Yesterday I walked past my favorite neighborhood children’s store and was dismayed to see a for rent sign. I stopped in to chat with the owner. There are lots of children’s stores in Dallas, but this one was special. They carry handmade clothes, accessories, and toys, most of it locally made. While there, I found out another favorite store, that also carried local handmade goods, had already closed.
The image above has been passed around on Facebook lately. It’s a reaction to the protests, but I think it’s popular because it gives people a directive—something concrete that they can do. If you think it doesn’t matter, it does. And it’s not just the shop owners that are affected; each has local artists that depend on these shops.
In response to the image a friend messaged me to ask, “How do I shop local handmade?” Here are some suggestions to get started:
1. Etsy has a “Shop Local” button on the front page, lower left. I don’t see it on the mobile version, but on the regular website it’s pretty easy to find and even easier to use.
2. Visit your local brick and mortar shops, especially the ones that carry local artists. If you’re not sure if the merchandise is local, ask the store clerk.
3. Shop at arts and crafts events. You can talk to the person who made it! But don’t forget to make up your mind. Sometimes it’s hard to track down a particular vendor and item after the show, so be decisive with your purchasing so you don’t regret what you didn’t buy. (Etsy Dallas’ Jingle Bash is less than a month away!)
4. Buy local for more than just the holidays. What about birthdays, baby showers, decorating, and custom needs?
5. Pop-up shops are all the rage! We love a good party, especially when you can also buy local handmade goods for a limited time in a temporary location. Keep your eyes open for these limited-time only shops, especially around the holidays!
It seems like we're all thinking more carefully about how to spend money nowadays. I would say that it is just as important to think about where you're spending it too.
Posted by Modest Ambition