As important as voting is, the truth is that we all can make a much bigger difference by voting with our dollars.
This may be a bit off topic, but it totally relates. Just go with me for a second. I was really struck by an article I read by a woman who photoshops models for marketing ads. She admitted to airbrushing away blemishes until the model was barely recognizable as herself anymore. She didn't agree with it, but the main point of her article was this: "They [corporations/brands/Aerie, specifically] did it because they wanted to see if it would sell," says Sarah. "They didn't do it to make a statement. They didn't do it to make people feel good. They wanted to do it to see if it would sell, and it did. So then they kept doing it."
The point I'm trying to get across to you is this:
You have more of a voice in the system than you realize, but it's not from re-posting a political article on Facebook to your echo chamber or casting your ballot at the election, it is by spending your dollars at businesses that you believe in.
Don't agree with corporate welfare? Grocery shop at the Great Basin Food Co-op and skip out on Wal-Mart and McDonald's. Buy your Christmas gifts from local artists like the ones popping up shop at The Nest this year instead of that plastic made in China junk at the big box stores.
Sound too expensive? Not convenient enough? Wahh, wahh. What price are you ultimately paying for cheap goods? Putting your neighbor out of a job that gets outsourced overseas? Forcing the closure of small businesses that can't compete with the buying power of large corporations? When you have no other choice but to buy all of the same crap everyone else has from Wal-Mart because everyone else is out of business, was it really worth saving a few extra bucks? These aphorisms are tired because they are true: You get what you pay for, and nothing worth having comes easy.
This year, in a small but valiant effort to make it convenient to shop local, I’m gathering up some of my favorite local artists to pop up shop every Saturday in December at The Nest.
The amazing artists I will be hosting not only have lovingly created gift items, but they are also some of my favorite people. Chat with the actual makers and you will see that supporting good, kind-hearted people is something to really feel good about!
Another perq of shopping local? Small businesses in general are acutely aware of the importance of spending their dollars locally because our livelihoods depends on others doing the same. Therefore, the money stays in our community much longer because the money gets recycled from small business to small business!
To top it off, I pride myself on The Nest’s decked out hot cocoa bar (with a splash of mint schnapps depending on how stressful your holidays are!) and a cozy, relaxed, holiday-spirited atmosphere. There is no fighting over the last Tickle Me Elmo here!
A partial list of our Saturday pop up shop artisans includes:
Biggest Little Fashion Truck: (Nov. 26th, Dec. 10th, Dec. 17th) Reno's only mobile fashion boutique, bringing you the hottest trends at an affordable price. You won't want to miss this shopping experience!
Casey D. Sibley Art + Design: (Nov. 26th) a Reno-based studio specializing in vibrant artwork for textiles, homegoods, and accessories meant to be used daily and inspire a happy life. Each piece is designed by Casey and made in Nevada.
Boho Gypsy's Treasures: (Nov. 26) hand made, wearable pieces of art including jewelry for the stylish gypsy, bohemian spirit or merfolk.
Moondrop Earth: (Nov. 26th) modern, unique handmade jewelry using different types of metals and gems for everyday wear.
Heathered: (Dec. 17th) eco-friendly wallets for fashionable adventurers from materials that would end up in a landfill; vintage maps, vintage cookbooks, vintage postcards, vintage books, and outdated airline safety cards.
Girl in the Pines Jewelry: (Dec. 17th) a small studio specializing in sterling silver and ethically sourced stones | Handcrafted in Truckee.
So, go out there and vote with your wallet while you're doing your Christmas shopping. If you come and do it here, I will subsidize you with spiked hot cocoa. ;) Happiest of holidays to you all.