If you’re from a small town, chances are you’ve seen signs in the windows of local businesses encouraging passersby to shop locally. Many local restaurants promote the use of local ingredients, and some towns even participate in events like Shop Local Saturday or Small Business Saturday. Is shopping local really that important, or are local business just trying to compete with chain retailers?
I have long-wondered how some smaller towns have a seemingly booming local economy without the need for chain stores and restaurants on every corner. Are people here just wealthy enough to pay more for food/clothing/merchandise/services that they can skip the chain retailers and shop local boutiques, markets, and service providers? It wasn’t until recently that I learned more about the ways shopping local benefits all of us, not just local business owners.
Although there are many benefits to shopping local, here are 5 great reasons to make the switch:
1. It creates jobs.
The more job opportunities local residents have, the greater tax revenue is generated and allocated towards projects designed to improve local communities (i.e. police/fire/EMT presence and improving roadways/parks/community centers).
2. More money is reinvested in the local economy.
No one understands the power of shopping locally more than local business owners, who are much more likely to reinvest in other small businesses. For example, a local boutique owner is more likely to hire a local web designer and printing company than a chain store who has centralized buying, usually directed out of its national headquarters. In addition, local business owners are also more likely to reinvest in community events, such as markets, fairs, and school functions.
3. You’ll receive better customer service.
Because local business owners are dependent upon their local patrons to sustain their business’ financial future, you generally receive greater customer service when shopping with a local business. In addition, local businesses often have greater product or service expertise, especially considering products or services that are location-specific (i.e. landscaping, accounting, real estate, etc.).
4. It helps preserve local history.
If you’ve ever walked into a long-standing local business, chances are you’ll feel like you stepped back in time. Many long-standing business owners have weathered changes in the community, good and bad, and have countless stories to tell. Many local businesses are run by newer generations of the originally owners, and many strive to preserve the history and business principles of their predecessors.
5. It creates a sense of community.
Big things can happen when a community comes together. Some of the most heartwarming stories that find their way into the news amidst reports of violence and struggle are those of small communities coming together to support a cause. This might be supporting a local community member or rallying to change zoning ordinances to save a small business. Just last week, my local community hosted a Fall Festival and invited the entire town. Many small business owners contributed to the cause and helped grow community pride, which in turn encouraged others to want to get involved in local projects.
To be brutally honest, I do not always shop local and many of us don’t always have access to a local retailer for everything. Have I been known to skip the local boutique sale and drive to the mall for a cheaper alternative? Sure. Do I pick our Date Night restaurant based on who uses locally-grown ingredients? Not usually. Is price usually the biggest factor when deciding which service company to use. Often.
But as a new small business owner myself, I am learning how far the value shopping locally extends within an entire community. I am able to see projects initiated and come to fruition thanks to community businesses and members who come together to support one another. So even if you can't always shop locally, commit to finding local businesses you can support. Soon, you’ll start to see the return on your investment all around you.
Another great way to support local small businesses is to attend our Girls Night Out events, where you can directly connect with and support local businesses, local charities, and other local women.
RSVP today for November’s Girls Night Out Event on Thursday, November 3rd from 5:30-8:30P at Carolina Ale House off Kingston Pike!
My husband and I were at a youth football game the other evening when someone sitting near us spotted us holding hands (calm down - I assure you that we aren't "those" people) and commented, "Oh, how sweet. Young love." We both looked at each other and laughed. After being together nearly ten years, and facing many of life's biggest obstacles during that time, most days we feel like we've been together forever. FOR-EV-ER (said in my best Sandlot voice).
But last week, we celebrated a major milestone - living in Tennessee for a year! Although this benchmark may seem insignificant to some, it's major for us. For us, our move marked the first step towards true stability. For nearly eight years, we learned to handle life on our own, hundreds of miles away from family. We hoped and prayed for the day we would be closer to family and friends, and when, in our words, we could really "start living."
This year has brought so much change, it's hard to fathom. We packed up our 3 bedroom, 2 bath house and moved in to a 1 bedroom, 1 bath space with family. My husband took his dream job, and I left mine. A few months later, we moved into our own space and I joined my husband at one of the country's finest universities doing what I love. Early this year, following an interest and separate passion, I took a leap of faith and got my real estate license and have been working to build my brand. In July, seeing the need for networking opportunities for my growing business and other local women, I responded to a post looking for new cities to spread the Housewives in the City love. And the biggest change - almost a year to-date from starting our lives here in TN, we inked the contract on our first home!
