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New Rules: Support Your Local Economy

Nov 20, 2009

by muka

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Stacy Mitchell is a senior researcher with the New Rules Project at the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ISLR), an organization started in 1974 to work with citizens, activists, policy makers and entrepreneurs to help communities improve their economies, reduce waste, manage local infrastructure and provide better overall living environments.

The New Rules Project “challenges the wisdom and inevitability of economic consolidation and works to advance policies that support strong local economies and vibrant communities.” In a nutshell, she works to advance many of the same things that Etsy stands for — handmade, local, independent production, and a connection to communities and producers.

I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Stacy about the growth of local and independent businesses over the past several years, which many people attribute to both a backlash against “big box” retail and an appreciation for knowing one’s maker. Stacy took some time to talk to us about these issues, and her latest book, Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses, goes into much more detail. 

Tell us a bit about the New Rules Project.
The New Rules Project is a national initiative started by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. The project’s mission is to make the case that bigger isn’t necessarily better — that small-scale production and independent businesses nurture community and create a more sustainable and democratic economy.  

Our focus is on changing public policy. If you look at the laws and regulations in place today, many of them actively favor big corporations. Federal farm policies subsidize big agribusiness; local zoning rules favor Wal-Mart; banking regulations aid big banks; and the list goes on.

We’re calling for New Rules: public policies that support local economies and build strong, self-governing communities.  

How did you get involved in the organization and what do you do?
I started working for the New Rules Project when it was founded in 1997. Much of my focus has been looking at the consequences of the rise of big retail chains, like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Barnes & Noble. These companies have taken over much of our economy with the promise of delivering good deals, but it turns out that the big-box model has been incredibly expensive. In my recent book, Big-Box Swindle, I document how these companies are fueling many of our most pressing problems, from the shrinking middle class to rising greenhouse gas emissions.

The good news is that there’s now a widespread backlash. The New Rules Project has helped hundreds of grassroots groups stop big-box development projects and enact new policies that keep the chains at bay and support local businesses instead.

Even more encouraging, our research is finding growing public support for locally produced goods and independent businesses. Local food is soaring in popularity. Over the last four years, we’ve seen increasing numbers of new independent businesses, from bookstores to food markets, opening across the country.

Local business alliances — like Stay Local New Orleans, Local First in Salt Lake City, and Portland Buy Local in Portland, Maine — have now formed in over 130 cities and collectively count some 30,000 businesses as members. These alliances are running very creative “buy local” campaigns that are not only changing people’s shopping habits, but engaging them in a conversation about community and how to transition to a more sustainable future.

Why should people shop local this holiday season?
One reason is that shopping at an independent business, instead of a chain, generates far more benefit for your local economy. Several recent studies have found that a dollar spent at a locally owned business generates 2-3 times as much local economic activity as a dollar spent at a chain and supports many more local jobs.

Another compelling reason to go local this year is to make the holidays fun again. Who wants to sit in traffic at the mall? It’s so much more rewarding to stroll through the small stores in your neighborhood or downtown. You’ll not only find unusual gifts that don’t come from a sweatshop, but you’re bound to run into friends, get into an interesting conversation, enjoy the beauty of historic buildings decked out in lights, take time to savor a hot chocolate at the local café — in short, you’ll have a chance to really experience and celebrate the place in which you live.

Of course, you can’t always find everything you’re looking for in your own backyard, and that’s why sites like Etsy and Indiebound are a great way to take advantage of the convenience and diversity of the web while still supporting independent artists and small businesses.

What kind of impact does supporting the local arts have on a community at large?
Buying anything produced locally — food, art, music, fashion — has a sizeable economic benefit for your community. The money you spend stays in the local area and helps to keep your neighbors employed.  

These creative professions also contribute to the welfare of the community in so many other ways. They make the places we live interesting. They create focal points for reflection and community.  

Artists and craftspeople are great problem-solvers too. As we grapple with big challenges, like climate change, we need their special abilities to help us envision a different way of living.

Do you have any specific examples of cities or towns that are experiencing a positive change?
Thanks largely to the work of Sustainable Connections, a coalition of about 500 local businesses in and around Bellingham, Washington, that community has made huge strides in incubating new businesses, expanding regional food production, and reducing the carbon footprint of buildings.

Local First Utah has changed how residents and elected officials in Salt Lake City think about economic development. A recent survey found that three-quarters of residents want fewer chains in their neighborhoods and more local businesses.

Arizona Local First was instrumental in convincing the state legislature to outlaw the kinds of subsidies that are commonly provided to big-box development projects.

Here in my hometown of Portland, Maine, many local business owners say that Portland Buy Local has made a big difference in terms of galvanizing public support and helping them survive the recession.  

What are you doing to support your local community in Portland, ME?
I’m one of many volunteers with Portland Buy Local, which has about 280 members, including local businesses, artists, and nonprofits. We create new poster and advertising campaigns every couple of months that highlight the value of independent businesses and encourage people to support them.

Our posters, which are displayed on hundreds of storefronts all over the city and reproduced as ads in local newspapers, are all designed by local artists, so they are very eye-catching as well as incredibly varied in their style.

