American Made by Elizabeth Kay

B U Y   L O C A L  ! The classic fight of big companies vs. the small. We have all seen the phase "Buy Local" around town and online. The growing support of our local businesses is amazing.

But do you know what it really means when you buy local?...

For the brand your supporting it's everything! This topic is close to my heart since I also have a local apparel business. Operating a small business isn't easy, we have all heard that before however, the real struggle is in educating our community why they should buy from us instead of a big box brand such as Target.

Supporting local businesses is important because purchases made at a small business help support your community. The money spent in these small mom and pop shops cycles through back to the community unlike these big box stores who are not as invested in helping our communities grow. Many of these small business reinvest their profits in their community by working with other local business and vendors. Behind the scenes these local business are all connected by exchanging services and support. When you shop at one small business you are indirectly supporting another. As the local business community gets stronger the community will also get richer by creating new jobs in the community by employing locals and continue to use local resources.

When you buy local it helps build the business but it also directly supports the owners, makers, and employees of the brand. You are supporting the very people who you purchased the good from. The owners are more often than not - the maker, distributor, sales rep., and accountant along with many other titles. It's really great when you buy something from someone who actually made the product. This experience is special and something customers can only get when they shop small.

There is a much different mindset in small business owners. They care about quality, and their customers. They want to make products that make them happy and their customers happy. The prices may be a bit higher but you are getting a product that has been created with care and most of the time handmade.

Without your help many of these small business simply disappear. We have all seen this happen to some of our favorite shops. One day they're there, and the next, they're closed never to be opened again. This is partly because it is hard to compete with companies like Target whose products are driven by profit. It's all about numbers for them. How many units can they produce for the lowest cost. They may have lower prices, but also lower quality that many customers ignore. So I ask you to think about where you're spending your money the next time you shop.

By not buying local many of these mom and pop shops will struggle to survive. The handmade and local goods we love will no longer exist. The owners/entrepreneurs and their staff will be forced to go back to the corporate world. The very thing that buy local stands against. So support your community and buy local because it's more than a t-shirt, handmade jewelry or local homemade jellies you buy from a local vendor at a street fair or small shop down the street, it's a revolution.

Want More?

Every Thursday you can find more about American made brands. We will touch upon local brands and small businesses in a future post. Who do YOU want to hear about?

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@elizabeth_kay or @theseventhguilt |