If you're a shopper, you've likely been told that you should support your local small businesses. From the perspective of a small business owner, we want to discuss why it's so important.
About 1 year ago, we were introduced to Jeff and Michelle of Lake Lights Candles in Hawley, PA (our hometown). At that time, we had only been established as a company for a few months, and they were just opening their doors. As we began talking, we realized that this shop was going to do something that the Lake Wallenpaupack area had never seen before. They were bringing their craft right in-store, making their candles on site in front of their customers. Come on, that's as local as it can possibly get, right? We don't make candles, so, where did we get involved? Well, Jeff and Michelle had this plan to fill up their store with more than just their candles. Home decor, apparel, jewelry, accessories, and more, all from small, local artisans in the area.
Why is that important? Yes, it sounds great. "Everything is made here, locally, by other shops just like us." But, the bigger picture is when local stores support other local stores, the community thrives. That is why we bought into this "locally owned," "locally made" concept presented to us by Lake Lights. We love the area we grew up in. Watching small businesses here is something truly special. Of course, businesses like Lake Lights can find a company larger than ours, outside of our area, even outside of the country. They can find a company doing what we do for cheaper. But, what they understood was there is nothing like a handmade creation, made with the care and love of a small business. And, to keep that business local, not only benefits them, but the community as a whole.
We, as small business owners, can support each other. But, at the end of the day we rely on you, the shopper. Small businesses like ours don't have the advantages that larger corporations have. We rely on referrals from prior customers who love their purchase enough to send others our way. Yes, there's our website (you're likely reading this blog on there right now), and there's Google. You'll find us on there. However, it's the local community that keeps us going. It's the little conversations you have with a friend about buying a gift for someone else. "Hey, have you been to Lake Lights Candles in the Silk Mill? There's so many great gift ideas there!" Or, "Take a look at Alexa, Make Me Something. They made a sign for my husband and it was amazing." That's what makes shopping small and local special.You've likely found us from someone else who just loves our product.
When it's all said and done, when you buy from stores like ours and Lake Lights, you're going to be walking out with a product that was made with genuine care and love. It was made on location, or just miles down the road. It was made by people who care for the community and the shoppers who support it. So, for those who already shop small, continue to do so if you can. It means the world to us. If you don't, try it out in your local area. You won't be disappointed.
P.S., September 1, 2021 is the one year anniversary of Lake Lights Candles opening their doors. Check out their shop and see how far they've come in just one year!
Hawley Silk Mill
8 Silk Mill Drive
Hawley, PA 18428