Steve Darnley and Arielle Walrath, for example, designed this gorgeous poster (pictured below) for our holiday campaign last year. Sean Wilkinson produced a very powerful graphic for one of our economic messages (shown above). 

Poster by Steve Darnley and Arielle Walrath

Etsy seller pineconeandchickadee created this amazing Valentine’s Day poster, which was so popular that we turned it into T-shirts that have been selling like hotcakes.

Poster by pineconechickadee

Our latest poster series, by photographer Nathan Eldridge, emphasizes the wide range of products — from the unusual to the everyday — that are available from independent businesses.

How should people get involved with New Rules?
The best way to keep up with what we’re doing and learn how you can start some of these initiatives in your own community is to sign up for our monthly email newsletter, The Hometown Advantage.  

We publish lots of useful research and information on our website. Take a look and, if you find an idea or an article you like, please forward it to your friends, your neighbors, your elected officials, your local newspaper. We’re a small organization, so we need all the help we can get to make our research and ideas part of the public discussion.

Lastly, like any nonprofit, we are dependent almost entirely on donations to keep the lights on and our staff fed. Contributions of any size are gratefully appreciated.

Any Etsy sellers you’re particularly fond of?  
I adore ferdinandhome — terrific T-shirts, my favorite greeting cards, and fabulous potholders made from vintage fabric.

Another favorite is pineconeandchickadee. I’m smitten with Amy Teh’s designs.

I hope my husband is reading this, because one thing I’d be super happy to find under my tree this year is a messenger bag from bobbinstudio.

And, lastly, there’s a real gem of a little business in my neighborhood that just became an Etsy seller a few weeks ago: HomegrownHerbandTea. Sarah Richards is a skilled herbalist who has been blending teas for both health and pleasure at her tea shop here on Munjoy Hill for several years. She just made the leap online and her teas are definitely worth checking out.

Further Resources:
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) proposes a set of new rules that builds community by supporting humanly scaled politics and economics. The rules call for:

  • Decisions made by those impacted
  • Communities accepting responsibility for the welfare of their members and the next generation
  • Households and communities possessing or owning sufficient productive capacity to generate real wealth

NewRules.org discusses the importance of rules and catalogs the best. We make the rules and the rules make us.

The Related Items below are all from Stacy’s native Maine!

Find Etsy Sellers in Your Town | Read Our Shop Local Series | Check Out the Etsy Maine Team

157 comments

  • OffTheHooks

    OffTheHooks said 8 years ago

    great topic- especially with the holidays coming up, it's great being able to shop local on etsy!

  • sweetgorgeousthings

    sweetgorgeousthings said 8 years ago

    small local services for sharing with each other!

  • MyHappyHome

    MyHappyHome said 8 years ago

    Perfect timing--I've got a craft fair this weekend and have been trying to come up with an eloquent way of encouraging people to shop local. Thanks!

  • rosebudshome

    rosebudshome said 8 years ago

    I hope that this will inspire people to shop local. Great article, thanks

  • Morado

    Morado said 8 years ago

    Wonderful read. SHop local and buy handmade :)

  • ornamentsbydeb

    ornamentsbydeb said 8 years ago

    Hope this trend continues!

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural said 8 years ago

    spot on. we have so many clients come to us through the wonderful world of etsy, and choose to buy locally with us. it's really the best of both worlds. thanks!

  • IcingOnTheCupcake

    IcingOnTheCupcake said 8 years ago

    This was excellent to read. Thank you!

  • PunchDrunkPrincess

    PunchDrunkPrincess said 8 years ago

    Yay for shopping and eating local!

  • dancingcircle

    dancingcircle said 8 years ago

    Happy to live in rainy Portland today - cool article

  • GulfCoastCottagePDF

    GulfCoastCottagePDF said 8 years ago

    Great article- thank you!!

  • polkadotsandblooms

    polkadotsandblooms said 8 years ago

    Thought provoking. It will be interesting to see where this is going, whether Indie will become more widespread or whether it will remain niche. I exhibited at a craft show the other week and people were coming up to ask what they could get for a pound (approx US$1.5). There is still that sweatshop mentally out there, i.e. I want to buy but only cheap.

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 8 years ago

    Great cause. Nice items.

  • candythomasgourdart

    candythomasgourdart said 8 years ago

    Great article.Thanks!

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 8 years ago

    love this article!!! shopping local is so important. and if you can't shop within your city always try to buy USA :)

  • VintageHoneysuckle

    VintageHoneysuckle said 8 years ago

    This is such an important topic. I'm so glad you shared this with us! :)

  • elizabethwrenvintage

    elizabethwrenvintage said 8 years ago

    a great article- thanks for sharing :-D

  • jamieribisi

    jamieribisi said 8 years ago

    MAINE!!! Rock on!!! I'm on the Etsy Maine Team and am so proud to see this article ~~ We try to promote local handmades and I see a bunch of familiar faces-- Cool!! http://etsymaineteam.blogspot.com

  • Tias

    Tias said 8 years ago

    Lovely@

  • PositiveEnergyDesign

    PositiveEnergyDesign said 8 years ago

    So glad to see Etsy keep on spreading the local love!! We need all that we can get!!! <3!

  • sonyarasi

    sonyarasi said 8 years ago

    Great topic! I loved living in Portland, ME. Many fond memories!

