Give thanks and Shop Small this holiday season.
With Thanksgiving just a couple days away, many of us are pondering the things that we are grateful for. Most likely to be #1 on the list is family and friends. Why is that? Because, as humans, we crave connection and meaningful relationships. These factors are equally important in business as they are in our personal lives.
The most successful businesses build relationships with their customers; And that’s where small businesses have a leg up on their big-box competitors. To the local brick and mortar merchants, each person has a face, not a customer ID number. When you call the store to ask a question, you get an answer from someone in your community, rather than another country. The artisan goods on display were (literally) hand selected for you, not produced for pennies on the dollar. Small business owners identify with the desires and needs of their local community and strive to offer the best products and services to meet those needs.
Take Yoga Junction, for example. Their mantra is “INSPIRE.BREATHE.COMMUNITY.” Owners Carey Yonto and Melissa Williams wanted to create a community-based yoga setting. To do so, they offer a variety of classes for various skill levels and even host a $5 Happy Hour class to make yoga affordable and accessible to a larger population. Yoga Junction’s 2015 goals include establishing partnerships with other downtown businesses to provide more unique experiences to their members.
Another community-focused business is The Walnut Gallery, owned by Geoffrey Whitmore. Geoffrey enjoys being part of the revitalization of the Louisville Arts District and strives to offer “an eclectic, diverse selection of handmade one-of-a-kinds.” Every part of every item is made in the USA, with the majority of artwork being created in nearby Colorado cities. The gallery features a variety of different artists and mediums and Geoffrey encourages his customers to touch the artwork. That’s a welcome refresher from the old “you break it, you buy it” mentality.
These are just a couple examples of the amazing local businesses in the Louisville area. They thrive because of their dedication to better serve their neighbors and build lasting relationships with each individual that comes through their doors. At this time of year, and always, we are truly grateful for the amazing group of small business owners that make this community so vibrant.
When you’re going around the table this Thanksgiving reciting what you’re thankful for, consider saying “small businesses.” It’s likely to start a conversation. Remember to show your gratitude for them by shopping small on Small Business Saturday, November 29.