shopping local with Amber

December 21, 2011

Hi there! Amber here… I tried something new for my Christmas shopping this year and I would like to tell you all about it! (Well, not ALL, about it… some of my friends and family read this blog and I want them to be surprised when they open my gifts!)

I decided early on in November that I would only shop LOCAL and USA-Made this season. And boy oh boy, did I challenge myself! At first, it was really quite frustrating to go to a store and flip over a product and read “Made in China”. Did you ever notice how most things that surround us are made somewhere else!? Next time you’re out and about, take a peek at what’s in your cart and where it came from – you might be surprised!

After making my list and narrowing down where I would go and who I would shop for at which store, it really became fun and more like a treasure hunt. It was so exhilarating looking under my tree and knowing that ALL of my gifts came from independently owned shops OR that they were made in the USA!

Shop local this holiday season!

Some things I learned while shopping…

  • Even big box stores have USA made products. When I would check out, the employee would ask if I found everything ok, and I’d usually respond with “I found this product made in the USA, but I wish you had more USA made products”. Even putting a little bug in their ear is good. My hope is that they will hear that a couple times this holiday season and make the case known that people are interested in USA made products!
  • Locally owned shops have things Made in China… I did buy a game at Creative Kidstuff that was made in China, but since they are owned locally and only have stores in MN and IA, I still supported the local economy and kept my money here vs. elsewhere.
  • Shopping online doesn’t keep any of my dollars in the community or even the state! So that option was completely out!
  • By shopping at small, family owned stores like PaperHat, Patina, Vintage Glam, and The FlowerMill, I am helping the community be unique and keep creative, local businesses here! And they are so fun to shop at!
  • Most products that are made somewhere else have “Made in China” or “Made in Vietnam” in teeny-tiny print on the back of it. Products that are made here, proudly have the “Made in USA” logo on the front!

It was fun and very rewarding knowing that I did my part of shopping local. Not only did I stay on budget and support local businesses, my friends and family will all get something fun and unique this year!

I made some of my gifts this year too... my little niece will LOVE her play food I made out of felt!

DID YOU KNOW:

When you spend your dollars at an independent, local business, you keep more money in your town by supporting your community’s social services, schools, your public library and local non-profits… How so?

Locally-owned businesses return about 80% of each dollar to their community (whether it’s to their employees, accountant, lawyer, local handymen, graphic designers, local artists…etc.). And each dollar spent at a local business will return up to five times that amount within your community through city taxes, employees’ wages, and purchases of materials, supplies and services at other independent businesses.

On the other hand, chains and franchises give back around 20% to the community. hmm…

Overall, it was a great experience and I’d really like to do it again next year. I’m hoping there will be even more shops and places to try!

Happy Holidays!

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4 Responses to “shopping local with Amber”

  1. Brittany Says:

    what a great mission! congrats on pulling it off. I may need to try this next year.

  2. Ann Ranzau Says:

    Way to go girl!!!

  3. linrusch@gmail.com Says:

    I think you convinced me to do this next year! I’m excited to see your finds!


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