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Gifting Local

Everyone Gains When We When Shop Local During the Holidays

Article by Caitlyn Olson

Photography by Photos by Diandra

Originally published in Greeley Lifestyle

The holiday months are some of our busiest times. From light parades, family vacations, Christmas recitals, or work holiday parties, we often forget a crucial characteristic of the holiday season -- gift giving. So, imagine this… it's three weeks until Christmas and you haven’t yet begun your holiday shopping. Most of us might start panic buying generic gifts like perfumes for mom, lotions for grandma, and a coffee mug for dad. While this method is instinctive and easy, there is a better way. If you take the time to look, you will find unique, personalized, and thoughtful gifts at the numerous local businesses right here in our community. Year round, and especially during the holidays, it is essential that we think local, shop local, and buy local. 

Simply put, it's crucial for the economic vitality of our community that we put our money where our home is. Keeping money in our community means boosting the economy, maintaining job growth, and generating future growth. When you shop at large box chains, less than 14% of the dollar will stay in Greeley. Conversely, when you shop locally, more than 50% of that money is recirculated back into the community to residents, restaurants, schools, and even local services such as our police departments, fire departments, and infrastructure. Gifting local ensures that your hard-earned dollars are being recycled back into the Greeley community.

Local shops, like Warms Hugs or Blush Boutique, provide unique gifts and customer service that you won’t find anywhere else. Emilie Casseday, owner of Blush Boutique, states: “When you invest in Greeley, you keep our community thriving.” Much of what Emilie offers at Blush is made uniquely by other local businesses and artists. Though you may not realize it, when you shop at local businesses, you’re supporting a long line of local artisans. Emilie says, “Local businesses have a unique dream, a unique product, and a unique mission to do something special for the community, not simply trying to sell a service or product.” She continues, “What we’re trying to do is create community, and maybe you’ll just find something cute while we’re at it.”

Many small business owners in Greeley have lived and raised their families in this community, like Suzanne and Jim Sereff, owners of Warm Hugs. Suzanne says, “Greeley is a wonderful community because the people want to see small businesses prosper.” The Sereff’s specialize in unique food mixes.  Their mixes, which are made and packaged in store, make the perfect gift for anyone on your list, as well as the variety of clothing, home decor, and jewelry that they carry.

Most importantly, Suzanne explains, “When you shop with us, your support goes a long way... You are supporting our family, our employees, and our community.” She continues, “We hope to continue providing our community items that bring them joy.” The Sereff’s are invested in the future of the community and are committed to making Greeley a great place to live. 

Emilie and Suzanne both share how local owners love to provide you with suggestions for those on your list who you may not even know where to start, “which you’re not going to find anywhere else.” Emile states, “We want our customers to feel like they are seen and feel right at home when they walk through our doors.” Personalized customer service is something you will find at Blush, Warm Hugs, and dozens of local businesses in our Greeley community.  

Gifting local this holiday season is simple, personal, and the best solution for our community. These businesses are one of a kind, community focused, and an integral part of Greeley’s unique character. As we invest in our local businesses, they’ll invest back in us. So, head to your favorite local shop, or visit one you’ve not yet been, and gift local this holiday season.

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