This year I challenged myself to only buy holiday presents from locally owned businesses. The experience had several unexpected but pleasant results:
- Most of the things I bought were handmade. This made the gifts unique and more personal.
- Most items reflected the diversity of the Twin Cities. I found gifts made by people from Ghana and other countries in Africa, Tibet, and Native American communities.
- Some items were free trade, supporting economic growth in the Twin Cities and in other countries.
- Most gifts were made in environmentally responsible ways.
- Each of the gift recipients loved their presents and appreciated the personal touch.
Where did I find these special gifts?
After spending time at the Global Market, I felt serene, fulfilled and connected to my community. MOA just makes me feel tired, cranky and broke.
I did break my “buy local” rule twice … well, one and a half times.
I bought one toy at a national chain store because the Land of the Littles is completely foreign to me. I didn’t know which locally owned store would have the specific toy I was looking for at a reasonable price.
I also bought one gift from Target, which technically is a local business (corporate headquarters in downtown Minneapolis), but decidedly not in the spirit of buying local.
This was a good experiment for me. Making a priority to buy only from local businesses helped me to think about where the stuff I buy comes from, how it’s made, and who is affected by my purchases.
I will make a point of supporting locally owned businesses throughout the year.
Do you have any tips for buying local?