Sunday, September 09, 2007

Support Small Businesses

Carolina Moon is a stamp store in Chicago. I am on her Yahoo Group and found out that she was closing.

And today there was a post of Why are so many small businessess closing?

I needed to post!

So here is my 2 cents:

This really hits close to home with me so I had to comment.

First of all, Carolyn, It was sad to hear the news that you are closing. For me, as a store owner myself, The news when stores in the same business as mine really are hard to take.

We love what we do and what we allow others to do, create and grow as an artist. This is what keeps me going.

So the question, Why are so many stores closing?

The economy has something to do with it. We are being more selective on our purchases and It is hard to compete with the big box stores on prices.

What the small stores offer is customer service, learning opportunities and people who share the same interests not only staff but those who come to workshops, classes and shop at the small stores. It is the whole package that the small stores offer.

Yes, you may be able to get an item a little cheaper at the big box stores but if you spend your money with them you are taking away from your small store that really relies on that sale to keep the doors open. Remember, that when you are clipping out your coupons this Sunday!

As for small stores offering discounts.......... It is really hard to do that. The larger stores get items sooo much less than we do that they can offer discounts and it is does not cut as much as into their profits as it would a small store.

I have to laugh at the word profits. To a small store that really means, money to pay the rent & expenses.

So, Shop small business and know your money is supporting the stores that really matter.

This goes for any type of business: art gallery, gift boutique, clothing store, insurance, whatever.

And Carolyn,
This is the beginning of the next phase of your life! We thank you for all that you have given to the Chicago community! And know you are appreciated!


Anonymous said...

I don't drive and so am dependent upon friends to take me to places not served by the CTA. Nevertheless I did managed to get to Carolina Moon a few times and liked the place tremendously. I will say (without mentioning names here) that a number of people I've spoken to actively disliked the owner and considered her "rude."

I never had that experience there, or in fact at any other local store where there were owners with similar reputations. Perhaps my skin is thick, or perhaps as I believe, you mostly get back what you put out into the universe. Or perhaps they really did have bad experiences and I was a lucky shopper. I really don't know. But if we consider that service is one of the primary ways a small business can compete, as you say, then it's important for small business owners to understand that they have to make an extra effort in that area, particularly with money so short these days. It's awfully easy to get a bad reputation in a small community, and kind of difficult to mend it.

I'm sorry to see her go. I wish I'd been able to get out there more often. As it is, I'd looked for her ads in various magazines for months now, and not finding them assumed she had closed already.

Kelly Kilmer said...

I'm very sad to hear that another store is closing. I was hoping to get out to Chicago to teach one of these days and that was one of the stores I had my eye on!
Living in So CA, we've had a large number of stores close over the last year (sadly, with more to come). It's a number of factors (as you point out "the big box stores" is one factor among many). I could go on and on, but won't. I'll just end with: support your local Mom & Pop shops-whatever that Mom & Pop shop is. If you want a place to find the art supplies that you need "in stock" and with a smile, support the Mom & Pops. If you want a place to take classes, support the Mom & Pops. If you want a place for community, support the Mom & Pops!
Off my soap box,

Christine Webb said...

Yes, I so agree that we all need to be nice to everyone. That is how I meet the coolest people! Spending a little time to get to know them!

Claudette said...

When I lived in the area I shopped at Carolina Moon store, and will admit she always had the latest in materials.
I will say she could talk your ear off, and that she didn't share trade secrets with you for she wanted you to take classes which turned off a lot of people. However, I'm still sorry to see another small shop close.