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Why should I shop local?

Why do I care so much about shopping local? Does it really matter where our dollars are spent?

Like everyone else, I love the convenience of online shopping. I'm certainly no stranger to big box stores and Amazon Prime. I'm also a very hard-to-fit size so generally clothes shopping for me happens online. Not only am I exceptionally tall, but I'm also plus size. My best bet is always to find something in extended sizes online and generally I LOVE Old Navy for this!

I made an order about a month ago and a week later it shipped, May 31st. Since then the package hasn't moved. We're closing in on 3 weeks with no UPS pickup and no updates so I figured why not follow up? Maybe the package has been lost, who knows!

I'm a Millennial, I sent an email. Auto-response. Dear "valued customer" it starts.

email response from old navy saying they are too busy to respond and directing me to call their customer service numberOkay, you're too busy to get to emails. Well shit you must have a lot going on! I guess I'll call that 1-800 number to see what's up. 

screenshot of phone call showing 3 hours and 4 minutes have elapsed

I took this screenshot just before I hung up. 3 hours, 4 minutes. That's how long I waited on hold to try to figure out where my package has been. After all, it said it shipped on May 31st. "Valued Customer".

The reason I hung up was obviously because 3 hours on hold is exhausting, but also because I had gotten to Tomme Cheese shop in downtown Guelph. I had made an order the previous week and picked my pickup date. That morning I got this email. 

email from tomme cheese shop that my order is ready to collect

I can't think of a more exciting email than "your cheese is ready!"

I waited in the designated spot outside the shop and collected my order in about 3 minutes. This got me thinking about other experiences of shopping local I had had over the past week. 

The previous day I placed an order with Royal City Brewing. They offer same day delivery in Guelph when you order before their deadline.

royal city brewing order confirmation

I was a few minutes past this when ordering so wasn't holding my breath but added a note asking if same day delivery could be possible. Colour me surprised when their driver came within 3 hours! 

That's all well and fine right - apples to oranges. After all I'm talking about a clothing store vs a cheese shop and brewery. Well lucky me I also did some shopping with Artisanal Design Co in Kitchener! Look.. it's a pandemic, I told you I'm doing a lot of online shopping!

Danielle is not only one of my favourite people. but an amazing store owner who cares deeply about her customers! I messaged her to arrange pickup of my order and received a response in minutes. Talk about customer service!

artisanal design co instagram message arranging order pickup

Every local shopping opportunity I've had has been similar to this. It feels so good to support small businesses run by people in my community! I'm not saying I'll never shop on Amazon again but I will look local first.

A little bit of effort on my part has actually resulted in much more convenient shopping and delivery than the convenience of online big box stores.

What local shops have you been supporting?