It's simple really, if there was no you, there would be no us! As we come up on another Holiday season, and see so many familiar faces choosing to invest in their community and do their Holiday shopping locally we are filled with Gratitude. Capital G. We are a result of the love and support we have from our community. It means so much to us! And we found out it means a lot to you too!
To celebrate Small Business Saturday, we wanted to share what our staff and some of our customers had to say about supporting small, local businesses. We asked why supporting local was important to them and their community, find out what they had to say below!
"From one small business to you... Thank you!
When I first started the shop as a side project six years ago, I had no idea that it would lead to where we are today, or that small business would eventually become a completely new career that I'd love so much. Running a business can be like a roller coaster ride, but when you can work alongside other businesses in the community, and give back in even a small way, it's a feeling that can't be beat and is worth the work, ten fold!
Of all the roles that come with the job, one of my favourites is supporting other entrepreneurs as they realize their own small business dreams. There's a quote that sums up perfectly the importance of supporting these small handmade businesses and makers, and is hard to forget once read.
"When you buy small, local, and handmade, you are buying more than just an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experimentation. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration, and moments of pure joy. You aren't just buying a thing. You are buying a piece of a heart, a part of a soul, and a moment of someone's life. Most importantly, you're buying that person more time to do what they are passionate about."
From the hobbyist makers to the ladies toeing the road to full-time solopreneurship, our vendors at LQ are a talented and inspirational bunch, and nothing is more fulfilling than to see their blood, sweat and tears come to fruition and to see their businesses grow year after year. Sassy cards, hand-chiseled earrings, hilarious socks and more, these unique items made by single individuals bring personality, fun, and beauty into the shop and have become some of your favourite products.
Small businesses infuse flavour and character into our communities, and are important breeding grounds for creativity and innovation. Money stays where it is spent, directly benefiting these families and allowing them to diversify and expand in even more ways to serve our community. Supporting local helps boost multiculturalism and tourism, and makes our town a more interesting place to live.
I'd be remiss to write about Small Business Saturday and not mention our raison d'etre: our customers. We continue to be because of you, so thank you! We appreciate you supporting us every day, and your patronage does not go unnoticed. You often hear of the challenges of running a small business, but not often enough of the many more positive moments, like when you, our customers, become more like friends, when you go out of your way to shop local, or when you just pop in to say hi or lend a hand in any way you can. It really does take a village, and we're lucky to have the best villagers around. :)
Thanks as well to the wonderful ladies I've had the pleasure of having as staff over the years who also believe in this little venture, and of course, family and friends, the unsung heroes and backbone of every small business.
Thanks for shopping small, and see you soon!"
-Meghan Finney, Owner, North Sydney, NS
"For me, Small Business has always been important. This Island we live on is so important to me, and the best and easiest way I can support that is to support Small Business. Working within a Small Business, has been a life changer for me. Here I'm a valued cog in the engine, that drives this whole machine. And after having experienced working Big Business retail for many years, the change was so refreshing. Here I get to be me. Not just a number on a pay stub. I get to serve the people of this community on a personal level, and I get to share positively in their shopping experience. It's not just the exchange of currency for product. Small time it's the building of relationships. The Buyer and Seller become part of each other's World, each a part of the other's community. And there is something so special and magical about that.
In recent years having started my own Tiny little knit business my understanding and appreciation for the support we have in this community for local businesses and makers has grown ten fold. I put a lot of care and love into my knits, and there's nothing better than seeing people enjoying their items as much as I enjoyed making them. I've only been selling them publicly for around three years, but already I am getting to know my customers. It's a thrill to see familiar faces year after year. There's magic there. So much magic in knowing that you're out there trying to do this Dream thing, and you have so many people out there lifting you up. Pure Magic."
-Faith Farrell, Staff, Marion Bridge, NS
"For me supporting small, local businesses means giving back to the community in which I grew up in and where I have decided to plant my roots. It means helping this old town of North Sydney and our entire Island to continue to prosper and flourish. It means providing jobs for individuals and encouraging others to come back home. It means working together to enrich our community's well-being. It means creating a community full of unique, diverse and exciting businesses. Most importantly, it means pride, determination and seeking success for this little ol'place I call home."
-Melissa MacGillvary, Staff, North Sydney, NS
"Why is shopping local important to me? The list is so long! To be brief however, shopping local means supporting my friends, my family, and most importantly my home. When I buy local, I don't only get the amazing product, that they put their heart and soul into making for me (because trust me, I have not come across a local vendor who hasn't lit up while explaining to me what they're selling, and I try not to miss a craft show) but I also gain a friendship. I feel like I know them personally. "How is your product treating you?" and "Oh! I remember you from last year, how are you?" are just two things you commonly hear at places like craft shows, Christmas markets, and small time local businesses. They remember their customers. welcome new ones, and genuinely care about that customer's satisfaction. We often lose that when buying from big corporations.
Also, why is it important to my community? It means more people can stay at home on our tiny island! Build their families, their homes, and follow their dreams. It is an awesome feeling to know exactly where your money is going when you buy a quality product from a local vendor. Back to the community! Supporting local, is supporting each other!"
