We often hear people say, “Shop local,” but what does that really mean? What’s in it for me? Well, I am here to tell you it’s not all about you, it’s about community and so much more!

Derek and I recently took on the task of having our very small, only upstairs bathroom remodeled. We decided to hire it out instead of tackling this project ourselves, because in Derek’s words, “We wanted this done in three weeks, not three months!” Hey, bathrooms are important, arguably the most important room in the house, and we wanted it done quick!

We also made the decision to shop local for most of the materials and people needed for this project. And you know what? It was one of the best decisions we’ve made. Now, did we use some big box stores for certain aspects? Yes, and there is nothing wrong with it. But the customer service we received from our local stores and people was nothing short of fantastic!

We felt like a priority, when I’m sure we were not the only customer they were working for. They worked quickly, efficiently, and had all their ducks in a row (better than I can say for myself…I can’t even find my ducks half the time). When you have plumbers that will take a minute to get on their knees and play with your dog, throw her toy, and give her a pet, that’s special (and Raven soaked up all the extra attention…and then some…she thinks she’s deprived…I assure you, she’s not). It’s a small gesture of kindness. They let us know when they were coming, going, and asked our opinions when necessary. They worked with us, not for us, and communicated with each other to make sure the process went as smooth as possible. When the plumbers left, the construction guy arrived. When the construction guy finished, the tile man showed up – seamless and efficient. When it was all said and done, we even had one of the businesses send us a “thank you for your business” handwritten card and t-shirts for both Derek and me. That’s small town customer service at its finest, right there!

Let’s continue to put money into our small businesses, and small towns. Let’s support one another. Build up our fellow, friends, business partners, and family. If we support one small business, they are likely to pay it forward to another. Keep these communities flourishing.

Shout out to our local businesses and people that made our bathroom dream a reality: Verlin’s Plumbing and Heating, JP Flooring, Briggs Kitchen & Baths, Kurt Ehlers, Schoessler Electric, and Crossgrain Woodworking.

Shop Local. Eat Local. Spend Local. Enjoy Local.