Hashtag Shop Small. Hashtag Shop Local. Hashtag Shop Santa Fe. I’m sure I sound like a broken record on social media. But how else do you convince people to “put their money where their HEART is”?
As I’ve mentioned, I grew up in retail. That’s not to say I slept in a Walmart (ewww…) like that Natalie Portman movie. But my parents had a shop on “Mainstreet” and we practically lived there. My brother Dru and I rode our bikes or walked the three blocks from our house to the store and that sweet little two or three-street downtown was our playground.
We had our frequent haunts: Schaedel’s Bakery – with the best donuts and cream puffs EVER MADE; Dooley’s House of Music – a truly great record store with a black light poster room and everything and, The Hester House – fudge and candy by the piece as well as girly gift items. But of course, there were dozens more small business because after all, that downtown WAS Silver City.
It was home to three jewelry stores, a myriad of professional offices, cafes, hardware, Howell Drug (which yes, once had a soda fountain), and even department stores like Cosgroves and JC Penney. You could go to the dentist, buy a giftwrapped toaster for a wedding gift AND have a glass of hibiscus iced tea all from your same FREE parking spot. Bullard Street was bustling and energetic and ALIVE with “thank you’s” and “how do you do’s? It was utopia.
Across the street, and a couple of storefronts down from my parents’ Hallmark store, there was a hippy lady that was a whiz with stained glass. My family commissioned her to do many things over the years but for me, her window offered eye candy that was second only to those aforementioned donuts. Little suction cups with hooks adorned the glass offering an ever changing but always 70’s inspired array of small, affordable sun catchers. A rainbow peeking out the clouds. A frolicking unicorn. Butterflies in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colors. It was a little girl’s fantasy that all those pretty, sparkly things would one day hang in her bedroom window. At least it was mine.
And, maybe that marked the beginning of my love for design. I remember selecting the yellow and white checkered pattern that I wanted for my curtains & bedding and doing so, largely because of how the colors played off that rainbow sun catcher. Juxtaposition at six years old.
Everyone has memories. And, mine are no valuable than anyone else’s. But the magic of a real, functioning downtown is precious and fleeting. We have to protect it! And protecting it means shopping at SMALL BUSINESSES. I know Amazon and Apple rule the world. Even the boxstore has undergone an “apocalypse” in their wake. But know this: KNOWING the person you buy from is special. You’re sending their kids to college. You’re making their dreams come true. You’re putting your money where your HEART is! And, it matters.