  • OnTheRound

    OnTheRound said 8 years ago

    This article makes me so proud to be a Mainer! WONDERFUL ARTICLE!

  • saintesmariesjewelry

    saintesmariesjewelry said 8 years ago

    great idea!! http://www.saintesmariesjewelry.etsy.com

  • Waterrose

    Waterrose said 8 years ago

    Wow what a wonderful article and movement. Thanks for bringing this to the attention of everyone!

  • Lori411

    Lori411 said 8 years ago

    Great article!! And I'm so happy to have one of my prints featured here! :) Thank you!!

  • WoollyWonka

    WoollyWonka said 8 years ago

    Great project!

  • CarryTheWord

    CarryTheWord said 8 years ago

    Great article!

  • uniqueitems4u

    uniqueitems4u said 8 years ago

    In Florida? Orlando area, or slightly near by? Your welcome to buy from me! http://robotsareawesome.etsy.com/ Thanks!

  • VIXEmporium

    VIXEmporium said 8 years ago

    Here in Philly there's a Buy Local movement also, coordinated by the Sustainable Business Network ( http://www.sbnphiladelphia.org/ ). We are happy to be members and happy to carry the work of so many local artisans, and we love it when our neighbors support that!

  • StudioCherie

    StudioCherie said 8 years ago

    It's amazing how a lot of people making a small shift can have a huge impact. Thank you for this article.

  • funkomavintage

    funkomavintage said 8 years ago

    Tacoma has a fab Go Local effort! thanks for this post...

  • oldworldprimitives

    oldworldprimitives said 8 years ago

    This was an inspiring article to read!

  • klacustomcreations

    klacustomcreations said 8 years ago

    shop local yeah!

  • MonikaDesign

    MonikaDesign said 8 years ago

    Wonderful article!...Thanks so much for this topic!

  • VixVintage

    VixVintage said 8 years ago

    Nice article, thanks so much.

  • BabbidgePatch

    BabbidgePatch said 8 years ago

    wonderful info ~ yay for Portland, Maine (my neighbor)!

  • Fishstikks

    Fishstikks said 8 years ago

    A great article about a great movement!! Hope it catches on in a BIG way!!

  • depuis

    depuis said 8 years ago

    I try to shop local as much as I can. I am also lucky enough to live in Brooklyn where it's easy to shop local. Great article!

  • allthenumbers

    allthenumbers said 8 years ago

    Awesome article!! Great resources too. Thank you so much!

  • breadandroses

    breadandroses said 8 years ago

    Wish this had been a hot topic years ago before so many mom&pop enterprises bit the dust. Big box stores/corporate entities/franchises have wiped out most local small businesses in our immediate area but we enthusiastically support our oldtime local hardware store (even though wal-mart, lowe's & home depot are just a few more miles away) plus the last full-time working farm in the township with the best farmer's market & in-season produce. We bought huge boxes of winter squash this fall that will keep in the cellar through spring. It's the best. Thanks so much for raising awareness of this critical issue!

  • pollyannacowgirlbags

    pollyannacowgirlbags said 8 years ago

    Yes! Buying locally can really make you feel like part of a community. Here in Oakland, there's a cool thing called Plaid Friday, an effort to support local Bay Area businesses the day after Thanksgiving instead of hitting up big box stores. Super awesome! http://www.plaidfriday.com

  • bythewayside

    bythewayside said 8 years ago

    There's nothing like shopping at the local stores and running into old friends that you haven't seen for a while. It just makes the whole trip more fun! I also detest the way big box shops treat their employees, whereas at the local shops, they are more like family. Great article!

  • thecleverkitty

    thecleverkitty said 8 years ago

    Fantastic article! Yay Portland! I love this town. :)

  • fifthquadrant

    fifthquadrant said 8 years ago

    one year I bought all my holiday gifts in one day from an assortment of shops on one street about 3 blocks from my house....it was the most fun and the least pressure I've ever had holiday shopping; this article is such a great reminder that how and where we spend our money matters

  • littorina

    littorina said 8 years ago

    Oh, wonderful! I'm here in Portland, and didn't even know about some of these shops. What a great reminder, thanks!

  • bombshellstudios

    bombshellstudios said 8 years ago

    Wow, long article and I read every word. A lot of good thoughts and info. Etsy, I'm really glad you did a post on this.

  • whyte

    whyte said 8 years ago

    But don't forget who feeds the big box stores. They wouldn't survive if we;d quit putting price before quality, service and jobs. I've got to read Stacy's book. And hopefully etsy sellers will quit trying to do what big box stores do....entice people through their doors with cheap.

  • whyte

    whyte said 8 years ago

    Now there's irony, I click on one etsy feature and land here, the next one in line is "Seller How-To: Get Involved With Black Friday and Cyber Monday Promotions" Bit of a dichotomy here, etsy, and in the same day even!

  • QuiltFinger

    QuiltFinger said 8 years ago

    Sad to think about the consequences to our so called convenience. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  • artgirlrachel

    artgirlrachel said 8 years ago

    as a fellow portlander, i agree with you wholeheartedly! portland has such and amazing local culture. I highly suggest homegrown tea, such a simple yet fantastic treat.

