How Small Business Saturday Makes You a Better Person

Total Reported Spending at Independent Retailers and Restaurants on Small Business Saturday Tops an Estimated $100 Billion since the Day Was Founded by American Express in 2010 ~ New York (Business Wire).

 

 

 

You may be asking what does an event like Small Business Saturday – which occurred 2 weeks ago, have to do with quilting, sewing or creativity in general?

Actually, there is more in common than you might think. People, like myself, that are driven to create and share that creative spirit are the small business owners that thrive in the entrepreneurial environment SBS was designed to foster and support.

Each year since 2010, the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, (sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday) has been designated as Small Business Saturday. The intent is to generate a renewed interest in small businesses and restaurants while simultaneously helping these local entrepreneurs compete with larger retail outlets for holiday shopping customers.

I’m all for anything that gives any small business an economic boost and I make it a priority to participate and contribute in any way I can. As for me, I love the personal attention you receive in a small business or restaurant and I will choose first to frequent these shops any time of the year.

Small Business Saturday 2019

My goal for next year is to create a quilt fabric road trip” – or, “MyQuiltingSpace Trek – Part 1” and see how many businesses I can visit on this one day. Although my primary intent will be to spend money, this will also serve as an excellent opportunity to discover businesses that are new to me and to meet and network with these inspiring and innovative business owners.

As a tribute to the individuals and their respective businesses who consistently provide me with endless inspiration (and fabric!) my contribution for this year’s event focused on the two stores listed below.

 

My First Stop:

The Quilter’s Station.

 

 

I feel so fortunate to live only 2 miles away from such a wealth of fabric, patterns, notions and expertise.

This one-of-a-kind quilt shop is locally owned by Rita Briner and specializes in primitive fabrics as well as reproduction prints, woolens, flannels, and home spun wool. Walking through the isles viewing bolt after bolt after… of fabric you soon realize this experience is no different from being a kid in a candy store.

Each time I walk through the door I pretty much lose my mind and almost immediately find myself darting off into a myriad of directions. I’m easily drawn to the patterns or woolens sections although my original intent was look for cotton fabric that would pattern and color and coordinate with the fabric swatches in my hand.

Am I the only one that does this? I mean just take a look at the image below…what you’re viewing is just a very small sampling of the eye candy you’ll find when you first walk through the door!

 

 

On this particular Small Business Saturday I was able to remain somewhat focused and with the help of her friendly and knowledgeable staff I was able to locate and choose the exact fabrics I was looking for:

 

 

Stay tuned to see the transformation of these fabrics into something that will warm your heart and soul!

 

Second Stop –

The Missouri Star Quilt Company

I could write a novel on this mercantile wonderland – what I refer to as the “Quilting Mecca of Missouri”. It is actually several stores that occupy a large portion of all available retail space within downtown Hamilton, Missouri. Each of the 14 different quilting shops that encompass the Missouri Star Quilt Co., is decorated and stocked according to a theme. For example, ‘Batiks Boutique’, ‘Man’s Land’ the ‘Machine Shop’ and ‘Penny’s Quilt Shop’.

Should you be interested, you will find doing even a small amount of research on the origins of the MSQC and owner, Jenny Doan to be very worthwhile and inspiring. The connection between the MSQC and JC Penny is also quite interesting.

I never tire of hearing her story.

Traveling to the MSQC is a good 1 hour and 15 minute drive from my home so needless to say it is not a shop I am able to physically frequent too often but the online store is every bit worth a visit. This is how I used the Missouri Star Quilt Co., to contribute to SBS.

The day I discovered the MSQC I subscribed to their daily emails so turning on my computer and opening my email was the most effort I had to make! From my home and the MSQC home page I was able to shop a huge variety of fabrics, patterns, kits and notions. On this day, I was able to make use of the “Daily Deal” and with the offering of free shipping and other freebies I was delivered a box of goodies that made me feel like it was Christmas morning!

Below are fabrics from the Scandi 5 fabric collection by Andover:

 

 

Taking a look at the website earlier today with the hope of making a second purchase makes me more thankful that I bought this fabric bundle when I did as it is now listed as “Sold Out Forever”. Whew! Thank goodness for Small Business Saturday and the Missouri star Quilt Company!

These winter themed fabrics will make a wonderful quilt. I have in mind a couple of patterns I’d like to use with this fabric. As soon as I decide and begin that project I will be posting about that process so stay tuned!

 

So how does spending money at a small business or restaurant make you a better person?

According to BusinessCommerce.com, “The unofficial shopping holiday now has 70% awareness amongst U.S. consumers, with 64% of survey respondents indicating that their primary motivation for shopping on the day after Black Friday was to support their local community.”

Every few months we read where a large powerful company purchases another large company. And then another. The fear of consumers and small business owners alike is the inevitable end result – one or two large oligopolies whose purpose is to seek out other smaller businesses to purchase and control leading to a market monopoly.

Is a retail monopoly really so bad?

A large homogenized behemoth that disregards the value of the individual creative spirit and stifles efforts to facilitate innovation and ingenuity may provide convenience to the masses in the short term but the long term effects can be devastating. Historically, the existence of a lack of diversity within any culture has resulted in the death of many natural entities – species of animal, human and horticultural life to start with.

It is my hope that through the efforts of Small Business Saturday and other entrepreneurial events that the public will take notice and do what we can to preserve these valuable community establishments.

As our communities prosper, then as consumers, we too share in that prosperity.

The skills and talents of local businessmen and women will always need a platform for expression and service. A large, soulless corporation does not allow for this.

When you support any small business on Small Business Saturday as well as every day of the year you become a wiser, happier, more responsible and valuable consumer.

