With the recent rash of “Occupy” this city and that, it occurred to me that we are going about this all wrong. Often an “attack” from the inside is the most effective rather than an intimidating presence strewn about busy streets, why not take a more skillful approach and simply stop supporting Wall Street. The way to achieve this would be to avoid purchasing from any of these big conglomerate shareholding companies. People say, “well it costs more to buy local” but then complain about big companies like Walmart who come in to the communities and push out the independently owned businesses. Well, my answer to that is that you simply cannot have it both ways. Over the past two years, developing a skill that people pay money for, my Pet Portraits and Custom Art pieces, has enabled me to trade my skill for the skill of another local business or service. I have swapped paintings recently for a fantastic haircut and color, towards the purchase of our miniature dachshund, Lucy, I even had the option to paint in exchange for the fees of the Justice of the Peace we used this past summer. Also, if you do not wish to have large soul sucking corporations move in to your neighborhood and take over, you have to support local business. Why not drive a little further to Dave’s off Main St in Dartmouth Daves Produce or Avery’s in Sackville for some fresh local produce. Most of which is actually less expensive than the produce at the grocery stores. The majority of their selection is organic as well. Instead of buying pet products and food from the chain franchise stores, check out one of the local pet stores that offer a variety of products, locally like Global Pet Foods They offer a wide variety of top brand foods and organic treats. The next time you want a cake made, instead of going to Sobey’s or Dairy Queen for their bowel busting ice cream cake, go on Kijiji. Find someone local who relies on this as a part of their income. You’d be suprised at what services people offer on there and often a fraction of the cost then some of the more publicized service providers. Instead of going to the Mall to kick around and buy stuff, why not check out some of the local shops. Not just in Halifax but Dartmouth as well has many charming, locally owned business especially in the old downtown core. Check out the website Downtown Dartmouth to see what’s offered. In Halifax we have the introduction of the city’s first Merchant Co op- Plan B Plan B Halifaxwhich offers a variety of merchants 7 days a week!
I find another difference between shopping from a local merchant as opposed to a department store or franchise operation, is the level of customer service and rapport. It’s more personal. You have someone who is passionate about what they sell to make it their livelihood, as opposed to simply being “run up” by casual college student earning minimum wage staring blankly ahead at a plastic bag while they fill it with whatever it is they just scanned.. Local businesses will often go the extra mile to ensure a satisfied customer relying heavily on the “word of mouth” experience.
So you see, the answer does not lie in lying around already crowded streets intimidating people who are simply stuck in the never ending Consumer-driven, credit based society, smelling bad. The answer lies in taking the money from the hands of the dirty… well, I’m just going to go ahead and say it, the dirty bastards who are running this planet. It means sacrifices on our part to effect change. It means not only supporting the local merchants but maybe putting less of an importance on material items. We need to stop being so over consumed with the notion of “having stuff”. We can support each other, we can take the money from the hands of the ridiculously rich and spread it around so that we will all prosper. I am including a list of local businesses and websites (if available) that should be checked out and or supported. The power DOES lie in our hands, but it will take work and effort on all our parts.
Live Graciously, Live Humbly, Be Charitable.
Downtown Halifax Bus. Directory
Also, the next time you need a Photographer, check out: She does lovely Pet photos and family candids at a beautiful little set up at her home in Sackville – Sharon OHearns Candid Photography OR Check out Sambino’s photography. She came to our location & took our lovely wedding photos at a great cost.. Sambino’s Photgraphy
Looking for a unique gift idea? Check out my friend Valerie’s “Feather Hair Extensions and More” She designs the cutest hair pieces and earrings that I see people sporting more and more. <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Feather-Hair-Extensions-and-More/161266740631639?ref=ts“>Feather Hair Accessories & More
Looking for a Good Mortgage deal? Don’t go to the bank! They’ll charge more interest and only offer one. The broker shops for the best interest rate only pulling your credit once to check with dozens of lenders. Visit my friend Heidi Chartrand‘s site and let her shop for a mortgage for you! Heidi Chartrand Mortgage Broker
Looking for a pet sitter? One that comes to YOUR home? Let me refer you to my friend, Nicole who started her own business Paws@Home Pet Sitting Nicole is also a certified Veterinary Assistant as well.
Looking for some wickedly priced vinyl? My friend Kevin owns and operates “Black Buffalo Records” Check out his webpage at Black Buffalo Records
Shopping for a cool Tattoo? I can recommend the extremely talented John Nukem, I’ve had 3 tats from him personally- his page is John Nukem Tatto Artist
And myself, I do paintings. I work with acrylics mostly, specializing in pet portraits, music inspired, boudoir and abstract. My page is thusly: Sparky Lee Designs
These are just a few starting points for you all to explore.