May 1st has been declared Buy Indie Day for independent book stores. The idea is simple: buy one book—paperback, hardcover, audiobook, whatever you want—at an independent bookstore near you.
What a great idea! But it’s not enough. Why?
Because there are many other independent businesses that need our support.
Independent business owners are your friends and neighbors. They are the same people you went to school with. You know them. Your kids probably play on the same soccer team. Or, you see these people in the grocery store. Indies truly appreciate your business (far more than a big chain or mass-produced marketer). When you spend your money with them, it truly does go back into the community, because they are you.
I went into business for myself is because I have a passion for sewing, decorating, and teaching. And, I love helping people. What a great way to make a living! And, I would expect that most people who go into business for themselves is for the same reason. For example, a person passionate for reading may open a book store. A person passionate about baking may open a cup cake store. A person passionate about sewing may open a fabric store. You get the idea.
These people have the determination and commitment to devote thousands of dollars to their passion. And to share it with us. Now, it’s our obligation to support them. For example, I always buy my paint from the little independent paint store in our town. Do I pay a little more for the paint? Sure! And, gladly! Because they know their stuff… Their “sales staff” is the owner who openly shares his passion and knowledge about painting. Do I get a better deal in the big boxes? Yes, probably I can save a few bucks. But, no, I don’t get the same genuine interest in my project. Joe in the orange apron is too unconnected to care. It’s just a job for him. For an indie business, it’s their life.
I was so delighted when some gals opened a little quilt shop in our town. I try to run in there as much as possible and buy something. As a side benefit, I can go “talk the talk” with others who have the love of sewing. And, I am happy to report that their fabric selection is growing every week.
So, I propose to make every day “Buy Indie Day.” Not just for book stores, but for all our shopping needs. Increase the quality of your life. Buy indie.