Renee Houston shopped local for Christmas last year and will be doing the same this year. She let the Chamber join her for a shopping day and shared a little about why she decided to shop local for Christmas and the impact it has for her and the community.
Why shop local?
The interview started with a coffee at Common Grounds Cafe in Bolivar. When asked why she decided to shop local last year she said she began noticing that local shops offered a lot of variety and she was tired of spending money outside of Hardeman County.
“I think it’s better to help people I know who I go to church with and people whose kids go to the same school as my kids,” said Renee.
How did it go?
She said her initiative last year to shop local went really well and she intends to do it again this year. Everyone who received her gifts last year enjoyed them and were surprised to learn they were purchased locally.
“It was fun, really,” said Renee.
She said her friend Cissye Pierce joined her last year on Small Business Saturday, a campaign by American Express which is always the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, and she completed most of her Christmas shopping on that day last year.
She mentioned some of her favorite local shops to frequent. For t-shirts and ornaments she likes to visit Shelton’s Flowers & Gifts. For church clothes for herself and her three kids, she likes to shop at Livi Lou’s Men’s and Women’s Apparel. Other favorite shops of hers include Lucky’s Consignments and More, Bill’s Flower & Gifts, and Hatchie River Soapworks. She also bought some gifts from the National Bird Dog Museum Gift Shoppe in Grand Junction where she works.
She’s excited about Hatchie River Soapworks opening a store front in Downtown Bolivar soon. She said she found Hatchie River Soapworks at a pop-up event at Pickwick about two years ago and has been using their soap ever since. Because Hatchie River Soapworks donates to faith-based organizations, Renee is especially happy to purchase their products.
“If you’re shopping with somebody who is putting money into what you believe, that means something,” said Renee.
What about this year?
Renee said this year she also has plans to shop with local people who sell custom items either online or as pop-up shops, such as Barefoot Denim, which specializes in handmade canned goods and more, and Take It Personal by Rachel Jeter, which creates whimsical, unique home decor items like door hangers and ornaments.
She is especially excited to shop at Hope Holiday Mart coming up December 6-7 at the National Guard Armory in Bolivar.
To further support local businesses she intends to include a business card in her gifts letting her friends and family know where the gift was purchased.
Renee said as long as she is shopping local for Christmas she intends to participate in #ShopHardeman Hashtag & Photo Contest which will be November 29 – December 12. Shop at any business in Hardeman County, post about it on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #ShopHardeman and be entered in a drawing for a Grand Prize worth $500. There are also details on how to double your chances to win with each post. Check out the Facebook event for all the details. The contest is sponsored by Hardeman County Chamber of Commerce.
Many local shops are having Christmas Open Houses starting this week and the Chamber invites you to use the link http://bit.do/hardemanholidays to see all the holiday events on the Community Calendar for Hardeman County.