  • midnightcoiler

    midnightcoiler said 8 years ago

    Great movement to help local economy. Too bad the variety of goods isn't available locally in many small towns and cities.. makes Etsy our cutting edge life-line. Beautiful selections above!

  • artgirlrachel

    artgirlrachel said 8 years ago

    My favorite way to search etsy is using the buy local feature and searching what's new in my state. Even if I get it shipped, it has less carbon footprint, another win!

  • erinmapes

    erinmapes said 8 years ago

    What a great article! Thank you for sharing this with everyone, the New Rules Project sounds fabulous!

  • NottyPooch

    NottyPooch said 8 years ago

    ... how about us international sellers here?

  • TrashToTrendy

    TrashToTrendy said 8 years ago

    This is inspiring - I am working alone and think if I ever get to expand my business which is all hand woven I want to tape into local communities rather than the developing nations as others have suggested -

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 8 years ago

    That's cool it's funny more and more I'm for recycling, being creative. I mean thinking of creative ways to do everything. I feel that the service from local samll shop owners and handmade is just so much better and you get that extra personal touch.

  • ScrapTees

    ScrapTees said 8 years ago

    ::ReCycle::ReUse::RePeat::ReCycle::ReUse::RePeat:: Nice article! Thank you for sharing. You have made a difference in so many ways.

  • worksandfinds

    worksandfinds said 8 years ago

    Oh yes. Buy handmade.

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 8 years ago

    Nice article, thanks.

  • lindenlinedesigns

    lindenlinedesigns said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much. This is a wonderful article and I can not wait to share it with our local Chamber members.

  • lincolnapparel

    lincolnapparel said 8 years ago

    Awesome. I always buy local whenever possible. And of course, I also try to find items made ethically. I find that I can find most of what I need at independent stores within walking distance and that I rarely need to shop at the big chain stores. Springfield, IL has a good "buy local" campaign like the one illustrated here for Portland. In fact, much of my business so far has been local. Thanks for posting this article!

  • 1AEON

    1AEON said 8 years ago

    :))))) this article just makes me smile:))) thank you!

  • drawworm

    drawworm said 8 years ago

    This article was really inspiring. I love the promotional posters and I'd like to see more of that in my own city.

  • Uvence

    Uvence said 8 years ago

    Great article, supporting the local economy is the way to go. When I buy goods I always want to know who made it and where was it made.

  • Manicmushroomglass

    Manicmushroomglass said 8 years ago

    I loved this article! It helped me see how it's important to think about how much money you can plan to keep in your home town.Any purchase on ETSY though, local or international, still keeps our money out of wall-mart.

  • babook

    babook said 8 years ago

    Thanks for share this great project ! i think i can learnd lot from here : )

  • karuski

    karuski said 8 years ago

    It's nice to buy local when ever possible. However, sometimes I don't find what I'm looking for, then Etsy can help. I have found numerous wonderful handmade things through Etsy, from skilled crafters from all around the globe.

  • heartsabustin

    heartsabustin said 8 years ago

    Here's to local shopping! I do it as much as I am able!

  • kathiroussel

    kathiroussel said 8 years ago

    wonderful feature--very heartening to know that the movement toward buying local and building local small business economies back up-- and saying no to supporting big box junk stores!!-- is starting to gain momentum! keep up the wonderful work of spreading the word and enthusiasm!! --and stacy's book sounds like a great read--if i wasn't so busy making things with my hands i might have time to read it...but i think i get the gist of it! thanks!

  • Kukaramba

    Kukaramba said 8 years ago

    To buy local is very important and here, in Latvia, we have a bit hard times because no one buys things made in Latvia. Only from other countries, because it's cheaper. But at least, we have some unique things that aren't common inn our big world and I have one of a kind crocheted gloves :)

  • LonesomeRoadStudio

    LonesomeRoadStudio said 8 years ago

    Very cool - I've done the bulk of my holiday shopping on Etsy so far, and plan to do more at a local artisan boutique tomorrow. There are so many amazing artisans, why would anybody want to shop at the generica that the chain stores have become?

  • blueskyclouds

    blueskyclouds said 8 years ago

    Really interesting. This point was driven "home" a few weeks ago when we had a "Shop Local" fair in Phoenix. All kinds of local businesses had booths, introducing us to, and reminding us of, their business. I'm trying harder to support the local shops now.

  • That70sShoppe

    That70sShoppe said 8 years ago

    Great article and Etsy supports local through the local search and with teams that you can join based on your location.

  • konkokto

    konkokto said 8 years ago

    great organization ! compliments !

  • JazzGreen

    JazzGreen said 8 years ago

    A very interesting article Etsy.... thank you... Please could Etsy make it easier to shop on Etsy via locality or even country. I am in the UK and there is no option to select "ship from UK" when searching for specific items. The "shop local" widget returns shops quite randomly according to when they last listed - there is no function to search within this according to specific items or terms. Much needed improvements to site search functionality would make it possible for buyers to search and shop 'locally'.

  • inspiredthreads

    inspiredthreads said 8 years ago

    Great article! Thanks Etsy!

  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    RomanceCatsAndWhimsy said 8 years ago

    Wow -- excellent article - very eye opening. A great reminder to shop local. Thank you.

