Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Take the Pledge: Shop Small

After a day filled with family, friends, football, and shameless carbo-loading we all tend toward the tradition that is Black Friday. I have gone out late with friends in the past few years to get a few small gifts and experience (for some reason) the rush of super early morning shopping. However, I have to say that I don't get the excitement. 

One day that has gotten me excited in recent years is Small Business Saturday. I am a massive fangirl of my hometown of Carlisle, PA and love to walk the streets and slip into the Revolution/Civil War-era buildings that boast some of the cutest businesses around. There are several stores that I practically live at when I venture downtown:
  • Miss Ruth's Time Bomb: Every time I step through the doors of Miss Ruth's I make a beeline to the back end of the store which boasts a large assortment of vintage clothing—I've seen some straight up 1930s garb! I have never gone in and not tried anything on before I've left. You can also get your fix of vintage hats, shoes, and dining wares!
  • The Clothes Vine: This is where I go to dream. It is a bit pricier than the Time Bomb, but the clothing is just so beautiful and you can tell that they've curated some quality product. The style here is very eclectic, which I love. 
  • Marjorie's Gems: I only just recently discovered this wonderful little store on one of the last First Friday outings of the summer. I don't typically shop jewelry, mostly because I don't wear it very often. But Marjorie's carries some of the most interesting pieces I have come across—and they're so well priced! Their $5 wall is a place I like to call home.
Small businesses really are our economy's backbone. Did you know that they make up about 54% of all sales in the U.S.? Yes, we love our super stores and larger chains for the ease and convenience they provided, but can we truly speak to the quality of some of these items. I always struggle with clothing from larger stores because you can tell from just the touch: this is not going to last. Small business provide care and quality. Sometimes the price tag might read higher, but you get what you pay for after all. Each of the businesses I've detailed in this post and even more that I haven't truly care about the products and services they provide their customers. Every time I walk into the Castlerigg Wine Shop on Carlisle's main street, the owner engages me instantly and ensures that I know where the wines come from (shoutout to the wineries we apparently have in Pennsylvania) and what is particularly popular. 

These businesses are important in our economy, yes, but also in our culture. They know us. They connect with us in ways that larger brands cannot achieve.

Fundera, a company aimed at helping small businesses on the financial end, is campaigning this year to bring out even more customers. This is certainly a movement that hits close to home and one that I can get behind. I pledge to continue to support local business and shop small on November 26. Will you?

<3 Ashley

So what do you say? Shop small with me this weekend? What local businesses do you love?

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