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Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

When you shop small you are supporting real people and families. The business might be "small" but the economic impact is enormous on so many levels. When we shop local we become active participants in the community we live in. This is always important but this year, it was critical.

I have been so overwhelmed by the level of support I have seen in my town of Wake Forest, not only as a business owner but as a resident. It is so inspiring to see people SHOW UP.

You heard the call. You knew what it would mean to shop local and shop small and you did it.

It was not just here in our little town, but all over. My own family business in upstate NY had record sales this holiday season. A pandemic did not slow us down and we acted in the spirit of the season!

I have always made an effort to shop local. I grew up in small business and I know the challenges that come with owning your own business but also the rewards. I understand why so many do it. It is NOT easy work and you rarely get rich.

My small booth at The Cotton Company is a hobby. I have a full time gig that allows me to do something I am passionate about. I am incredibly lucky. MOST business owners do it because they are passionate and they're living out their dream BUT it is also their livelihood, it pays the bills. There is so much at stake.

That said....... I believe I speak on behalf of small business owners in small towns everywhere when I express my sincere gratitude. THANK YOU for taking to the time and venturing out in your mask and waiting in long lines, for ordering take out (ALOT) and leaving generous tips, for telling your friends when you found something cool, for sharing a business or product on social media. For spending a little more in that local store instead of buying it on Amazon. For finding the balance between shopping online and getting out there. THANK YOU!

Every little gesture and dollar spent means everything.

I want to take the time to thank the vendors that kept my booth stocked all year and this holiday season. For scrambling and sending out "more" when I made the urgent call! I have a unique selection of mostly locally produced products and every product has an entrepreneur and a dream behind it - a story worth telling and supporting. They are why I do this.

Best wishes for a safe and Happy New Year! Let's take with us the lessons learned, the perspective gained, and the sense of community we all felt this year and this holiday season. Despite a rough 2020 let's be hopeful for a fresh new year and make 2021 count. Make every DAY count. BE GRATEFUL. Be kind.

Jennie | Connecting the Dots

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