  • FlanneryCrane

    FlanneryCrane said 8 years ago

    I enjoyed this article very much and very interested in preserving local economy and supporting individual business. I am a big fan of teas and look forward to purchasing some from our new seller in the near future! Thanks!

  • wakamesalada

    wakamesalada said 8 years ago

    wow thanks for this post!

  • Furiousdreams

    Furiousdreams said 8 years ago

    Great post and very timely, especially in light of the millions of currently unemployed in our own country. I definitely support local farms and buying organic local produce, and spent last year coordinating a successful internship program designed to recruit young farmers. My holiday advertising will be focussed in several local publications (all online by the way!) to generate support for my own locally produced art.

  • earthangelsarts

    earthangelsarts said 8 years ago

    This is a great idea. There are quite a few transition towns in England and Kingston in London. Small businesses supporting each other. New transition towns are being created all the time. Its all on the web! Try transition town-Totnes which was the first. They even have their own currency!

  • bazketmakr

    bazketmakr said 8 years ago

    wow, fabulous! I love it! Thank you for highlighting grassroots movements like this and explaining how it affects us and what we can do!

  • timesandchimes

    timesandchimes said 8 years ago

    Great article!

  • CaptiveStudio

    CaptiveStudio said 8 years ago

    I think communities should all do this. Thanks great article

  • MarquesaJen

    MarquesaJen said 8 years ago

    Great article! I wish my area would start turning around. Way too many box stores around here.

  • redyellowandblueink

    redyellowandblueink said 8 years ago

    I am lovin this, and I love the name-New Rules-makes you stop and take notice. All my sales on etsy are exciting, but I am extra excited when someone local buys from me, there's something extra special. Thank you for this excellent Storque article today!

  • MyMoms

    MyMoms said 8 years ago

    An inspiring idea!

  • MagneticCreations

    MagneticCreations said 8 years ago

    How can we possibly shop locally on Etsy??? Maybe I should only buy from other Etsians from Canada? Can I put that in a search, I need bails but only from a local supplier! Seriously I do need them! Seriously buying only locally on this kind of site is a bit insane. I can understand not buying from the big box stores....

  • MetroGypsy

    MetroGypsy said 8 years ago

    Great points...

  • LilaJo

    LilaJo said 8 years ago

    This is all true!!!!!! Awesome that people are trying to do something about it!!!!Im always telling people to by local! Awesome job keep up the awesome work!

  • Serpentaires

    Serpentaires said 8 years ago

    Am I the only one to see a confusion in this article ? For the author it seems like local = indie business. I thought Etsy was a *worldwide community* of indie businesses. This kind of speak might sound all fine and dandy to the US sellers, not so much to the european ones. We ARE independant, small businesses as well. We generate wealth as well. Of course we try to get european shoppers to our stores - and it's not easy with the prices only in dollar.

  • viltalakim

    viltalakim said 8 years ago

    I fully agree with Serpentaires!!!! I stil hope to get some sales from USA customers as I am living in Europe......... and supporting USA etsy shops as well.

  • JKphotography

    JKphotography said 8 years ago

    As an european seller, I'm very grateful and so happy when people overseas buy from me. As a buyer I support European AND overseas businesses. I like the world wide community, where every shop seems only on the next corner.I wouldn't want to loose that feeling...

  • Royalpaca

    Royalpaca said 8 years ago

    I'm a big believer in eating local and buying from small business's ! I'm a small creative business myself, and this article just makes sense! I've been buying all my meat from local family run farms around my area, and it not only builds a stronger community but also a larger circle of friends ;) It's much more gratifying to spend !!!

  • NottyPooch

    NottyPooch said 8 years ago

    Serpentaires: You are not alone. I'm very confused too. :) P/S: We are Asian sellers.

  • vadjutka

    vadjutka said 8 years ago

    hello All, I do support shopping local as well in the case of food for example - but I have to agree with my European friends, and ask a few questions from Etsy. - Why do you (I mean Etsy staff) put so much energy in building an international community if you support Shopping Local in high season? - According to the article independent means local. Isnt it contrary to the philosophy of the site and Etsy community? Or I misunderstood something? - I am having a superb time on Etsy, and I am so thankful for the site itslef, and the international community and possibilites. Shall I feel myself excluded now? Sorry for being so sharp - I dont want to hurt anyone -, but this article implicates these questions. Thanks for reading this, Judit Wild, Hungary, Europe

  • thebestvintage

    thebestvintage said 8 years ago

    I have to agree with some of these posts.. The idea of an international community of artists and a worldwide marketplace does contradict the shop local notion.

  • debrossehardesty

    debrossehardesty said 8 years ago

    Wonderful article with an important message! Right on target.

  • alatceramics

    alatceramics said 8 years ago

    I'm 100% for shopping local if any possible But why on Etsy designed as an international platform and gathering this wonderful international community? I think, we - sellers and shoppers from other countries - are supporting Etsy owners, staff and sellers from the US selling and shopping here, aren't we? Rita Juse-Cirkse, Latvia, Europe

  • FruitOfMyHands

    FruitOfMyHands said 8 years ago

    I absolutely loved this article. I have never considered the importance of buying local. My thinking has always been, shop where I can get the best deal. Thank you for opening my eyes to supporting my local community.