-Stephanie Walzak, Halifax, NS
"When I get the call (that email announcing a flash sale), I make a b-line to that big box store, as I'm sure many of us do. But, I like to create a look that is my own. Buying from local vendors allows me to mix unique items-like a pair of cheeky socks with curse words I would never (not) say out loud, or a floral print dress I know I won't see anyone else wearing at a wedding- with big box classics to achieve a look that is distinctly mine. Plus, when I buy local, I know I'm supporting the local economy, strengthening the community's identity, and supporting sustainability!"
-Julianne Fitzgerald, Halifax, NS
"I have always had a strong sense of community and I believe it is so important for personal growth to feel like we are a part of something bigger. Shopping local and small business is important to me because I believe these creative entrepreneurs are essential to a vibrant community. Not only do I value my shopping experience locally, as the customer service is usually second to none, I also appreciate their passion for their products, and their small business sense. It is as though each product was carefully selected and placed with their customers in mind.
The economic benefits of supporting small business can be seen throughout the community, as the more money we spend locally, the more money that is recirculated locally. I also believe the more we support these small businesses the more they can support others by providing by providing job opportunities for or neighbors - adding to the personalized experience we feel while shopping local. I have always enjoyed my shopping experience, feeling as though I am known and cared for and not just another wallet walking through the door. Making others feel good, valued, and appreciated can go a long way in building a strong sense of community. Supporting others in their endeavors as they attain their goals and accomplishments is also an added perk - you can feel good about spending money - buyer's remorse be gone!"
-Sarah Farrow, Sydney River, NS
"Coming from the small town of Mahone Bay, if we didn't have small businesses, we'd have nothing! Not only does it provide employment and strengthens our local economy, it encourages entrepreneurship. By shopping local, you are supporting people who live in your community, but you are also encouraging people to pursue their dreams! No small business that I've ever known has started with a business plan of "I really don't like animals, I think I'm going to open a pet shop!" They do business with what they are passionate about! How incredible is it, that by shopping local, you are helping people choose happiness, and take a risk on their dreams!"
-Chloe Zinck, Sydney, NS
"I love shopping locally and supporting our amazing community for so many reasons. Within the past few years, I've become much more aware of the impact it can have when we purchase within our community-whether that be by supporting a local farmer, or purchasing from a local retailer. The talent from artisans in Nova Scotia is genuinely mind-blowing; I sincerely don't feel a need to search far and wide for special items anymore. One of the biggest reasons I choose to support small business is simply to help them to continue living their passion and purpose. It lights me up to see people who have taken a chance in order to fulfill their dreams, so that's a win-win! "
-Tara Forgeron, Halifax, NS
"I love to shop, I especially love shopping locally. I enjoy the experience of going out, exploring our Island and coming back with goodies to remind me of the fun I had doing so. As someone who has lived away and was fortunate enough to be able to move back home, it's great to see so many amazing businesses popping up. As Cape Bretoners we need to get out there and support this. It's so important for us to do our part in helping these local businesses/entrepreneurs flourish! Give them and our Island the love it needs to keep growing!"
-Ashley MacEachren, Howie Center, NS
" As a shopper I am always on the lookout for that unique find. That item that offers the quality and craftsmanship I'm looking for a gift or in my own personal use. As a Cape Bretoner I am thrilled to find many of my items locally. I see young entrepreneurs taking the risk of remaining at Home, contributing to and maintaining our economy and culture. These businesses, the future of our Island, are truly deserving of our support and that is why I will continue to shop and support local business."
-Leah Harris, Halifax, NS
"Why do I shop local? The real question should be, why not?! There is no better feeling for me than being able to support a local business especially on my beloved island of Cape Breton. Visiting La Quaintrelle quickly became one of my favorite things to do whenever I am home from Halifax. I mean, it is pretty easy to fall in love with this quaint shop full of unique pieces as well as the friendly owner and staff. With more and more large companies invading our province with their generic merchandise I can only imagine how difficult it is as a small business owner to continue to thrive, especially in my hometown of North Sydney.
For the second year in a row I am shopping local for all Christmas presents, which will definitely include pieces from La Quaintrelle and I challenge others to do the same. Purchasing from a local business makes you feel like you are actually contributing to someone's success and helping them fulfill their dream and for me this is a great bonus from just doing one of my favorite things, shopping!"
- Heather Jenkins-Gouthro, Halifax, N.S.
"For me personally, shopping local provides the opportunity to purchase unique products that you do not find in big box stores. It helps support our local community and fosters the building of relationships with entrepreneurs who have a vested interest in the success of our community. The friendly personalized customer service is a bonus and is always at the top of my list as to why we should support small business.
Shopping local is important for everyone and to me especially, because it links me to my past and stirs up many happy childhood memories with my family. I know first hand how a local business affects the lives of people involved within their community. I am proud to say my paternal grandfather had a furniture store in my community when I was a child and people would often stop members of my family and tell stories of how they still have some of their most favourite pieces and have passed them on to their children because of the amazing quality of furniture found at my Grandfather’s store. I can relate to how they feel because I still have my very first bedroom set that came from his store. It always filled me with such pride when stopped countless times, as a little girl with my mom, and how people shared stories of how my family opened the dairy for someone who needed milk or at the family hardware store to get parts to fix something on a Sunday or over the holidays. You see, I’m one of the lucky ones to have had family on both sides who were entrepreneurs and small business owners who worked tirelessly towards building a better community and I’ve witnessed first hand how it enriches all of our lives in the process."
-Gena MacLean, George's River, NS