There is a new movement happening, anything handmade and local are hot items these days. You can see this happening online at Esty.com, your local craft shows during the holidays and your local farmers markets in spring. Who wouldn’t want something grown or made/crafted with skilled hands from a neighbor? I know I do!
I have to ask the big question? Do you buy local? Or just grab something from the big box stores? I ask this because since I’ve opened my own Soapmaking Studio, some of the comments I’ve received are: “We don’t get anything like this down here and usually don’t last?”, “WOW, I am so excited to see that you’re here” and “You make all this yourself?” The answer to those questions may surprise you.
The first question I have to address is the most important one I think~ “We don’t get anything like this down here and they usually don’t last?” this happens for a few reasons. For one, lack of advertising (not the kind that you have to send a thousand dollars on), I cannot stress enough how important it is to get the word out to as many people as possible because it takes someone 3 times seeing/hearing something before the even go…”Hmmmm, that’s sounds like something I would be interested in..let me call and find out more.”
Another important reason is that too many people have the misconception that something made in a factory is cheaper, better and has prettier packaging would fit their needs better. But here it is in layman’s terms: if you don’t shop in your local community, your neighborhood businesses will no longer have a way support themselves and disappear. Leaving you without community camaraderie. Many community businesses that sell handmade local items spend their own money in the community (which may support you with a job), contribute to local school programs, church programs, shelters and are generally active within your own community. I cannot stress how important it is to shop local especially right now when we are losing funding for all our programs, the government can only support us IF we can support our selves.
What’s happened is we’ve become so dependent on big bother that we cannot see our own way out of this downward spiral. Let’s go back to the times when we shopped at our local farmers markets to get our vegetables made with local farmers, purchased our plants for our gardens from local nurseries, enjoyed our local Jam made from your neighbor that knows just right amount of sugar that it needs to taste good, went to our local hardware store who knows our name because we’ve managed to run over that sprinkler head with the lawn mower too many times and support our consignment shops who recycle those baby clothes that we received for our kids that they outgrew. Make a promise to buy local this year and support your community. Let’s stand on our own 2 feet instead of depending on someone to gives us handouts.
Let’s address the next question: “You make all this yourself?”, Yes, I do make it all mostly from scratch, with methods I’ve learned on my own because I didn’t have anybody near to learn from (many soapmakers are afraid to share their secrets for fear of losing the small market share of the population they currently sell to). If you want to learn how to make your own soap & candles.. stop by and see us at the Mossy Creek Soap Studio. (ok so that’s enough of my plug).
If we have a community that supports our local craftsmen and women, we would have thriving businesses with friendly faces who know us. So make a pledge to start, continue and support your local businesses.
Here’s a few of my favorites: Next Month we’ll spotlight different companies to help you choose to shop local!
Advertising: Call Chris Ford with The Warner Robins Patriot 478-923-3416
Call Olya Fessard with Georgia Family Magazine 478-471-7393
Coffee Shop: Bare Bulb is a fantastic place to just hang out.. Good Coffee & Food 478-787-3482
Consignment (children’s) Shop: Baby Country on 1102 Russell Parkway 478-923-5535
Flamingo Follies: Gena carries local handcrafted items made locally 478-225-9856
Health Foods/Vitamins: Murdock’s Herb Pharm 478-953-7404 Cece or Michelle
Music/Lessons: One Small Stone speak to Rick or Carlyn they teach any instrument 478- 953-1749
Sign Company: Signs N More speak to Ritchie Pate 478-922-2700
Volunteer Opportunities: COPE Farms Mike Rutherford www.copefarms.com