Posted on September 14 2015
Hey y'all! Since I just got the pictures from our recent #ShoppeSouthern back to school after hours event today, I not only want to blog to show some of them off, but also to share something that has seemed of even more importance than usual to me today. A little back history on the event before I share the pics: My friend Chance opened a men's specialty store this past December while I was working the SJ booths in Vegas for the NFR. While I missed his grand opening, I have been sure to be at as many of his event as possible, to go to his store whenever I want to buy Grant a gift or something new, and to most importantly support another young local business owner in the same industry as myself. Thus we decided to collide forces for a back to school event featuring both of our stores. Between the business names being Southern Jewlz Boutique and Kie Men's Shoppe combined with both of our love for the South, the State of Texas and shopping local, thus the name Shoppe Southern was born! Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big supporter of shopping small, shopping local and supporting small businesses! I also am a super friendly competitor (with 99% of other boutiques and specialty stores…). If you're shopping in my store and we don't have what you're looking for, you'll more than likely hear one of my team members or myself direct you to another boutique either in town or online where you can hopefully find what it is you what to purchase. And most of the time when I recommend customers to check out other boutiques in town or another locally owned small business, I'll follow up with "please let them know that we referred you their way". The reason I do this is to show that we at Southern Jewlz boutique DO in fact support other local businesses, even those that are deemed our competitors. Why, you may ask??? Because I'm a firm believe that when the tide is high, we all rise. I only have a small specialty boutique. There is no way that I can service every single customer's request. I only carry a limited amount of inventory in a limited amount of sizes and quantities. So when I can't fulfill a customer's requests, I would prefer to see them spend their money locally in my community. And the second best option is I would then refer someone to shop online with another small business. Moreover, people connect with people. So if I go shop at another small business or refer my friends and customers to do so, then it's more likely that business owner will support my business and send shoppers my way! Community over competition! I truly believe this mindset helps encourage people to either spend the rest of their money (of course I hope that SJ gets the first option to service them) locally in the town where I own a business, or else it encourages them to spend their money over the phone or online with another small specialty store. Spending money locally and with small businesses supports entrepreneurship. And by supporting entrepreneurship, America's economic innovation and prosperity is fueled! Entrepreneurs are risk takers who work endless hours and sacrifice time that could be spent with family, friends and loved ones. And moreover, they help create more jobs and benefits for others! I told Grant tonight as we went to eat dinner at a small locally owned place in downtown Bryan that it is my goal to make a conscious effort to spend more of my money locally and with small businesses. And I encourage everyone reading this to do the same! So instead of hating that boutique neighbor that opened up, why not collaborate with them!? Thus be sure to check out Kie Men's Shoppe all social media outlets and also online at www.ShopKIE.com. The official hashtag is #ShopKIE. Y'all be sure to tell Chance I sent ya and also that I was sure to capitalize all letters of KIE just like he likes it! (And of course that's in the same voice pitch as when I say things like "Tell your mama and everybody that I said Hey" or "Y'all be sure to come back and shop with us again; we get new arrivals daily") Speaking of, be sure to check out our latest Southern Harvest collection online. Thank you to James Barrett for the beautiful pictures. James is the official photographer for KIE and did a fabulous job! I of course did miss my dear friends Luke and Cat who live near Houston and have done lots of photography work for SJ. Be sure to check both photographers out as I know they are all small business and shopping local advocates! And last thing before I share pics from the event is to mark your calendar for Thursday October 15. This will be 5 years since I opened the very first retail doors of Southern Jewlz boutique. The party isn't all planned just yet, but the date is set! Either way, you won't wanna miss out as #SJTurns5! To see all the pics from #ShoppeSouthern, be sure to check out the Facebook Album!