A Message From Paula
I am on a mission to Save Small Shops. I am a fan of all the wonderful local, small, independent shops that are the fabric of our communities. In a short three weeks the world has literally been turned upside down. We are now living in particularly challenging times for these small shops and businesses. More than ever shop local is important and it’s inspiring to see how creative people have become, finding new ways to trade. Last week, in my local community, White Flower Farmhouse had an Instagram Stories sale to support local makers. Makers who, in some cases, their families had lost their means of income. Lori gave 100% of takings to the makers. My local village shop, Fork & Anchor, is using their network of suppliers to order groceries for locals. We order and pay via email and the next day supplies are boxed up waiting for us on a bench outside. Soho’s Houseman restaurant bought their inventory (including toilet paper) to their local weekend community becoming an outdoor pop-up grocery store. As more and more services close down we will need to be even more creative and supportive of others. Personally I don’t think it’s fair to risk the lives of warehouse and delivery personnel so my last online order was a week ago. However I did notice people chatting online about gift certificates – a pet peeve of economists in normal times. But these are not normal times. (How many unclaimed do you have lying in a bottom of a drawer?). I started seeing lots of buzz about the magic of gift certificates. Like this recent article on NPR, singing their praises and decided to start a gift card initiative.
TSK Pay It Forward Campaign
Inspired by the charming Pay It Forward movie (ok, ignore the fact it stars Kevin Spacey for the time being) combined with a gift certificate initiative, last week I started the TSK Pay it Forward campaign. I bought 5 x $25 gift certificates from small businesses who I would normally shop from and that I’m saving for later use. I have asked those shops to “pay it forward”. Coffee shops, bookshops, food shops, vintage shops, gift shops – they all need our support now. I am asking for all of us who are able to help to please do us. Bernie Sanders proved that lots of small donations can equal an abundance. I have saved a template in The Shopkeepers Instagram Story highlights. Screen shot the template, tag who you have bought the gift certificates from and then tag @the_shopkeepers. I will share all! Ask the shops that you bought certificates from to pass it forward by buying $25 certificates from 5 more shops. My hope is that this will spread out to communities and not just shops providing small shops with a little cash flow through these tough times. The concept has already had some press coverage, on CBS last week and more coming next week. So please add $25 to your websites. Thank you to Chickee’s Vintage, Michele Varian, Parcel, Maman, Mason & Painter, Tatine – early adopters and for spreading the word! Please share and help Save Small Shops.
Sharing A Virtual World of Shops
In the meantime I will continue to share stories and maps so we can all virtually travel together. Inspiring stories of beautiful shops to save for future travels. Please help by following, liking, messaging and sharing kind words and thoughts. We’re all in this together.