Relaxing comfortably in a recliner in the home she was born in 100 years ago and has lived in all her life, she was remembering the time when she was little and would visit her father’s store. “They called me the ‘candy tester,’” she joked, “because I liked to try out all the candy.”
Hi. The name’s Boone. Aka: The Boone, the Boonester, Git-outta-there, Comeer, and, well, a few other things. I am the pup reporter bringing you the news of the Snoqualmie Valley events from my point of view … nine inches from the ground. The gritty behind the scenes stories that only a working stiff trying to make an honest nickel can fetch you … oh, you get the idea.
I moved to Duvall over 20 years ago. At that time, my husband and I both worked in Redmond. We were in the habit of shopping close to where we worked, so even after we moved to Duvall, we continued to shop in Redmond and Woodinville.
One weekend, a year or so after we moved to Duvall, I was short on time and needed a gift for a birthday party. Since I didn’t have time to drive “out of town” I decided to shop locally. I honestly don’t remember what store I went into, but I remember finding exactly what I was looking for, in a local business I had never been in before. I chatted with the owner while she was ringing up my purchase. She was so grateful that I had shopped in her store. After I purchased my gift, she told me I had been her ONLY customer that day and she had been open for several hours. Something resonated with me that day. I made the connection that every local business has a local business owner, many of whom have families they are trying to support. From that day forward I made a concerted effort to shop locally.
Before I started shopping local, I would leave my house, drive directly to either Redmond or Woodinville, completely bypassing Duvall altogether. After I started shopping local, I would purposely try to find whatever I needed locally, BEFORE I left Duvall. Sometimes I wouldn’t find exactly what I had in mind; usually I found something I liked even more. Sometimes you have to be a little creative when you shop locally.
The more I stores I shopped in, the more business owners I met. I also met a lot of their families. Now whenever I think about heading out of town to shop, I think about the store owners and wonder how their business is doing. Are they making their sales for the month? Are they able to pay their bills? I know by shopping locally, I am making a difference in my community, by spending my money where I live.
Several years ago, when I first started my Shop & Dine Local campaign, I decided to do a give-away via Duvall Random Acts of Kindness. I encouraged people to try new businesses and whoever tried the most new businesses in a certain time frame, won a prize. The response was very positive except for one individual who questioned WHY I was spending SO much time trying to help local businesses. She told me that if I wanted to make a difference in this world, I should try and solve world hunger. I told her that I needed to focus on something that was right in my own backyard and that I felt I WAS “making a difference” in the world, one small business at a time. I still feel that way.
I am truly passionate about shopping and dining locally and supporting small local businesses. I encourage you to explore Duvall or whatever small town you live in. Make a point to meet local business owners. If you connect with them personally, the next time you start to head to a large department store or chain restaurant to shop or dine, you will hopefully do what I do.
Do the small businesses in Duvall, or other small towns, have every single thing you will ever need – absolutely not. There are times when you will have no alternative but to shop at larger specialty stores. Just remember that small, local businesses have a lot to offer, if you just take the time to discover what they have. Shopping local should be the first option, not the last. If you like the small local businesses you see lining your streets, then support them by shopping & dining locally. After you read this article, take a moment to check out my community Facebook page, Shop & Dine Local. There are countless pictures and posts about Duvall and Carnation businesses. You are sure to discover a new local business. As you shop this year for Christmas gifts, I hope that this article will come to mind and that you will make a special effort to support small, local businesses, by shopping and dining local. Have fun discovering new local businesses!
One stop shopping is the way to go for all your gift giving needs. Stop by the annual Holiday Bazaar and Craft Fair on Saturday, Dec.13 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Find handmade crafts galore! Support your local community crafters and find great, well-made gifts for your loved ones. We will have coffee, hot cocoa and a bake sale all day long. We will also offer lunch. Vendors will be selling everything from scarves, to wooden toys to pottery, cards, decorations, and so much more.
As always there will be a raffle onsite. Join us for a wonderful shopping experience full of holiday cheer.
All this at the East County Senior Center located at 276 Sky River Parkway, Monroe, across from the Boys & Girls Club and the Sky Valley Food Bank. For questions or more information, call (360) 794-6359.