Saturday, November 17, 2012

Overcoming your shop local fears... pt.1

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Any products or stores mentioned are based off my personal experience.

First off, let me overcome some common shop small objections.

 “I don’t know where to start, big box stores have everything I need!” – Perhaps I’m a snob, but getting generic gifts from a big box store does not feel nearly as amazing as getting something unique that goes right back into our local economy.  Giving a gift bought locally feels different, too.  For example, I walk into Exile on Main Street looking for the perfect gift for my bestie. (Wanda Jackson on vinyl, anyone?) Talking about the new releases with owner Jeff (who knows everything about everything) inspires me to pick out a gift for brother-in-law while I’m at it. BAM! I walk outta there with all kinds of new goodies, had a good chat, and most likely took advantage of a buy 3 get 1 free sale ;) It feels awesome to pick out something unique and personal, rather than grabbing the first CD I see on the "Popular" shelf. Bottom line is that big box stores will only have what the general population wants. Your friends are better than that… right?

“I just get everyone gift cards, I don’t have time for picking out presents.” - Cool with me, you know that most of our local stores offer store credit of some kind, right? You can get really creative giving local gift cards. For example, I’d personally LOVE some store credit at Art Mart in Lincoln Square Mall (Urbana) or Carrie’s in Downtown Champaign.  (I’m not begging or anything…) Just pin down who you are shopping for and I’m certain there’s a store for them in this area! (if you're not sure where, just hit subscribe now, because I'll be talking about that soon)

Speaking of gift cards… Give the gift of FOOD! You know those local restaurants that you command Aunt Ruth to go to every time she’s in town? The ones you’re absolutely obsessed with? (Black Dog Smoke & Ale House, I’m lookin’ at you) Those are the types of places you gotta get your local (or even non-local!) friends gift cards to. The stomach is the way to the heart… yadda yadda… its true. Big Grove Tavern is a new obsession of mine. Turns out they sell gift cards, too. There are also amazing cafes and stores like Strawberry Fields, Aroma CafĂ©, and WalnutStreet Tea Company that sell caffeinated gifts and accessories for your loved ones. So, if you don’t know whether they’re a tea or coffee person just get them a gift card and sassy mug that says “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my caffeinated beverage.” Wait, do they make any that generic? Okay, get them one with Snoopy on it instead.

Next up.... 2 more shop local fears and how to overcome them. Coming soon!

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