Sunday, February 17, 2008

I am 50 - Well at least my blog is...



This is my 50th post. I thank you again for all the support and praise you have given me and the boutique. Our success thus far has been motivating but we still have many customers to meet.

Vie Chaotique is not just about style, we are also about substance. I usually try to keep my blog's content light. But humor me as I would like to get on my soapbox. I promise I won't make a habit of it.

Please remember to shop your independents! It's critical! Your crafters, your artists, your small shop proprietors, your local restaurateurs all need you! Maybe that hammer at your local hardware costs a couple of bucks more but there's good reason. Small business has overhead, often much more so than the big guys. Usually independents offer high level of service, are trained and care about their product and how it was manufactured, our employee, and our customer. We could offer mediocrity but many of us consider what the true cost attached to this is.

I don't know why we perceive that the big box stores offer convenience. We have to search for a parking spot, shop through a lot of "soulless merchandise", hunt down a salesclerk if we have a question. No respect is given to the way the merchandise is displayed. The salesclerk, through no fault of their own, has usually not been trained anyway. More often they are just viewed as cheap labor by their employer who has not invested in them with training and motivation. Next we stand in line to make the purchase. Often to be checked out by a computer not even a person. It's all about the bottom line, but should it be?

The merchandise is soulless. Much of it seems to be there just to turn a big profit. Sub-standard, bland, disposable, some of it even hazardous to our health and the earth. I now buy thinking: "Is this going to wind up in a landfill, or is it going to grace my and my customers' homes for many years to come."

I am not in business for completely altruistic reasons. Independents all want to make a profit to sustain a quality life and stay in business. The products I carry are of a good quality and will stand the test of time, without victimizing anyone.

We lived in Europe for several years where the majority of shops were boutiques and I started to develop relationships with shopkeeps. Upon returning to the US I have been speaking with many independents and we all share something in common.

Believe me most of us are not in this to run to the bank. It's a labor of love. It's a romance with finding high quality, thoughtful products. As a merchant you are proud enough of your product to create a warm environment to display and sell it. You stake your reputation on it. I want you to buy something that you are so thrilled with my service and my quality that you tell your friends and even more importantly that you return to do business with me.

Cheap products have huge hidden price tags. Please think about this as you spend your hard earned dollars. Having less is truly more. Quality not quantity. If you don't realize it think about the meaningless clutter we accumulate. The mom and pop cannot go the way of the dinosaur. Small business is what is going to help our economy get back on its feet. Not only that but it conserves individuality which is what is so great about the US in the first place.

I hope that I have not offended you. I am afraid many do not give this subject a second thought. Allow me to continue to offer you both material goods to delight your senses and eye candy to tickle your imagination and your intellect. I am very interested in your comments whether you agree with me or not...

14 comments:

Joan said...

EXCELLENT and well said!!

Gypsy at Heart said...

Dear Vie: Agree wholeheartedly. When my dollars to spend itch in my hand, I run to the unique. That is where I lose what I have but ah... what I gain is worth every bit. I like pretty things, useful things, things that last and bring me joy on a basis I label "often." You finding it for me is a boon I appreciate. Get up on the soap box more often! I like what you say and support it. P.S. Haven't done the meme yet but I will. Promise.

LIBERTY POST EDITOR said...

Hello from Canada! There is a theory that if the masses continue to shop at big box stores, eventually the smaller companies that employ all these people and manufacture products (that can't compete with the products from overseas) will be forced to close (because of the big box stores) - then the people don't have any jobs or money to shop at the big box stores - so the big box stores collapse and close. It is not until then that people begin to shop in a different way. Isn't this theory interesting? A little confussing at first to wrap your head around but...it could happen. It's like the fall of Rome.

Jerusalem said...

here here! thanks for speaking out and going to bat for us small shopkeepers!

Margaret said...

I totally agree. As you say, there's a hidden cost that comes with those low prices. Every purchase you make is a vote for the kind of world you want to inhabit. It's hard to remember that sometimes, especially if you live on a budget, but I think it's important to be reminded. Great post!
~Margaret

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Amen,sister. What a great and timely post. We are literally drowning in "stuff"...which we don't need. Better to buy one or two things of beauty, then ten plastic thingies.

xo Lidy

Lisa & Alfie at The Pickled Hutch said...

It just makes sense doesn't it? Thanks for being our megaphone as it bears repeating over and over and over. We small businesses are there for you. Please be there for us so we can keep the unique character in our neighborhoods and in our lives.
Lisa & Alfie

Fete et Fleur said...

I so agree with you! Thank you for writing this post. Happy 50th!!

Hugs! Nancy

Carrie Sommer said...

I completely agree, and always try to support the small businesses in my neighborhood. After all, I want them to do the same for me!

Dori said...

Amen, Amen! Such a good post! If we could just encourage people to slow down and to be thoughtful with their purchases. It's okay to enjoy the hunt, to buy the best you can afford, or that which you really need or truly love. Less can be, so much more.

Dori said...

Amen, Amen! Such a good post! If we could just encourage people to slow down and to be thoughtful with their purchases. It's okay to enjoy the hunt, to buy the best you can afford, or that which you really need or truly love. Less can be, so much more.

Jenn said...

Hi there! I found you through Feather Your Nest's blog. Hooray, Hooray for this post! Just lovely and so well said:) xoxo...jenn

Decorina said...

You are absolutely right.

When I drove a big truck I had to occasionally park in a WalMart parking lot. Those things have limits when you're looking for a parking space. I never went in the store because I loathe them and totally agree that their "low prices" cost far too much.

Thanks for your comment on my "W" post.

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