What a year!
Although we've learned some hard lessons along the way, this year has been the best one yet! And the best part? We all have this opportunity each year - an opportunity to stand back and reflect on the year's progress, struggles, growth, and blossoming possibilities. I'm not crazy enough to believe that every year will be stuffed with rainbows and glitter, but it makes the tough days/weeks/months a little easier to trudge through when you've taken the time to focus on the growth.
So, cheers to the next year of possibilities!
Last week, we hosted our second Girls Night Out event at Gibby's Dining and Drinks. What a fun space! If you've never been, you should definitely stop by. It's a great spot to grab a drink and bite to eat after work while you wait for traffic to settle and frequently offers live music! It's right off the interstate and offers plenty of free parking!
Thank you to everyone who came out and to our amazing venue and vendors for participating! Also, a very special "Thank You" to our October Charity Partner, Friends of Literacy, and for everyone who donated much-needed school supplies to help further their cause. To find out how you can get involved with their upcoming events, visit their website or email Madison Bankston.
Also, a huge "Thank You" to our Featured Vendors who showcased great products and local services. Be sure to visit and support these local businesses:
The Salon at Josie's
Norwex, Consultant Jessica Brooks
Traveling Vineyard, Wine Guide Caryn Myers
Pure Romance, Consultants Chris Bowman & Leslie Hogan
Mary Kay, Independent Beauty Consultant Jennifer Hoskins
LuLaRoe, Independent Stylist Jackie Pratt
Be sure to RSVP and join us for our next Girls Night Out Meet Up + Networking Social by visiting our Facebook events: www.facebook.com/knoxvillehousewives/events
Special thanks to Jasmine with J Way Photography for capturing photos of our event!
You can view the entire photo album on Facebook, but here's a few of my favorites:
Can it be october already?
Bring on the Pumpkin Spice everything, cool mornings, warm blankets, and boots!
To usher in October, we are so excited to be hosting our second Girls Night Out event tomorrow night at Gibby's Dining & Drinks, located inside the Holiday Inn at Cedar Bluff.
If you've never been to Gibby's, you're going to love it! We found Gibby's while venue scouting and it has been a treat to visit in preparation for tomorrow's event. Every week, Gibby's hosts various events and routinely treats it's patrons to live music! It's conveniently located right off of I-40 (exit 378A if you're coming from East Knoxville, and exit 378 if you're coming from West Knoxville). The entire staff is extremely friendly and the food is delicious!
For tomorrow's event, Gibby's will be offering specials on their handmade pizzas and pastas, in addition to $4 house wines and an exclusive Housewives "flirtini" for $5!
The event is FREE and ALL women are invited. (Have a tag-along spouse for the evening? They're invited too!)
So grab your girlfriends + join us to sip, shop, and network!
Here's what you need to know:
Looking to gear-up for Fall, or already Christmas shopping? Check out our line-up of Featured Vendors and Partners:
Josie's Salon (offering a complementary Curl Bar)
LuLaRoe by Jackie Pratt
Traveling Vineyard by Caryn Myers
Norwex by Jessica Brooks
Pure Romance by Chris Bowman & Leslie Bartley-Hogan
Mary Kay by Jennifer Hoskins
J Way Photography
Friends of Literacy
See you tomorrow!
Hey y'all I'm Jennifer and I"ll be hosting Girls Nights Out, daytime meet-ups and other exciting events for Housewives in the City here in K-Town! Although I was born in Bristol, TN, my dad's job had us living in 11 states within 7 years! We bounced around as far north as Pennsylvania and as far south as Alabama before relocating to Knoxville in 1989. I tried moving away when my husband's job took us up north but nope, it just didn't stick- back to Knoxville I came and here I will stay! I have 3 fantastic kiddos and I have been known to enjoy bacon...on my bacon! Now, as far as Knoxville goes, you probably know that A) Around here football season is a 5th season- Go Vols! B) We take being "Scruffy" very seriously and C) It is a town full of amazing people-especially the ladies! So come on out to one of our events, meet some amazing women, have a great time and be sure to say "Hey Jen!"