Monday, August 17, 2009

Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk

I guess the real phrase is "You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?" I told you about my friends Chet & Nellie and the beautiful new home they just purchased. Chet owns a local hardware store. The business actually employs three generations of his family; sadly something almost unheard of today. I don't think you'll be surprised to hear that their business is struggling. The mom-and-pop-type of business is being hardest hit in this economy and thousands are going under every week.

A few months back I wrote about a buy local organization in our area called the Blackstone Valley Independent Business Alliance. Chet and Nellie have been instrumental in organizing and promoting that effort because the idea of 'buying local' could mean the continued success or failure of their business.

What else does buy local mean to Chet? It means rather than going to one of those big box home improvement stores, we go to Chet's store. What does buy local mean to us? It means we get quick and personal service when we shop. I admit when I've got all the time in the world, wandering around the aisles of one of the ginormous stores can be slightly entertaining but when I need something and can't find it or someone to help me, it drives me crazy!

One thing I'll tell you it doesn't always mean is a better price. And honestly even if it does occasionally, the few cents I'd save isn't worth it to me.

Think of it this way....the money you spend in a local hardware, paint, appliance, lighting, camera or computer store stays in your community. It goes to pay a family's mortgage, tuition, grocery bill and even better....it stays in the community when these people shop in other local businesses.

The money you spend in those big box stores certainly does pay some salaries and some local taxes but the biggest part of it goes to Georgia or Arkansas and pays the bonuses of high-paid executives who don't give a rat's butt about you or your community! Do you ever see one of those company's names on the uniform of one of your kid's teams? They seldom reinvest in the community they are located in.

I got an email from Nellie this week telling me they have purchased new furniture, appliances and central vacuum. I asked where she bought everything, and she gave me a list of local companies. Here is what Nellie wrote...."I take the service of buying local for granted because I see the service provided by Vose, but when we were actually buying and listening to the expertise of the salesmen and getting priority treatment and instant service, I appreciate it so much more. Imagine free delivery in this day with the price of gas."

Nellie and Chet are Walking the Walk not just talking the talk. We all should.


Image from Google Images

15 comments:

Tammy Howard said...

We try as much as possible, but sometimes the money (or selection, or convenience) just can't be ignored. But we ARE very aware and do try to make that choice when it's feasible.

Good on your friends, and good on you for putting their story out there!

Pam said...

I try to buy local as much as is possible, too. But, I should probably try to do more. Thanks for the reminder.

AK said...

Sandy...Really cute blog with a greeeaaaaaattt layout. This post is particularly good because
1) It has some no-nonsense things
2) It has emotions
3) It makes u think of ur community and move away from the selfish motive of saving ur own few cents.
4) This is the most recent and hence the best post to comment on, so that u will know that I was here!!

AK said...

Sandy, I 4got the 5 th reason.
5) I am following because I loved this post{and the immediately following ones too}

New England Girl said...

How true! In our small little community, we will soon be "welcoming" a Lowe's and I fear for the livelihood and future success of small, family-owned stores which have been around forever!

The post you did today highlights why my family and I continue to shop at small supermarkets, farmers markets, family-owned hardware stores and other small businesses as much as possible. You are right in that the few dollars you may save at a big store is unimportant in the scheme of things.

I hope Chet and Nellie's store is around for a 4th generation to run it! :)

BONNIE K said...

Unless I'm going for a wide selection of flowers, I really prefer the local hardware stores. They're interesting, and they're not tiring like the giant stores.

dadshouse said...

I love the service that comes with a local place. Plus, for fruites and veggies I hit the local stand, and I know I'm getting local produce at a great price.

Michele said...

I swear by buying local. If I could find the farmers market here in Houston I'd be all over that. There is nothing that a vegetarian likes more than local veggies and hardware and anythings else we can get our hands on.

Sandy said...

Thanks all.....it's obvious we all understnd the value and importance of buying local. Keep on spreading the word!

Captain Dumbass said...

We try to buy locally now. I tried having my computer fixed locally back in June. That was a mistake.

Alex the Girl said...

This is an awesome post. And like Michele said, there is nothing better than local vegetable markets.

Aunt Julie said...

You are so right...I agree 110%! SITS sent me over, and I'm glad they did...

Badass Geek said...

I try to buy locally when I can. I know they are hurting badly these days.

JOE TODD said...

Really enjoyed your post. Sometimes I stumble and sometimes I don't walk in a straight line but I do make the effort to buy locally. Yesterday I found a new locally owned meat market in a small town near where I live. I bought some meat took some pictures and have info for a new post.

BPOTW said...

Sometimes it's a tough thing to do, but we must remember that someone is always watching us to see if we are 'real' or not.

 

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