27
Nov
10

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday. Holidays are Here. by Rachel Lang

Yesterday, I bought into the Black Friday madness and spent all day shopping. I started at the Beverly Center here in LA, rushing through Bloomingdales, on to Dolce & Gabana, Diesel, Macys, and H&M. I followed crowds through Steve Madden and into Traffic to find gifts for my family members and friends.

But after a long morning of shopping, I left with one small bag with a fuzzy aviator hat and jacket for my nephew (sorry, Joe, now you know what I got Henry).  The truth is I couldn’t do it.  I have been redirected by a new moral compass.  There was something slightly sick about everyone rushing to get the same deals on the same clothes…as everyone else. And most people were looking (not buying) to see what they would later search for online.

Everything is mass-marketed, mass-produced, fast-fashion made to last a season until the trend dies and something new makes its way to the mainstream.  And I didn’t want to buy for the sake of buying. Plus, with sample sale and fire sale sites, I know that I can go online and buy the same things for fractions of the retail costs.  Shopping is just a different experience now than it has been in the past.

I left Beverly Center exhausted and strangely centered.  I stopped at my local coffee house and recharged with a hot tea.  Then, on the way home, I decided to stop at a small, locally-owned boutique with custom-designed clothing from a local designer.  This store did not have any major Black Friday sales or fighting crowds. Rather, there was one salesman who insisted on showing me things I would love made by local artists. He took time to make sure I found exactly what I would love. I had so much fun and felt like I had purchased true luxury items because I know they are one-of-a-kind.

I am fortunate to live in a shopping paradise, with a plethora of local boutiques and designers. I realize not everyone has this privilege. The good news is that shopping small businesses is easy with the Internet!

It’s easy to fall into the collective subconscious when it comes to holiday shopping.  Who doesn’t love a good sale?

Today is Small Business Saturday. So, I encourage you to find a small business with an independent spirit and shop! If you need some suggestions, try Project Artisan!

So, little Henry may get a mass-produced aviator hat and jacket (because, well…they’re sooo cute!), but everyone else on my list is going to get ethical luxury. My moral compass has turned a different direction, and I don’t think I’m any different from most.  I think this is a turn for the better.

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