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Archive for Monday, December 12, 2011

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Lawrence Laundry: Shop local this holiday season

December 12, 2011

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Your dollar has power. Every time you spend, you say, “I support this. Please keep doing what you’re doing.”

This holiday season, instead of picking up a sixer of Bud Light before heading to your sister’s house to play board games, opt for a growler of beer from Free State Brewery, 636 Mass., or 23rd Street Brewery, 3512 Clinton Parkway.

If wine is your game, get a bottle that doesn’t have a carbon footprint the size of Sasquatch’s. Wyldewood Cellars, 835 Mass., has quite the selection from their vineyard in Mulvane.

If you’re searching for the perfect gift for friends or family, take the time to look around at local shops. I know you were set on buying an electronic picture frame or a DVD player for your in-laws (for the fourth year in a row), but, come on, put some creativity into your gift-giving! They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll be making a difference in your community. Here’s how:

  • Local shops have one-of-a-kind items. While “local” doesn’t necessarily mean “handmade,” local producers are more likely to have unique items that you won’t be able to find at a store that sells more-than-mass-produced items. Instead of commenting, “Oh, I saw that at Target last week,” strangers will forever praise your originality.
  • Shopping locally boosts the local economy. National surveys tell us 73 cents of every dollar spent at a locally owned independent business remains in the community. When a dollar is spent at a local branch of a national chain store, only 43 cents stays local. Granted, that’s better than a return of zero, which is what happens when you shop online.
  • It’ll make you feel good. You’ve probably seen the owner of a store in which you shop out for a walk with his family or at a downtown festival. Being able to support those who live, work and generally make our community better will make you feel good. And feeling good is important. I could tell you why, but we don’t have time for me to launch into a health rant.
  • You can further increase your impact. The Lawrence GiveBack card, to me, is the greatest thing that’s happened since Tres Mexicanos started Taco Tuesday. Not only does it brilliantly incentivize shopping locally by offering rebates for every 200 points you earn, it gives back a certain percentage of the price of your purchase to a local nonprofit of your choice. And it’s completely free.
  • Come on, it’s just cooler.

Shopping locally is important, but some of us don’t have the time (or patience) to putz around 20 local shops trying to find an item our hard-to-please daughter is going to love. I don’t have a daughter, but trust me, I feel your pain. That’s why next week, Lawrence Laundry will feature a last-minute local store gift guide of some popular gifts this year.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months ago

Or think local " used goods for gifts"

“My entire Xmas list cost me $160. If I’d bought it all retail it would have been $1,700,” boasts one thrifty Mrs. on her blog.

Even regifting seems to be taking on a certain cachet — just as long as everyone is in on the game. And Black Friday madness has hit thrift stores nationwide, with shops keeping extended hours.

Lydia Friz is a pro at shopping for secondhand gifts. The Blue Bird Bistro waitress shopped the Urban Mining Homewares sale earlier this month. At the First Friday vintage market she bought her mom a set of eight china bowls, daintily sized for ice cream. Total cost: $24.

She also found a pretty glass perfume bottle for $8, a Christmas gift for her sister-in-law, a fragrance buff.

“I keep my eye out for a couple of months” before Christmas, she said. “I don’t want to be going to the mall on Christmas Eve and just be picking up something random.”

Susan Hartnett, one of the four owners of the Urban Mining co-op near 39th and Main streets, said there are more benefits to shopping secondhand than just being “green.”

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/11/18/3273959/secondhand-items-make-first-rate.html#ixzz1gihbvHZz

Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months ago

By LISA GUTIERREZ The Kansas City Star

Looks like Santa’s got a new bag this holiday season. With spending money tight for so many people, secondhand gifts are getting a strong second look.

Savvy shoppers call them “well-loved treasures”: stuff you can buy at swap meets, estate sales, moving sales, auctions, antique and vintage shops, consignment and thrift stores and on websites.

Online message boards are brimming with frugal buyers who have decided to give only gifts from secondhand sources this year.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/11/18/3273959/secondhand-items-make-first-rate.html#ixzz1gikFoJJq

Shopping locally boosts the local economy. National surveys tell us 73 cents of every dollar spent at a locally owned independent business remains in the community.

When a dollar is spent at a local branch of a national chain store, only 43 cents stays local. Granted, that’s better than a return of zero, which is what happens when you shop online.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months ago

Second hand stores on the east coast are fun places to shop. So many many many years of culture and history make it fascinating.

People furnish entire homes with furniture that once belonged to others. Ceramic chickens,cows etc etc etc.

Native american art work ....

Much of the above mentioned appreciates in value and warms the heart.

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