And these attributes are what make each of us a better person.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 thoughts on “How Small Business Saturday Makes You a Better Person

  1. David says:

    First, let me say I think it’s awesome that you and so many quilt. I have quilts made by my grandmother that are 40-50 years old, are still beautiful and very much treasured. Unfortunately, that art form was not carried on through the next couple of generations and is lost in our family. It’s just one of the many things I wish I’d taken the time to learn when I had the chance.
    As for SBS, I’m glad to hear its doing well and sounds like it’s making a difference. I watched many of the small, family owned businesses get swallowed up or driven out by the bigger chains and it was sad to see the personal, neighborly shops go by the wayside. It has been especially devastating in small towns but even in the larger suburbs it was hard to watch them suffer and die. There was a hardware store near my first home, which was about 30 years old at the time. The owner there always knew exactly what I needed when I had to fix something around the house. Between he and his father, they had been there that whole time and knew what kind of plumbing, electrical, etc was in all those homes. Thanks for the article.

    • Susan says:

      Hello David
      Thank you for reading my article and for your thoughtful comment. The knowledge and expertise found in those friendly, neighborhood stores, like the hardware store you described, are(were)such a treasure. Let’s hope our efforts can turn things around and keep our small business alive and well!

  2. Tom says:

    Hi Susan,

    I think it’s awesome that you’re doing what you can to support local and small businesses as much as you can. It’s very easy for people to go directly to big retailers for their products without even realising that a nearby small business can offer the same with a much more personal touch. We should all do more to help!

    • Susan says:

      Hi Tom,

      Thank you so much for your comment!  As much as I love the stores I described in this article I have to admit it is also a struggle to avoid the convenience of a large retail or online outlet.

      You are right, we should all do what we can to help all small businesses!

  3. Pardeap says:

    In a fabric store, it is definitely like being a kid in a candy store.  There’s a locally owned fabric store where I live. Every time I walk in there, I see endless creativity.  You have made an outstanding point on how the large mass producing chain stores  demise the human creative spirit. I think creative expression is what keeps the human brain lubricated.  Without, it becomes rusty and lazy.  Great eye opener article. Diversity will lead to healthy and a happy life.

    • Susan says:

      Hi Pardeap,

      Thank you so much for your comment! It’s always a treat to read responses from thoughtful, like-minded individuals.  There is nothing more inspiring than a well stocked fabric store!

  4. Kenny says:

    Hi and what an interesting post. I see how helping the small business owner is so important in today’s society. Especially with all the competition online and on the high street from big business brands. Certainly I get the feeling that small businesses can give you the impression that they really care and value you your custom, as opposed to the large corporations that see us as only numbers. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts on this topic with us. 

    • Susan says:

      Hi Kenny,

      Thank you so much for your comment!  I feel the more we discuss the needs of small businesses the greater the likelihood of their success.

  5. Strahinja says:

    Hello and thank you for this informative and wonderful article. I really enjoyed reading it. You definitely spent some quality time there. I am glad you were really excited and hopefully, you made some great contacts and inspired yourself to continue with this amazing blog.

    I personally loved the Quilter’s Station. It is very well equiped and as you say, you are indeed blessed to leave nearby this type of factories/shops. This picture looks awesome as well.

    I will definitely bookmark your website.

    Strahinja

    • Susan says:

      Hi Strahinja,

      Thank you so much for your comment and I’m so happy you enjoyed reading this article!  The more time I spend on this blog the more time I want to spend – writing, researching, publishing…

      Stay tuned – there’s more to come!

  6. Vicki says:

    I live in New Zealand amd having one of these Saturday Small business Days would be amazing

    Something I may to consider creating in my town where I live as I feel it could benefit a lot of people having read your post.

    Innovative and helpful to everyone- Thank you for sharing this information and I have bookmarked so i can read it again and again to understand it thoroughly

    Go well and enjoy all 2019 brings

    • Susan says:

      Hi Vicki,

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my article! 

      What is ironic is that the concept of Small Business Saturday started with a large credit corporation – American Express!  It almost warms my heart to know they do recognize that little people and small business also serve a purpose 🙂

      If you were able to start a yearly event like this in your town that would be so amazing!  Network with the right people, do a little marketing and provide a few incentives (all the things we are learning) and it may be easier than you think!

  7. eohia says:

    Well written and Informative post. Now I know about ‘small business Saturday’ . I’ll look forward to the next one.

    Indeed small businesses need all the encouragement they can get to enable them grow.

    By the way, those fabrics you bought are really lovely, I will love to see the finished work..

  8. Neil Brown says:

    It takes people like us to support those small businesses and that, we enjoy doing. The image you supplied of first walking in the door at the Quilters Station looks like something that would blow the minds of my wife and sister, they have a great fondness for creativity with fabrics.

    You have some great imagery in your post and the content is very appealing. I am curious if you have any plans of incorporating any videos to your posts? 

    Something of this nature and with the appeal for color I think would be very eye catching in video.

    Thanks for the post,

    • Susan says:

      Hi Neil,

      Thank you for your comment and for your kind words!  🙂  I realize quilting and sewing isn’t everybody’s thing!

      I do have plans to begin incorporating videos in my posts.  One of my articles that is currently in the works would be so much easier to describe in a video vs. text and images!

  9. mark kabakov says:

    Susan, Hello! Last time I wrote to you about my joy of seeing your art blankets. Now I was struck by your activity. You show a personal example of the possibility of an ordinary person.You are on the road to supporting small businesses, because you want that all businesses to be involved in this powerful SBS movement even in a small area. 

    Small Business Saturday supports everyone, regardless of whether the person is a family business, a local store, an Internet business, a wholesaler, a business service, or a small manufacturer. 

    Your enthusiasm and initiative delight everyone who reads your post. I’ll show it to friends. Thank you. Mark

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