stores (I'm loving some of the new smaller stamp companies out there right now)...you get the point.
Anyways, in a recent newsletter from Collective Journey I realized there is another reason to shop your LSS (and any locally owned business): more of the money you spend there STAYS in your LOCAL economy.
"Shop Local!It's no surprise these days to see stores closing down. We at Collective Journey are doing everything we can to keep our doors open! We have downsized our store, our staff has had their hours cut, store hours will be changing April 12th, ( we will be closing on Mondays, we will be opening at 11am Tuesday through Friday). We are constantly trying to find more ways to cut expenses, while continuing to bring in the latest and greatest products for you! We proudly support the 3/50 project. A program designed to bring consumer awareness of the benefits of shopping locally owned independent stores. Did you know that when you shop an independent locally owned store, like CJ's, for every $100. you spend $68. goes back into the community? That money comes from taxes paid, payroll, and other expenditures! When you shop a Big Box store only $43. stays local. Be cautious where you spend your money. You may save a buck or two on the Big Box advertised specials, but you may be slowly killing your local economy. And those advertised specials? Sure they are a great deal, but be cautious, because you may make up for what you saved on the higher prices they have on other items! Please support your locally owned stores! Doing so will keep our community's going! Visit the 3/50 project website, www.350project.net and make that commitment to keep your local independent stores going! We thank you so much!"
I don't think you need to be an economist to figure that out but we can all use a reminder, right? And NUMBERS to back statements up are always good in helping illustrate a point. So by saving 40% with your coupon at the box store, 30% less of the money you spend is going back into your local economy. Yikes!
You probably have a friend or neighbor who has been laid off--maybe you've been laid off! And we all feel the pinch these days and need to cut back. I know my scrapping budget is NOTHING like it used to be. So again, 18 months after THIS POST, when everything has gotten much worse than I ever imagined, I ask that you consider shopping locally and ditch the coupons. Consider taking your $5 scrap budget and going to your LSS.
I was talking to a friend on the phone about this the other day, how I fear the LSS is a dying breed. And it makes me sad because without the LSS, I would not know more than half of you (maybe more) who read my blog. I would not have learned all the things I know. I would not have this business. I would not have made as many awesome friends as I have now. We would not be here reading this blog. And I am pretty sure that many of you have an LSS or several to thank for these kinds of things as well.
Now I know some LSSs are cruddy with bad customer service--of course I am not saying to shop somewhere you don't feel welcome or are not comfortable at. But I just hope we can hang on to these last few LSS we have because without them, where are you going to go?
All you're leaving yourself with is the lady at Michael's with the crusty eyelashes who licks your paper as she counts it (you may have heard this story from me at a crop -- yuck). And besides that, don't you wanna keep as much of your hard earned dollars in your local economy to help make your roads, schools, store selection, and jobs outlook better? I do. And I don't actually have that choice anymore because our one last store closed last May. So I have to drive almost an hour to Collective Journey (which is a great store, don't get me wrong, but not exactly "local").
Is that what you want? To be FORCED to take your money out of your economy because you need scrapping supplies and can't find them in your home town? (My M's has the paper licker lady and the J's has a tattooed gangster chick who gives lip every time I checkout so I don't hardly ever go to either).
Hang on to your LSS with all your might and ditch the coupons. Because in the end, you really are not saving any money at all with all the money that leaves your local economy when you shop the box. Now go to your nearest LSS (if you still have one) and shop, crop, and enjoy yourself!