It occurred to me that there are two ways to “Support Local.”
One is the usual definition we think of: Geographic. Locally owned; locally operated; the proprietor lives in my local area; the product comes from my local area. I consider myself to be “supporting local” when I buy either 1) something that is grown/made in my local area; OR 2) something that is being sold by a business near me that is locally owned; locally operated; the proprietor lives in my local area (even if the product itself came from outside the area). An artisan, musician, Mom & Pop shop, small manufacturing operation, something of that kind. Naturally I get an extra boost of “SupportLocal” joy when I’m able to make a purchase that fulfills BOTH 1) and 2) !
Two is what I might call “local by personal loyalty.” A person or business that is located outside my immediate geographic area, but 1) they ARE a locally focused, locally owned business in their own geographic area; AND 2) I feel some connection to that person or business, and want to support them. It might be because I feel aligned with their mission; it might be because they are a friend; it might be because I love their product.
Examples of the first type of “Support Local”: that I’ve done recently: 1. Purchase a season subscription from a local farm. (By the way, this business model is called CSA: Community Supported Agriculture.) 2. Order seven public-hygiene masks from a local seamstress — and boy did I get great service on top of the bargain price. For $3 per mask (that were extremely well made), I got to pick from a huge selection of fabric colors, and she delivered them to my door the next day — with no delivery charge! Try that with SuperOnlineMegamart. 3. Get takeout from my favorite neighborhood restaurant and leave a generous tip. 4. Switch to a local printer to print my book Deep Green. My book is now printed in Daytona Beach, and is available only direct through me (unless you happen to find a used copy on Amazon — but that would be the old edition, missing some key corrections and layout improvements; and of course none of the money would go to me, if that makes a difference to you).
Recent examples of the second type of “Support Local”: 1. Tuned in, via Facebook Live, to a music performance by Darrin Kobetich, an incredibly talented musician friend of mine who is based in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, and who has taken his shows online since the pandemic shut down his tour season. The show was free, but Darrin included his payment-app information for those of us who chose to leave a tip. 2. Attended a webinar from a Native Plant Society outside my immediate local area; took the option to send a donation. 3. I haven’t done this yet, but I am seriously considering buying one of Flip Solomon‘s super-fashionable masks*, just for fun and to support an incredibly talented artist. She is based in Austin TX, and “I Knew Her Way Back When” we were neighbors at an uber-funky bohemian trailer park nestled among the oaks in South Austin.
(*OK, I just now went ahead and did it! Ordered a mask from Flip. I chose the bee print. At $25 with free shipping, and supporting a local artist, it’s an easy sell. Especially since I still have some of my $1,200 “Covid Stimulus Payment” left, and am determined to spend it all on “Supporting Local”!)
It even occurs to me that we can purchase goods from overseas yet still be Supporting Local. For example, I could buy an embroidered jacket from an artisan in Guatemala or India or the Ukraine. The key is to make a direct connection with the artist, or artists’ cooperative. Online tools and channels make it easy for local people all over the world to connect directly with one another, bypassing intermediaries that take an undue share of the maker’s profit. It can be argued that we live in a golden age, if we choose to take personal responsibility for our purchases, and focus on caring for the planet and her creatures, including our fellow humans.
What are some of your favorite ways to #SupportLocal? By the way, I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to my new visitors/subscribers. And another THANK YOU to those who have been following along for awhile. All of you are the light that guides my writing.
Your comments are always welcome, be it by email or via my Facebook page Deep Green Book by Jenny Nazak. As great a platform as WordPress is for blogging, its comment feature has just never seemed to work well for my readers, so I don’t use it.