Ah, November. It’s almost the most wonderful time of year. The air is starting to chill ( for us Floridians, this means dropping below 80), in some stores you start to see the glittering lights of holiday decorations, and the candle scents of a freshly cut pine tree. Why do I love November? Let me count the ways…
- Everyone is in a good mood. The weather is cooling off, weekends are filled with family get togethers and football, and there is just something in the air. Everyone is a little more glass half full.
- I personally celebrate Christmas, so this is the beginning of my Christmas season. I do not care what anyone else says, it is never too early for some Michael Buble blasting in the Shoreline Sugars warehouse.
- SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY. Yes, this single day gives me so much joy. Honestly, comparable to Christmas Eve kind of joy. Why? Because it celebrates something I hold so near and dear to my heart – supporting local, small businesses.
So, if you get offended easily, find the little x button, because I am about to call all of us out. As you’re reading this, you are probably thinking, “Oh, sure! I shop small.” But, do we really? When we need a gift, do we drive five minutes to the local gift shop and pick something out? Or do we last minute scroll the pages of Amazon looking for a cheap next day shipped item? When we grocery shop, do we stop by the vegetable stand or family owned butcher, or do we have a grocery delivery service drop off our superstore produce? When we need a new outfit, do we find ourselves browsing the racks of the boutique where the owner knows us by name, or do we walk into a mega-discounted fast fashion store to save a dollar or two?
I know that at some point in the last year or so, I can answer yes to all of those, which makes me cringe. However, we live in a “microwave” society, where people are willing to trade the quality of an item and experience, for a faster turnaround rate. Don’t get me wrong, in some last minute situations, the convenience of two-day free shipping is a necessity and unavoidable. But when it is avoidable, shouldn’t we take that opportunity to pour back into the community we actually live in? To support the people that are literally our neighbors? This mentality of quick shipping and lowest price has robbed our society of the personable experience that shopping local provides. Shop with someone that knows your size, what colors you usually gravitate towards and look best on you, your usual order, your allergies or preferences, how you like your steak cooked, or the best way to get you motivated before a workout session. Shopping small reminds you, the customer, that you matter.
My favorite quote that I have seen as a small business owner is ” When you buy from a small business an actual person does a little happy dance.” I have literally done this dance hundreds of times over. If you have ever placed an order with Shoreline Sugars ( in store or online), our team has high-fived each other, handwritten you a note to slip into your package, and literally done a little dance in the backroom. This is the importance of shopping small. You are supporting a dream. You are supporting an actual person.
So, this November, in honor of Small Business Saturday, I will be writing a blog series featuring numerous local Tampa Bay small businesses leading up to November 30th. Join me in challenging yourself this holiday season to shop small. Drive the extra five minutes to the local grocer, pay the extra two dollars at the neighborhood boutique instead of a fast fashion hub, walk into the stores in your community where you’re an actual person, not just another credit card swipe.
Own a small business? Know a business that should be featured? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org