What’s up, gentle readers? It’s Marisa here. I’ve come out of my retirement cave to be an angry curmudgeon on the internet, which is the sort of wickedness I was brung up to.
Last week, Lindsay Zodrow of Collected Thread published a blog post encouraging locals to “fight for [local shops].” This week, NewsOK.com boosted the signal to a readership that is, if we’re being honest, not the target demographic for local shops in the Plaza District.
I don’t think I have ever been so nervous to write a blog post in my life. Geez, I hope I don’t regret this. I don’t like being this vulnerable with a bunch of people whose faces I can’t see as I write this. I have been going back and forth about whether I should say anything about this or not but after a chat with a fellow business owner this morning, I decided that I couldn’t put it off anymore.
Guys, I don’t know if you are aware but the local business scene is dying over here. DYING! That might sound a bit extreme but I can’t tell you how many friends I have talked to over the past 6 months who are just hoping that they will make it to December. I think it is a perfect storm of the economy and the convenient shopping model that Amazon has created. Don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon as much as the next person. I have two kids. I know how hard it is to cart them around trying to get everything that you need from the store. But the model has made it so easy to order whatever you need online and get it so fast that local businesses are having a really hard time competing…
I know at the end of the day, I sell things for a living. But it is so much more than that to me. It’s about the conversations and friendships I get to have with you guys when you come in the shop. It’s about getting to know and support the 95 different artists whose work we carry here…
I know the economy isn’t what it was and we are all on a budget but don’t you think it is worth to set aside $20 a month and go support a local business. It really does not take much on your part but it makes a huge difference to us.
Well, that’s it, right? Pack it up and call it a day. We’ve been told what we need to do, and I’m sure we’re all going to spend our next paycheck at local stores, right? Because that’s how capitalism works. The market doesn’t demand what it wants, retailers do. And they get our money, right?
Today I’m going to come at you with 5 ways to get Oklahomans to shop local. But before I get into it, I feel I need to list a few things to make my point clear:
• I hate capitalism more than you do. It’s just the oppressive system we operate in, and there’s nothing to be done about it — at least, nothing I can do from behind this keyboard at the present. And if we’re being honest, the sort of capitalism that we have in Oklahoma is crony capitalism. So, if you aren’t part of the oil and gas industry and don’t have friends inside the capital, you’re functionally screwed from the beginning.
• I am the daughter of local business owners. In the 1990s, my parents and uncle owned Chekker’s Pizza in Edmond. And now, my dad owns his own property management company. Before that, my great grandparents owned Lamar’s Fine Foods in Edmond — a grocery store that was replaced by Wynn’s IGA. I have directly benefited from people shopping local. Hell. I am a small business owner myself.
• This is not a post directed squarely at Collected Thread. I’ve purchased many an item there, and have no ill will for them. This is, however, a post directed at a very particular type of local business. You know, the ones that were built on the dream of owning a small business, and absolutely nothing else like plans or thoughts regarding the customer base.
So, with that out-of-the-way, here are the 5 ways to get Oklahomans to shop local.