  • misseileen

    misseileen said 8 years ago

    This article brings up many complex issues. I like meeting and dealing with people throughout the world, even if it is only online. I do shop local but there are many things my local community's stores don't offer. I shop at the dreaded W (shame on me) but many people I know work there. When they opened some stores closed but quite a few took their place. We have restaurants, doctor's offices, and other businesses that opened after they moved in. Hard on some businesses but good for others. Don't forget that even franchises like the evil McD's, are usually locally owned. This sounds like a marketing ploy to get people to spend money to get local economies going during the recession, short and simple.

  • vadjutka

    vadjutka said 8 years ago

    wise words misseileen. + one more aspect We (I mean people all around the world) live in global economy, and there is no way back. I mean check the machines of the farmers (you know, the locals from whom we buy food etc. either in the US or in Hungary ) where do they come from? Most probably from China. Where does the software come from that operates that machine? Probably from India. By this example I mean that there is no only "local" any more - at least not in big quantities. And consumerism is about consuming big quantities.

  • martice

    martice said 8 years ago

    I buy what I need and what makes my eye tick... If it's available far away and close to home... I will buy close to home (convenience!) But I won't compensate my needs just to buy close to home! We live (fortunately) in a post communistic world where we opened physical and mental borders.

  • jpstyle

    jpstyle said 8 years ago

    What a wonderful article! Thanks!

  • sharonclancydesigns

    sharonclancydesigns said 8 years ago

    Great read, wonderful finds too! Thanks!!

  • MarKhed

    MarKhed said 8 years ago

    I try to support my local economy as much as possible, I think supporting small businesses worldwide is great in general though as well. cheers to us little business owners!

  • Talula

    Talula said 8 years ago

    I'm going to send this link to my buddies in our local government... Thank you for the wonderful, and very informative article! If I'm not shopping Etsy, I'm shopping LOCAL!

  • KatyScudieri

    KatyScudieri said 8 years ago

    I think the point is not so much to buy EVERYTHING that we consume only from what is available locally. It's to buy the local produce when available. Purchase a gift from a local boutique instead of one of the retail stores at the mall (what are becoming copies of each other anyway). Obviously, most of us can't buy a computer from the local computer factory. Nor can many people purchase local sushi grade fish. It's just making those little changes I think here and there. Plus, I've found that the local places usually have much better service and you can tell they care much more.

  • KatyScudieri

    KatyScudieri said 8 years ago

    Check out the 3-50 Project. Again, this one suggests making the practice of buying local a small change in one's consumption habits.

  • northbirdsong

    northbirdsong said 8 years ago

    I can totally agree with the premise that buying and conducting business locally amongst local artisans and local food producers is a far better idea than patronizing the wage slave mentality of the big boxes. One need only look back in time to see that it was the standard for thousands of years, be it the local bazaars whether they were in Europe in the plazas, or in places like the mid-East with their own versions. These types of venues brought people together and were often the go-to for tourists from other lands wanting to purchase some local flavour. The discount, big box mentality is really a late 20th century phenomenon and the destruction of local trade is has wrought hopefully cannot sustain it too much longer as the backlash against its rotten fruits continues. There is one point in the article though, that must be stressed and made the rallying cry for change to happen... "Our focus is on changing public policy. If you look at the laws and regulations in place today, many of them actively favor big corporations." We have in the past 40+ years penalized small and local businesses with so many regulations and laws AND TAXES, that opening a small business today is no longer a natural thing as it once was, but become a bureaucratic nightmare that many people won't even entertain the thought given what it takes to do so - they are defeated even before they begin. I must finally opine that I part ways with associating the global warming, carbon footprint mantra to everything, as it too will be imposing its own set of stifling laws and regulations to the means and cost of doing a local business. Overall though....good article.

  • MustLuvVintage

    MustLuvVintage said 8 years ago

    Great article!! This really struck a cord with me...we recently opened our vintage clothing store in town and we are trying so hard to push the Shop Local mentality!!! This really gives me a lot to think about, thanks!!

  • TurquoiseSkyDesigns

    TurquoiseSkyDesigns said 8 years ago

    This is a fantastic article. Very informative and a great reason to shop local and handmade! Please support local artists all over the world, it will make a difference! Joleen

  • PierogiPicnic

    PierogiPicnic said 8 years ago

    Yay! I just posted a holiday gift guide for local handmade on my blog about 15 minutes ago. So important and topical!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 8 years ago

    Inspiring and worth supporting a great movement.

  • SixSkeins

    SixSkeins said 8 years ago

    Totally agree. I buy as much locally as possible - which means also buying foods that are currently in season where I live. It means we're trying out a few new foods and types of products which is fun!

  • tomatored

    tomatored said 8 years ago

    I'm on board- Love the posters!

  • 1001Acessorios

    1001Acessorios said 8 years ago

    Great Article!!

  • ChuckEBrydWallArt

    ChuckEBrydWallArt said 8 years ago

    I am thrilled to read that there is a movement to educate consumers about how much that savings at the big box store is really costing them. It is sad to go to our local hardware store and not find any item made in the USA. If we don't change our thinking soon the only jobs left here with include the phrase "would you like fries with that". Great Article!

