My Fused Glass Local Locations, I have some sad and disappointing news and it’s taken me almost a month to write about it. For those of you who follow my fused glass newsletters and blogs know I have my fused glass in three local locations. That is until the end of April. Stephanie fro SMC designs had to close her store in the mall. There just wasn’t enough business. Needless to say she and I are both sad.
Of course the other side of me is a little vexed. For some reason people would rather buy gifts from Target or Walmart instead of handmade gifts from artists. Some handmade gifts do cost more than what you’ll find in Target, but they are unique and custom so that makes sense, doesn’t it. Also buying directly from the artist, your dollars are going right to the source, directly to the person who is supporting her or his own small business, for their materials and equipment and labor rather than to some large multinational conglomerate that divvies out the smallest possible piece of profit to the women sewing in sweatshop conditions in another country.
Ironically I had just read an article about how we should all try to buy locally. According to the institute for local self-reliance there are at least 10 reasons to buy locally.
1. Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy
Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.
2. Local Character and Prosperity
Communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage.
3. Community Well-Being
Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes.
4. Local Decision-Making
Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.
5. Job and Wages
Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.
Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.
7. Public Benefits and Costs
Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.
8. Environmental Sustainability
Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.
A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
10. Product Diversity
A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
Bottom-line, each year brings more national chains displacing locally-owned businesses throughout the country. We see clones replace unique establishments.
I understand that we all have to go to the chain stores but don’t forget to support your local artists, stores, and farmers. Yes, I practice what I preach just this weekend I went to the Green Soul and four other locally owned stores and bought items.
Luckily I’m still in the Green Soul and Boulder Street Gallery. Sadly I will be deleting SMC Designs from my locations page.
Please visit them when you can.
Keeping my Kiln warm,
PS Please take a glance at the Top Reason why we should all support the Arts!