Saturday, December 17, 2011

An Unexpected Gift

Saturday I snuck away from the winery for a few hours of shopping in my home communities of Sequim and Port Angeles.

I was feeling overwhelmed with the quintessential “Holiday Pressures” & a long list of “got-to do’s.” Yet in each store I was greeted with warm smiles (hugs in some cases), offers to help, relaxed atmospheres, friends chatting (sharing ideas for a grandma in need). The list goes on. I could actually even hear the Christmas music.

Obviously, as a small business owner shopping local is near and dear to my heart. Usually I’m on the other side of the counter (behind our bar, in my case) greeting customers with a focus on my guests.

Now I was on the ‘receiving end’ and it was an incredible experience.

I found the gift selections unique and abundant. While small businesses may not have large inventories, each item had been personally chosen by the owner for their store. And with each store visited, I found myself getting more festive and also a bit more thoughtful.

I’m formally from Dallas, and believe me, I know my way around Malls. Trying to make your way through one is like trying to cross a NYC street at 5PM. Hesitate and you’re nudged not so kindly out of the way.

But “Local Shopping” was a gift to me personally. As a “customer” I got way more than what I bought. I was given the “Gift of the Christmas Spirit.”

Finally, I realized I had a story to tell about each purchase… with every gift having a connection not just a credit card receipt. As my family opens these I can tell them about the shop, the people that own it, where it was located and the history.

A big thank you to our business community (and to the joy of shopping local).

Kathy Charlton
Olympic Cellars Winery

Choose Local Campaign - City of Port Angeles, Graphic Design & logo by Laurel Black Design

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