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I am a former Amazon junkie. I say former because in my year of owning a bridal business, I have come to find that online shopping has the capacity to kill brick and mortar. Don’t get me wrong–I love sitting in bed at night on my iPad shopping, but I have begun to rethink this pastime. Instead of taking the easy route and impulse clicking “Ship now,” I now look for local places to purchase these exact same items. Let me explain my thinking…

A customer comes into our store. They make an appointment and bring 7 bridesmaids with them. They take an hour or more to find their perfect dress. The whole time, a consultant is giving them one-on-one attention: zipping them in, showing them the colors, and finding dresses that flatter each and every bridesmaid. But then, after all of this, they write all the information down and order the dresses online for a *slight* discount. Great, but what about the employee whose commission you just took away? Or what about the local store owner who is trying to bring jobs to the area? What about the customer service you just received in store, only to turn around and give your hard earned money to big business?

If you don’t own a small business–I get it! This is something I never thought of until recently. But now, instead of taking the easy route I like to try and pay it forward to my community. I look at book reviews online but stop at the corner book shop down the street. I try and shop at our local boutiques that are trying to pay for their overhead and keep the lights on. And even though it’s reeaaaaally hard, I usually skip Starbucks to bring my patronage to small coffee shops downtown.

You may ask…what’s in it for you? You’re skipping out on easy shipment and a little bit of savings. First and foremost, you will get the best customer service possible in person. As humans, we are social creatures so let’s do what we’re supposed to do and talk face to face. That alone not doing it for you? By shopping local you are able to support many of our strong female employees while they raise families, plan for retirement, and whatever else we need to do in this life! You help local business owners continue to donate, contribute, and support our local community. And finally, you stop helping the top 1% (I’m talking to you, Jeff Bezos!), and distribute the profits to those who deserve them…the hardworking people you see in your town.

What do you think about the world-wide-web hurting local brick and mortar shops? Let us know below! Meanwhile, make sure we #ShopLocal!!

Xo, Gretchen

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