What I liked about the Try Lafayette First holiday message this year was the absence of guilt. There was no “Buy Local Just so Small Businesses Survive.” The real message was — and is — that the reason to shop local is that we live in a great town and it’s easier and more fun to shop here than to head towards the mall.
Yes — it helps merchants when we shop local. But it’s also good for us as shoppers, too.
I personally think the biggest challenge to a lasting Shop Lafayette effort is a achieving a deepened awareness about what’s available in town, which can be accomplished by getting more people to just look. A grass roots effort where we all do our part to get to proactively know our town better.
In the last 15 months, I’ve walked into almost every store in Lafayette, many for the first time, even though I moved here in 1999. I wish I had looked closer sooner.
Ask my friends. I’m always telling them where I saw unexpected items and opportunity. This year, the Fox Family Santa Shopped for Stocking Stuffers and more at Fed Ex and came away with useful items even a teen can appreciate. And that new gold table top easy-to-put-together ornament tree we added to our holiday collection this year? I found it at Clocks, Etc…
One afternoon last November, I went into every store in La Fiesta Square. At most, I spent less than 5 minutes. Just long enough to get the lay of the land.
Did you know that someone could essentially live in Lafayette Square, 24-7, from waking up to Clocks Etc… alarm clock and grabbing coffee in the morning to tucking yourself into covers on a Futon (on display at Sugi) at night. Groceries, prepared food, clothes, and food for your dog. It’s all there. Need to reach out to the world? There’s always computers at Fed Ex.
To me, that’s the best thing we can do to help our business community continue to thrive – look closer.
Park. Walk into stores. Look around.
Bit by bit, or in larger doses, get to know Lafayette better. If you don’t find something you need today, no problem. You’ll know what’s there when you do. Need something and not sure where to look? Ask the Chamber, a neighbor, or even another business owner. Find something interesting? Tell a friend.
Once you figure out what’s here and that it’s competitively priced, Buy Local morphs from a Holiday Campaign to an All Year Long Opportunity. Imagine if everyone in town had the same epiphany?
Write a comment and share what you already know about what’s available in town.
Have you entered the Lafayette Chamber’s 2011 Holiday Shop Local Drawing Yet? Deadline is January 6, 2012
Did you do any of your holiday shopping locally?
Before you throw out all receipts, remember to save some to enter the Chamber’s Shop Local Contest. Entries are due by close of business January 6, 2012, at the Lafayette Chamber office at 100 Lafayette Circle, Suite 103. You could win one of three terrific prizes:
- $500 prepaid VISA Gift Card
- $250 prepaid VISA Gift Card
- $100 prepaid VISA Gift Card