  • TreeHuggerStudio

    TreeHuggerStudio said 8 years ago

    Love this article I signed up fro the email list. Hopefully I can make a change in my community we have so many great local store and am tired of dealing with all walmarts huppla. Thanks

  • urbanknitfits

    urbanknitfits said 8 years ago

    YEAH Portland Maine!!!! Home town Proud! Another reason we love living here, movements like these. Check out our Portland Maine knit shop! http://www.etsy.com/shop/urbanknitfits

  • TreadLightGear

    TreadLightGear said 8 years ago

    Thank you for posting this wonderful message :)

  • VignetteStudio

    VignetteStudio said 8 years ago

    Hi - http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6357046 I've bought the usual Holiday Gifts. Yes I had to get the Easy Bake Oven for my little girl. But now I'm shopping etsy online and local for the rest. I'm putting my money in my backyard. Etsy!! I'd ideally love for someone to give something from my shop as a gift. So I figure I should do the same. Good Karma Right?! If you find fun holiday etsy shopping ideas post them in the forum link above. Thanks!

  • DianasStainedGlass

    DianasStainedGlass said 8 years ago

    I have a local small business and my community is important to me. We contribute to local charities and help support the schools with donations. I pay property taxes twice in my community because landlords pass on property taxes in their rent and I also live in the town where my business is. Big box business are given free property tax breaks for years just to relocate in towns and the tax break is passed on to local property owners to pay. Small businesses would never receive a break like that. To me my customer are paramount to my survival. I have a local big box send people to me for repairs because these people are not qualified to perform the repairs in some cases they do more damage than good.

  • thegreensunflower

    thegreensunflower said 8 years ago

    This is a topic that really is the core of what I believe in my economic philosophy. And with a little thought can be applied to your everyday. Also you can set your own goals about how strict you are. E.G. you use xactos buy them from local shops with local owners, or use a different brand or find a different solution. Retailers typically charge 40 to 50% on their wholesale cost. The fact is when you give money to another company you have given up that energy. Mostly that energy does not stay where you live. It goes to another community. Your community becomes poorer and poorer and that community becomes richer and richer. So, if you make purchases that go outside your community you have to look no further than yourself for fault of your rundown community.

  • susieart60

    susieart60 said 8 years ago

    Here on LI, NY, one of the local papers has started a KIOLI campaign - Keep It On Long Island, but I imagine in a place like this, of over 3 million people (not including Queens and Brooklyn) that it's hard to buck the over commercialized, mall mentality of the masses. I see this from many sides - I work for two small businesses in addition to being my own (really) small business. At least here on Etsy - I get value for my dollar, and though I'm not necessarily helping my specific local community, I feel as though I'm helping the sole proprietorships of the world. I know that sometimes it can be a tough call - often times a big store or website has a really better price on certain items and I have to watch what I spend too... (By the way - I was in Portland for the first time over the summer for the Art Fair. What a GREAT community! My friends who live in NH, were very impressed too! They've traveled further (Portland's about 1.5hrs from them)for less choices, less ambiance and less fun. We'll all be back.)

  • adorableorganics

    adorableorganics said 8 years ago

    I absolutely love this. I've been reading about a similar organization and actively thinking about a way to promote such a worthy cause in my own neighborhood.

  • RoughMagicHolidays

    RoughMagicHolidays said 8 years ago

    I love about 150 miles north of Portland (my hubby's hometown), and it's a wonderful small city with so much to see and do, as well as a long and fascinating history! Thank you so much for featuring it here! And thank you, too, for including my Star Bright Christmas Tree Ornament among all those lovely items!

  • RoughMagicHolidays

    RoughMagicHolidays said 8 years ago

    Oops -- a Freudian slip! Meant to say I live about 150 miles north ... okay, I love it too! :) Mollie

  • justthegoods

    justthegoods said 8 years ago

    The positive impact of buying local is incredibly true! Buying from a local co-op is all the better! I'm very lucky to have so many positive options in Winnipeg... but the more the merrier! Say no to corporate chains! =-)

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 8 years ago

    great article-i friggin love you too!

  • feronia

    feronia said 8 years ago

    I am shocked to see this post in Etsy. Yes, buying local is patriotic but didn't Etsy get their fees from international sellers too? To say no to big box, cookie cutter products is a totally different issue from encouraging local buys. Do sellers in Portland only want to get sales from the state population or from the billions all over the world?

  • creativelyspun

    creativelyspun said 8 years ago

    I love to buy local. Feels really good to support my town. I love going to Portland, ME in the summer and shopping around. I usually save up my money before I go up knowing I will find some great unique things in the area. But just as much as I love to support local I also love to support handcraft items no matter if I live in NJ and the person was from CA.

  • anothertimeantiques

    anothertimeantiques said 8 years ago

    Big Box corporates have squeezed so many areas, I am glad to learn of this New Rules Project. It surely didn't take us very long to come full circle from small businesses to big box back to small business emphasis. I was an independent store owner for 15 years and the last 2 of 3 were horrible! I finally closed in 2008. I hope the re-birth of small independent shops grows and grows. It's just a great way to do business. Even if the customer is half way around the world! :)

  • TheShabbyHome

    TheShabbyHome said 8 years ago

    Glad to hear of this.. it's been going on in my small East Tennessee area for sometime!

