Support Local: A Blast from the Past

This weekend I was cleaning out my Google Docs folder and came across probably 200 untitled documents. Instead of just trashing them, I mistakenly opened each file to see what was inside. This is a mistake, because a 2-minute procedure took two hours and a trip to Nostalgia-ville.

Here is a blog post I wrote years ago. I’m assuming this is on The Moxie Blog somewhere, but thought I’d re-post here. Almost 100% rings true still, and the parts that don’t are because the businesses I listed have closed.

The timing is appropriate, because my sister is opening her own boutique and quilting studio, called THE LADY IN THREAD, just right around the corner. As she enters this brick-and-mortar stage of entrepreneurship, I wanted to revisit my own commitment to shopping local. I’m so excited for her!

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An exciting new campaign is hitting the Twitter feed, and I like it. It’s called The 3/50 Project, and it’s encouraging community members to spend $50 a month at local, independently owned, brick and mortar organizations. They prompt you by saying, “What three independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared?”

I know for sure that on a daily basis I miss our neighbor Carla at Pastiche. My credit card is probably thanking me, but with her unique boutique gone, I seriously felt like a bit of Springfield’s pizazz left as well. And since her closure, my personal mission has been to shop, dine, and entertain as locally as possible. This has extended into a business mission as well. Our pest control, baked goods and treats, coffee, projection technician, cleaning services, and advertisers are all locally owned and operated. “Be vocal, shop local” is what Carla had in her window during Pastiche’s final days. I loved it! And I love this new campaign, too, so I couldn’t wait to share.

What three businesses would you miss? According to The 3/50 Project, “if half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate $42.6 billion in revenue,” and that “for every $100 spent locally, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.” This compares to the $43 retention from national chains, and ZERO from online spending.

This blog post isn’t going to be a pity party for The Moxie, asking you all to think what would happen if your favorite art-house theater were to disappear (ahem…but since I said it…). I’m just wanting to constantly remind our wonderful patrons and blog readers how important it is to shop locally! For example, when business is good, we have roughly $1500 in payroll per pay period, for our 8 to 10 staff members. When it’s slow, like in the Spring, we have to cut payroll significantly, so our staff combined only gets about $600 per pay period. That’s a big cut for their rent checks, dining, wining, etc! And trust me, all of us at The Moxie LOVE to eat and drink (as you can see from our list below).

Now, we once posted a post a long time ago about the importance of local shopping, and someone anonymously commented that it was interesting seeing us at a local big box store. Well, of course I’m going to get Fruity Pebbles at a chain grocery store! And I’ll probably pick up socks and magazines there too…but when it comes to the items that *really* matter, I’ll check my local retailers first.

So, after much deliberation, I think these are the three places that I absolutely, could not live without in Springfield:

  • Well Fed Head – their departure from downtown was bad enough, but I do love their new space, and look forward to my monthly book club evening with Beth and the gang
  • The Center City Coffee Shops – Obviously I can’t pick just one. I probably spend $50 per month EACH at The Mudhouse, Coffee Ethic, and Big Mommas! And I just discovered Turkish Coffee at The Rendezvous, so we’ll be adding them to the list of stops. I think my local coffee shops are the epitome of a “neighborhood.” I know the owners and baristas by name, they know my drink when I walk in, and it’s such a fun way to spend 15 minutes of the day, walking down to my favorite coffee shops, saying hello, and putting a few quarters in the “thanks a latte” jar!
  • Pam Nickel at Springfield Massage Therapy – oh my goodness, if you need the most relaxing hour of your life, please do yourself a favor and visit Pam. My last session with her ended up with me snoring! I think that’s probably a compliment to any massage therapist.

Just because I mentioned those three doesn’t mean I wouldn’t die a little if any of my other local favorites were to disappear. So take a moment to check out some of my other favorite neighbors (by no means in any particular order, and by no means a complete list. That would take weeks to compile!):

  • Askinosie – If you haven’t tried the Dark Milk Chocolate Bar, I highly suggest you indulge. It’s $8, and worth every penny.
  • Staxx – This winter, you will see me in my new boots from Staxx EVERY DAY. They are by far the most stylish shoes I’ve ever owned.
  • Good Girl Art – Some of the best window displays in town!
  • Indie – I’ve only purchased one thing so far, but every time I wear it, I get multiple compliments, so I’ll be going back for more soon. Who doesn’t love a good compliment?
  • Bodhi Salon and Spa – They save all their hair clippings and donate to a company who uses them for oil spills! I’m proud that a few inches of my own hair is helping our planet :)
  • Moda Salon – Helped me become a blonde with style! They’re moving to a new location soon, on South Avenue.
  • Czar Graphics – Our go-to team for Moxie shirts. They do SUCH a good job.
  • Springfield Hot Glass – My sister can’t come visit Springfield without stopping in. And it always smells like winter, which is very comforting to me.
  • KSMU and OPT – Not really a business, but I can’t imagine 3:00 coming without Fresh Air!
  • The Grotto – Monday is double stamp day. Makes my Greek Pizza doubly good!
  • Nonna’s – Best Creme Brulee I have ever had. And I’m a Creme Brulee expert (self pronounced)
  • Bambino’s – $6 for half a panini and a bowl of soup. Best lunch deal in town!
  • Lili’s Diner – Their coconut pie and late-night hours will probably make me gain more weight this summer than anything else.
  • Gailey’s Diner – It’s always a bit of a wait on Saturday mornings, but well worth it. Those sweet browns! Mmmm. I couldn’t even try to make them at home.
  • Camp Bow Wow – Our dog Bogey knows the phrase “Camp Bow Wow” and starts crying if we don’t immediatly act after saying it. And the best part: they have web cams so you can watch your beloved pet play!
  • Galloway Village Veterinary (formerly Springfield Veterinary) – my family, and now I, have been seeing Dr. Tedd for the past 15 years. There’s a reason for our commitment!
  • Tea Bar and Bites – Their theme dinners are SO MUCH FUN. A good splurge for a special occasion!
  • Bruno’s – I feel guilty because I only eat here about once a quarter, but they have fun summery drink specials and delicious tiramisu!
  • Walnut Street Inn B&B – Dan and I stay here once a year (it’s where we spent our wedding night!). People always say, ooh, how romantic. We reply: Cable TV and breakfast in bed!
  • Patton Alley Pub – I hate beer, but even so, I’m compelled to try something new everytime I go. Usually I just stick with their homemade chips.
  •  The MudLounge – My favorite bar in town! Probably because it’s smoke-free, there’s about 100 martinis to choose from, and they have comfortable seating.
  • The Outland – I always feel so cool when I go there. It’s a bit smokey, but always fun, especially on low key nights like Open Mic night.
  • Jellybeans – My niece Sophia is the best dressed kid in Ohio, thanks to this fun kids boutique.
  • Andy’s Frozen Custard – I don’t think I even need to explain this.

Springfield has SO MUCH to offer, that I hope we can all keep each other afloat, especially during this rough economic downturn (ugh, aren’t you getting sick of that phrase?). Thanks for reading!

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