Being from a small town, I get to frequent locally-owned stores. There are great advantages to this but the most rewarding thing to me is the wonderful customer service I receive. This morning, I had three days worth of errands to run. (I've been home with a sick child for three days and today was her first day back at school.)
First stop, If It's Paper for birthday supplies for Millie's upcoming 4th birthday party. It's a Winter Wonderland Party. Not only was everything I purchased 50% off because it was considered Christmas, but I was able to catch up with the manager about her little girl who she adopted shortly after we adopted Millie. After a stop at the grocery, it was off to Carolina Girls for a Vera Bradley bag for my niece and a Webkinz for my other niece. Well, Webkinz were buy one get one free so I picked up a second one for Millie's birthday. There were three salespeople working and they all three spoke to me and offered a smile, even though they were also digging through an enormous shipment of boxes. From there, I had to go to Mount Pleasant Music to replace a book Jonathan lost earlier this year. He has a test tomorrow on it and it couldn't wait any longer. Well, wouldn't you know, they were out of the book I needed. But, Mike, the owner, offered to go get me one at a totally different music store tonight. Unfortunately, this will be too late for the test. So, he made a call to that store to see if they had it and is having them hold it for me. Have you ever? Well, I hadn't. This was the nicest thing any store owner had ever one for me. Next, I stopped off at Wild Birds Unlimited to look for some sort of seed house. You know, the houses that are actually made of seeds? The birds eat the whole thing. They had one but it wasn't what I wanted so I settled on a seed bell. After a 10 minute talk with the owner about her friend's bi-polar daughter and a current situation she's having right now, it was time to pick up Millie. (This is a good example of how we're put in the paths of others for a reason. I have a friend who has a family member who is bi-polar and I've heard her struggles. After admitting this to this woman, she talked and talked and talked. She was able to get so much off of her chest that she otherwise would have had to carry with her all day. I'm glad I was there; I hope it helped.)
Something tells me if I'd gone to chain stores for all of my needs thing would have turned out differently.