Updated: Aug 20, 2019
Ok, so let me set this one up for you with an example. Let's just say you LOVE handmade clothing. You love its uniqueness, the quality, and you love the fact that you are most likely supporting a small business instead of a company that probably sources most of its clothing already made in China. So where do you go to shop??? Well, you live in a smaller town that doesn't have a lot of super trendy places to go so you are more than willing to drive an hour to go to a cute little handmade market with tons of vendors and thousands of shoppers. It is a big city so they must have great artists! After spending money on parking and still walking 10 blocks and waiting in line, you reach the vendor with the handmade clothing. It is beautiful! It is well made and although it costs more than that clothing from China, it will last longer and fit better. Score!!! Feeling pretty good, right??
So I am going to let you in on a little secret. There is a good chance, that the vendor is from a small town like yours. AND they are probably constantly looked over by their neighbors who purchase handmade clothing items who instead go to a big city market. Now I'm not saying that the bigger markets aren't good places to go. They are great places to go! You have all the artists and crafters together all in one place for some awesome shopping. But what I am saying, is that just because the vendor is part of a big show, it doesn't mean they have super powers your neighbors don't. And just because your neighbors aren't participating in the big shows, it doesn't mean they don't have the same or greater super powers of the people at the big shows. And some times, it IS your neighbor participating in the show!
I'm not just talking about a seamstress. I am talking about your local restaurants, hair salons, carpenters, cement guys, computer repair, photographers, etc. If they live and work in the same town you do, they do it because they like your town, not because they couldn't make it in the big city. Here in Oregon and the surrounding towns we have a HUGE amount of talent in a not so densely populated area. They aren't any less talented just because they live next to you. I mean, if that were true, what does that say about you? :) I know of at least a handful of Etsy/eBay store owners we have locally that ship their product made in and around little ol' Oregon, MO all across the country and possibly the world. And those same people drive an hour to set up at the markets to sell to other people that drive an hour to get there. We also have the best food you will find anywhere within driving distance, the best hairstylists you will find for miles, the best museums, the best county fair, musicians and I could go on and on. I did tell you that our local talent is huge, right?
So next time you are wanting to check out some handmade clothing, don't overlook your neighbor. Odds are they are good at what they do, they are reasonably priced, you don't have to drive an hour to get there, you are supporting a local business (businesses ran off their front porch need love too), you can follow up with them if you have issues and you will get great customer service.
As always, thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the post and you visit your neighbor soon! :)
Lisa Lark, Owner
Front Porch Fix-Ups