Thursday, November 17, 2011

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Sarah, Becky, Carla, Mary, Mamafitz, Katherine, Gwen and Linda for talking back to my confession last week! I admitted that I don’t consciously shop the independents for my sewing supplies (patterns, fabric, notions, etc.) and asked about other people’s shopping habits.

I got some really thoughtful replies, but before I delve into the philosophies, let me summarize the more factual bits of the comments.

On the main question, we got a pretty big spread, with a definite skew towards the positive.

Well, we didn’t get the FULL range of possible answers… No one is actually opposed to shopping at small businesses. ;)

But we did have everything from one person who hasn’t been consciously trying to support small businesses to one person who will go so far as to buy things she doesn’t need, just to support her local independent shops. Most people fell in between, with an estimate of 50-50 (big chain purchases versus small indy purchases) from one commenter, an “I’ve been trying more lately” vote, a “whenever I can” vote and 2 solid “yes” votes.

The main “why not more often?” reason given was, not surprisingly, lack of accessibility (called out by 3 people).

On the other hand, I hadn’t anticipated the “why should you?” reason given by Katherine. I was thinking that supporting individuals is just a good thing to do. But she pointed out that it also benefits all of us in the long run, because it is the only way we ensure that we will have choices in the future! If we all shop 100% of the time at one or two big chains, before you know it, those will be the only stores in business… Wow, that’s a good point!

One last listy-bit – here are the indy companies and indy stores that were specifically called out:

Sewaholic patterns

A Fashionable Stitch


Colette book & patterns

Whip Stitch

Needle Nook

Gorgeous Fabrics

Hot Patterns

Sew Thankful


Now, on to the philosophy…

Sarah pointed out that sewing in-and-of-itself is already moving away from the buy-cheap-mass-produced-goods-at-a-big-box-store mentality. Even if we buy our fabric at Joann’s, we are still supporting the notions of individual expression, creativity, and skill.

And three people advocated buying less altogether, and focusing on “shopping” from your own stash of fabrics and patterns. I think it’s worth reading the original comments on these points – you can find them here. :)

Thank you again, to everyone who took the time to write such thoughtful replies! You’ve given me a lot to think about… :)