Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shop local

I just heard a crazy statistic. For every $1 spent at a local store, 45% goes back to the community compared to 14% from big box stores and 0% from online stores. I guess it's not really that crazy. It makes perfect sense when you think about it. The numbers just make it hit home to me.
My favorite art supply store here in Birmingham is Forstall Art Center. Everyone who works there is truly knowledgeable and helpful. Plus I never feel like they're trying to sell me on things I don't need. Alabama Art Supply is another great one here in town with an equally knowledgeable and friendly staff. I've found that the prices at both these places are competitive with big box stores (like the one that starts with an M and the one with the initials HL) and actually have a better selection.
The fact that 0% goes back to the community from online stores is really major to me. What a huge impact it could have if we all shopped locally! Admittedly, the online stores can be cheaper and as artists you probably don't have tons of loose change, but even buying some of your supplies locally can make a difference. And just think, you as an artist are a local business, in a way. Support the community and it will come back around.

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