[Charles] Some weeks it's hard to face my inbox. This last week I got two doses of bad news from shops we really like. Mina over at Bohemian Vintage is closing her shop in July and so is Healthy Home in St. Pete. Economic conditions are extremely difficult for indie shops right now without the sort of corporate deep pockets that can keep the big guys in business when a local market is hurting. We hate seeing shops like these go away and just want to re-emphasize how important it is to shop local, and keep what is unique and special about our cities alive. Mina sounds like she is going to be fine as she is heading back to teach, which she loves. The loss is really ours in both cases. Don't get me wrong, it is expensive to risk your savings and put it all out there for people. The individual risk to your heart and pocketbook in having your own business is dangerous.
For a minute though, as we celebrate Independents Week here at Tampa Street Market, try to imagine a world where everything you bought came from Target. Maybe it's not so bad right? We could all wear the same poorly made clothes from a sweatshop. We could all eat the same few frozen dinners each night generated in a factory. We could all watch the same hundred movies they carry or listen to the same bands they support. Yay there's a new Christina Aguilera cd!
A monoculture where you have less and less choice every day is not one that I would want to live in! Let's get out there people! Explore those little indie shops that you've been eyeing and buy a cd from the actual musicians. Try out the glass company down the street or the plumbing store in your neighborhood. Just don't keep putting it off or one day when you finally get around to visiting those places, they will be gone.