Okay, I’ll admit it! My name is Myke and I love shopping. It must be the gay genes working their sparkly rainbow brand of magic in me, but I’ve always loved shopping. I especially enjoy poking around stores to find the right item for the right person. I especially love exploring independently owned stores that have eclectic selections of unique items. It’s the thrill of the hunt, folks! Craft shows are also favourites of mine because they allow me to connect with the artisans themselves and meet the people who are responsible for the wares that catch my eye.
While I try to avoid overtly conspicuous consumption, it’s nice to know that the items I do purchase for myself and others could be as unique and individual as the folks that I buy for are.
Malls and big stucco boxes do not give me the same amount of enjoyment. They exist for a reason, I understand, but I’m not interested in purchasing items cheaply made in Chinese factories and sweatshops, delivered by cargo ship to a conglomerate in Arkansas and distributed at a price that ensures the employees of the conglomerate cannot earn a decent living wage.
I also try to support local independent restaurants and cafes as well. I find dining all the more enjoyable as I have established a personal rapport with a number of businesses and their staff is able to make recommendations and suggestions of items that I should try. It is also nice to be able to talk to the owners who know where their supplies and ingredients come from and a good number of them take pride in sourcing their supplies locally too.
When I travel, I try to get off the beaten path and find the unique haunts that locals go to. I ask hotel staff, cab drivers and others where they eat and shop. If I’m going to buy a souvenir of my voyage, I want it to be something actually made in that area by a local craftsperson and not just a branded item…
The moral of the story is to shop locally folks! Support your local independent craftspeople; support your local independent retailers; support your local economy! Your community will be all the better for it and you may well just meet some interesting and friendly people while doing your shopping.