As I cruise the blogs and postings from various social sites, I note that more and more individual brick and mortar stores are closing. The co-ops still tend to eek through, but, in some areas, those are endangered species also.
Are the box stores and online shops finally winning the retail war? I still say there is something lost in the social media world for all the gains that were made. Shopping does not necessarily mean spending money; it is about the camaraderie of a being out with friends and sharing experiences and simply talking instead of texting. I often hear comments as people wander the shop about memories associated with things that they see. Somehow “pinning” something on a cyber bulletin board or posting pictures on a blog is revealing and perhaps riveting, but it is not the same as working with real people!
She continues to follow the repurpose mantra. Mini yo-yos (actually used to create amazing quilts during the depression because they used every scrap of fabric) combine with old buttons, jewelry, and chains for a totally unique piece. If you found them at Anthro, you know you are talking way more than the $12 price tag on these.
Then, just as I am trying to deal with the chaos in my shop—I have had one of those weeks…back to teaching…school started, bomb scare first day!~root canal on Thursday~ and had to send our oldest kitty Jeffy across Rainbow Bridge on Friday…so I am not really into it when one of my customers pulls in with these pieces that she and a friend have made.not to mention buoys decorated for the feeling of under the sea!
The spirit of the artistry lifts me up--even the tag is wood…the benches are made from Jersey cedar, swamp magnolia, and bittersweet. Now, I am excited about decorating for fall (hopefully this Bayou weather will break!), and life goes on.
But, it is not just wood that she works in...it is ceramic mini wall pockets...
Small shops…independent artists…once they fade into giant warehouse metal-shelved end-capped behemoths will anyone miss the variety of the small store? The unique inventory? The personal touch? Sure, some shops can buy some of the same items, and they can copy a look, but, in reality, it is not just the stuff on the shelves...it is the whole experience of shopping and the small indie owner that is totally different. I buy local...that money stays local...the wonderful garden furniture is made by a woman who lives in south Jersey. It is not something shipped in by container from who knows where. So, from Robert Spector, author of The Mom & Pop Store: True Stories from the Heart of America:
“[S]hopkeepers… are deep-down optimists. They have to be, because every morning they unlock the doors to their stores, turn on the lights, prepare for the day, and wait for people to walk in and hand them money.”