Thursday, November 7, 2013

Main Street U.S.A.

                                                  The days before Walmart...
For many of us, that's hard to remember. But once upon a time, small-town businesses were owned by individuals not corporations, and those businesses were supported by faithful, local patrons. Those patrons purchased items from individually-owned hardware stores, pharmacies, clothing and shoe stores, grocery stores, barber shops, gas stations, and auto mechanics.
People helping people.
Quality customer service with a smile.
Bonding the community.
No Walmart.
Contrary to how it sounds, I didn't write this post to bash Walmart. I shop at Walmart when I have to. And there are many large corporations out there other than Walmart. I'm just using them as an example. I admit, it's convenient to have one store where I can purchase everything in one stop and be on my way. But for me, who loves all things nostalgic, it's sickening to see small towns turn into ghost towns--historic building upon building, vacant and disintegrating. Oh, the stories they could tell...
Anyway, I want to share with you my experience this past weekend in the historic district of Franklin, Indiana, where individually-owned businesses are dedicated to helping consumers and the economy.
Tracey Wade, owner of Simplify--All Things Country by Tracey, invited me to attend Franklin's holiday shopping kickoff for an author "Meet n Greet" and book signing. Her store is located in the old train depot where she offers handmade goods crafted by local citizens.

Her passion lies in supporting and promoting local artistry. Each artist has their own unique story of how their business began and why they create. I loved watching Tracey's excitement and genuine warmth as she shared some of these stories with me.

Simplify--All Things Country by Tracey
One such story was about a retired veteran and his wife who were on the brink of losing their home. In one last attempt to save it, they began crafting items from their home and managed to save their mortgage.
People helping people.

Tracey (right) and her mother Beth,
who helps run the store and teaches
"how-to" classes.
The pottery in the background is made
by Jennifer Mrozinski of "Fatty Frog Pots"
available at Simplify or
100% natural soy candles by Linda's Lites.
Purchase at Simplify or at
Crafts offered by Simplify

A huge thank you from the bottom of my heart goes out to Tracey for having me at her store. She helped me spread the word about my debut e-novella Bright Copper Kettles (releasing December 1st), which will put a clean romance with a faith-based Christmas message into the hands of someone who might need it this holiday season. Thank you for supporting my passion.
I know the economy is in the dumpster and money is tight. But as you do your holiday shopping this year, I encourage you to check out your local, individually-owned stores. You'll not only help your local economy, but you might also help save someones mortgage or help them pay off medical bills from an illness such as cancer. You never know...
In the words of Alan Jackson, "God bless the little man."

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