Friday, January 8, 2010

I like local

I've been bored for the last few years.  Food choices, retail shopping choices, entertainment options.  All those categories I have started to grow tired of going to the same god damn place.  If we can't decide on a good restaurant to go out to, we go to Fridays.  It's good, but I'm bored.  If we can't find it at Wal-Mart or Target, we don't seem to buy it.  If it's not playing at a local regal cinemas, it seems that we don't go. 

This is plaguing Cleveland.  I think we do things because it's what we have always done. 

This Christmas season, inspired by Chef's Widow, I focused not on getting great gifts for my wife, but getting great gifts for the wife you can't get anywhere else BUT Cleveland. 

I got the wife a couple scarfs from Proper Tea for Christmas.  Proper Tea is a locally owned and operated clothing company by Danielle DiBenedetto.  When I first heard of Proper Tea it was on a local morning show.  It was impressed and ever since I was on a mission to get the wife some scarfs.  The only down side is that they were hard to get.  She, at the time, did not have an online store [now she does] so I was boutique hopping.  I finally got my hands on both scarfs this Christmas when she set up a temporary boutique in the same outdoor shopping mall I work in.  I met her and happily plunked down my cash for them.  She also sold me another gift for the wife.  A long shirt, or dress depending on how tall you are.  I was nervous about that, but my wife has a good eye for design and she also loved it.

A customer of mine had a unique purse.  It was a cigar box with a handle.  It was awesome.  I asked her where she bought it, thinking my wife, a purse freak, would love one.  She said she made it.  I asked her if she sold them and she said, "thought never crossed my mind until now."  Three days after our encounter, she walked in with 2 purses to show the wife.  I bought them both.

People who open stores locally, I need to help them.  Their wares are usually just as good as what you would buy in the store.  Why not buy from your neighbor if you can?

2009 was hard for many people.  There are those who have lost their jobs, like my friend Kasey, or like my Mom, but both are not sitting around feeling sorry for themselves.  Kasey started a blog and is trying to make her own destiny rather than waiting for it to come to her, and my mom is doing the same thing.


My mom makes jewelry.  She is what I was call a jewelry freak.  She has a jewelry safe bigger than most jewelers.  If she cannot find what she wants, she makes it.  Well after her recent job loss, she turned to her craft to pass the time between checking e-mails and making phone calls.  After 3 days we had tons of jewelry.  Why not sell it?  She always has gifted these pieces off to family, but now that she has so much invested into her jewelry, it doesn't make sense to give it away.  So she has turned to sell it.  If you care to check it out, she has 6 item for sale in her Etsy store.  She sold one within a week of opening, so let's hope this is the beginning of a new path for my mom. 

I like buying local now.  A whole new world has opened up for me in Cleveland.  From drab boring Midwest city to culinary mecca of the Midwest, Cleveland is transforming in front of my eyes.  Cleveland has more little boutiques than I can mention, and so many great places to dine. 

Now if only the Browns could get their shit together and resign Cribbs to a respectable deal, and the Cavs keep LeBron after we win the NBA Championship.

5 comments:

Mr. B said...

There is nothing quite as fun as walking into a restaurant and not having to order, because they already know what you want. At a local Chinese restaurant, my wife and I will occasionally meet for lunch and always order "The Special". Now they don't even ask, they just bring it to us. You won't get that for a big corporate entity; only from small local shops.

Just Jules said...

oh look Mr B was here! Love him. anyway...
ok
I totally agree (enough to use the word totally gahhh) Why give your top dollar to a corporate know it all who controls their heat out of Kansas while there is a snowstorm in Minnesota and we are all freezing?

These products are usually much better made and for sure far more original. Well done dear. (as always)

Leah said...

Thanks Adam for the shout out for my jewelry creations! I need to get some more of them posted. Can you include the web address in your blog?

I have a comment that goes back to your ripped pants blog. I know how much you love cooking and you're a foody and love good restaurants, but you have my genes and that's why you ripped your pants. Be careful! A moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips! Its a curse!

Julie said...

Question, does proper tea have a store or just on on-line store? just curious, I've seen their stuff and I love it but would like to be-able to go to a store. (you like how I'm commenting on a post from last month? I'm a blogger fail!)

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