November 27, 2009 – As some of you may know, I was born and raised in the good ol’ U S of A. And while I have been a proud Canadian since the mid-eighties, there are definately some things about my homestate of California, specifically, and homeland of the US, generally, that I do miss. I miss the Rose Bowl Parade on New Year’s Day. I miss Trader Joes. I miss the Northern Coast. But I don’t miss the congestion or the freeways or the stretches of stripmalls with the same boring offerings. I don’t miss the traffic pile ups the day after Thanksgiving known as “Black Friday” – the day after Thanksgiving where merchants seem to over night remerchandise their stores to “Christmas” and have crazy sales and promotions to jump start the holiday spending. It can truly be madness!
In recent years there has been some backlash to this tradition with “Buy Nothing Day”. And while I am a retailer that stands very left of center, I never felt good about either end of that “Black Friday” shopping spectrum – buying lots of crap and buying nothing. Today I read a great article by Nick Aster in Triple Pundit suggesting that this day (and I suggest everyday) being more about making good responsible consumer choices. Responsible might be buying from local shops, buying from artisans (or artisan shops like Love, Me), buying organic, buying consciously. And so, even though I am most likely speaking to the converted here on this blog, I will use this opportunity to plug our weekly paper, The Coast’s, efforts to challenge everyone to Shop Local for the holidays as well as their latest publication called Buy Local Halifax – full of great listings of local businesses.
And not to be over shadowed by a little political/economic speak….
Speaking of shopping responsibly and the US/Canadian connection, I would like to give a huge shout out to one of the artists showcased and sold here at Love, Me. Robyn Stephens of Shibang Designs is the (only) Canadian representative in the Etsy booth at the Chicago One of a Kind Show and Sale. The show takes place December 3-6 and I am sure she will have show visitors salivating over her stunningly gorgeous bags. Congrats Robyn!