Remember how holiday shopping and preparations used to be? While I lacked for nothing growing up, and there were always presents under the tree, I have no recollection of “Doorbusters”. I have nothing in the photo albums of us shopping at 3am on Black Friday. I do remember it being a big deal to climb in the car, drive from our family farm, and spend a weekend shopping in exotic places like Marshall and Hutchinson, MN. Yes, years ago, Hutchinson was a major shopping destination for us. I fondly remember Christmas shopping for my first pair of roller skates with my grandma at the Hutchinson Mall, and then having to wait with mounting anticipation until I could open them at Christmas time. We’d meet family or friends for lunch or supper, run a few errands, and spend the day going store to store.
With the new tradition of Small Business Saturday, I find myself cheering for a piece of nostalgia. I want my kids to be happy with small town shopping, keeping things fun, spending time as a family, furthering relationships, and making memories.
As a small business owner of 18 years, I know the value of long-term customer relationships. Getting to know our clients is what I love best about what I do each day. I hear similar sentiments from other business owners. While our clients and blog readership represent a large geographic region spanning from Hutchinson to both coasts of the United States, they all have one thing in common. All our friends, clients, and readership benefit when they (and people they care about) shop local. Whether you are in Montevideo, MN or Mount Crawford, VA, you can shop Small Business Saturday, and help take back a bit of “how it used to be.”
In addition to shopping small and local, I like to include a bit of information about the business, artisan, or locally purchased item with the gift. Whether I’m giving homemade soap, locally grown honey, alpaca mittens, a book by MN writer, a clay platter, handmade ornament, or a beautiful photograph of the kids, I love to include a brochure, website, or letter explaining how we shopped and decided on an item. I guess I’m a sap for tradition and simplicity.