  • econica

    econica said 8 years ago

    Yes, always choose local if you can!

  • noisettemarketing

    noisettemarketing said 8 years ago

    This is one of the reasons I don't sell my handmade items on etsy. Its hard because I love etsy the most but if we are encouraging shopping local then international shipping doesn't make sense. I use etsy for my marketing plans and pdf files because they can be sent internationally without guilt at the airmiles. Uk sellers remember to tag your items with 'UK' so UK buyers can find you more easily.

  • TwistedCrystals

    TwistedCrystals said 8 years ago

    This is great! I grew up 20 minutes north of Portland on Sebago Lake. It's fantastic to walk The Old Port (Portland's downtown) and see all of the business, cars and signs for Buy Local. Great work everyone! :)

  • AnAapparel

    AnAapparel said 8 years ago

    Buying from local/independent shops puts the charm back into shopping. I think its VERY important to support your community. Now if we could only bring the barter system back...

  • poprelique

    poprelique said 8 years ago

    Every little purchase really does count when helping your community. Great article.

  • unatuna

    unatuna said 8 years ago

    I have already bought local gifts at the Holidayland sale at the Compund Gallery in Oakland Ca. It feels good to support local artists. If you are in the area you should check it out!

  • EmeraldCityEmporium

    EmeraldCityEmporium said 8 years ago

    Awesome article! I'm e mailing this to friends and family :)

  • rebeccasanchez

    rebeccasanchez said 8 years ago

    Great article - and reminder!

  • TrendyTrimmingsByTT

    TrendyTrimmingsByTT said 8 years ago

    Great article. I always support local artists and self employed. Many of these people are working from their home to be home with their children. Just think of the impact we can have on the next generation if more of us could be there everyday for our children instead of having them raised in daycare by others or having them home alone as latchkey children. Too many kids get into trouble when left to their own devices! As for Christmas this year.....I am buying on Etsy and making the rest of the gifts myself. The only chain stores that are getting my business are those that I buy some of my fabrics from! Sorry Walmart but you won't be seeing any of my hard earned dollars this Christmas!

  • tashascreations

    tashascreations said 8 years ago

    Love to shop local but not always do that, my area doesn't have a lot of things...

  • darlenebikes

    darlenebikes said 8 years ago

    by shopping local and finding my supplies around me i save some cash, energy and patience so that i can go "abroad" and splurge on etsy and then purchase from some other locality.

  • bstrung

    bstrung said 8 years ago

    Great articale.

  • LadyLuLus

    LadyLuLus said 8 years ago

    w o n d e r f u l article!

  • sisobaba

    sisobaba said 7 years ago

    This is great! I think the main point of shoping local is to support small personal businesses, so your money has a similar effect wether the business is actually close to you or somewhere else. That is certainly one beauty of internet shopping, that you can get access to small businesses worldwide. Cottage industry takes on a more powerful role in the global economy!

  • TimmerysBebeBling

    TimmerysBebeBling said 7 years ago

    Since joining Etsy I have been able to buy a lot more locally. The site has really helped me find a lot of talented people in my city/state.

  • EnchantedlyYours

    EnchantedlyYours said 7 years ago

    Great article! I too have been making a conscience effort to buy local.

  • StudioCybele

    StudioCybele said 7 years ago

    Great project!

  • halfpintsalvage

    halfpintsalvage said 7 years ago

    Great article. A little goes a LONG way when supporting local business. I'll be twittering, facebooking, and social-media-ing this article to everyone I know!

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry said 7 years ago

    I 100% agree on the topic of supporting local businesses. Coming from California to North Carolina was definitely a change for me, but it put life into perspective especially now that I can see so many locally owned businesses in my daily community. It's great that Etsy features this as a way to shop and I'm so happy to be able to support my local artists by purchasing their work. Of course, I don't always limit to local purchases, but I try to find them local first then look to other communities.

  • jackrabbitspring

    jackrabbitspring said 7 years ago

    We have just set up someting simillar here in Utrecht the Netherland. Great to do Support your local business!!! Go local!

  • StarAniseRecipes

    StarAniseRecipes said 7 years ago

    I very much like the idea of shopping locally, but I have to say I find it difficult living in the city. I used to live in the village and you just had to buy local, fresh food every time. Now however, I do not even know where to find local produce. It is ridiculous that when you got to a supermarket you are 'forced' to buy beans from Kenya, cabbage from Spain and parsley from Israel. All those things could be easily grown locally, support local people, create jobs. I know that not everything can be grown and produced locally, but it is silly that a simple grocery shop comes from all over the world!

  • Homepage said 3 years ago

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  • DianasStainedGlass

    Diana Feldman from DianasStainedGlass said 1 year ago

    With shopping local you get personal attention plus creative ideas you don't get in the big box stores. The big box stores have to be cookie cutter because they can't do it any other way,that is how they keep track of their employees. People in the local stores know their craft, they have to know it,it is their livelihood. Local merchant have a passion for what they are doing and are serving their local community.

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