I would like to extend an idea to everyone - I'm not sure how many of you know, or remember (because it used to change so often) I am dating an organic, sustainable vegetable farmer (Bootstrap Farm). Before I met him, I was very much against corporate/chain restaurants, stores, and businesses. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with buying your food from Wal-Mart, I just think it's a much better idea to support your neighbor. That was one value that is very much instilled in me from my Iowa background. I am very active in supporting local restaurants, businesses, and stores.
It's very hard to be a young person and want to settle for working at a company that you have little or no say in, and can take very little pride in the work that you put out. I am a perfectionist; my work walks around Tulsa. I am also a very young business owner. I do not own my own personal salon....YET, but hopefully within a year or two, I will be able to make that jump. That jump can only happen with the support of local people, clients, and friends.
I know that it can simply be easier to not have to have an appointment and go get your haircut, pedicure, massage, etc. I am just as guilty of running to the mall to have them slap some polish on my toes, and when I leave, I am always disappointed. The person never talks to me, never seems to do as good of a job as my usual girl, and I'm just angry at myself for not taking the time to wait and make an appointment.
So I'm asking you to make it a resolution of yourself this year: support local businesses. Corporations protect themselves and have a much easier time getting by when things are slow. Local businesses collapse because they are supporting themselves and cannot rely on Dallas, Houston, or any other city's profit.
Best of all, typically small businesses can be more flexible and work with you and your schedule even more. The typical "rules" don't apply and the individual can be much more personable with their clients. I know I am, and I know I appreciate the support even more.