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April 29, 2009

Illuminating Thought

Posted by admin

A few weeks ago when I was buying items for our Mother's Day Contest, I clicked over to one of my favorite sites for gift items,, and got this message:

"We want to thank you for your interest in the Illuminations brand and your loyalty over the years. We recently made the difficult decision to close our business in response to the unprecedented economic challenges. We appreciate your business and your love of candles." They referred me to Yankee Candle, which actually had bought Illuminations a few years ago. They are perfectly nice candles, but they are just not the same.

Illuminations had closed their east coast stores a while back and thus I only was ordering from them online for a while now, but seeing that option was gone as well got me taking a second look in my mailbox. I saw other companies sending me special email offers much the same as the ones I had gotten from Illuminations in the months before they closed, with free shipping and sales offers in them.

I keep saying that "I do not need anything" from those companies now. And I truly do not NEED anything, but it also made me wonder how much I would miss them in the years to come if they were not there when I wanted something from them, like Illuminations. Thus I thought about buying another set of sheets...or pillowcases...or the set of shelves I was thinking about saying "those would be perfect on that wall." Sure I, like everyone else, am thinking about every dollar that I spend, but there is a part of me thinking about how much I would miss these stores if they were not around when I wanted them at a later date.

And as a bibliophile I also thought about the bookstores that I love. How would I feel if they were not around?

And it gave me this thought. What if I looked at the places I really love to shop and figured out a way to buy SOMETHING from them in the next 30 days. I would not plunk down money wildly, but I want to take a serious look at the special places where I like the selection, personal service or the ambience. And support them.

May I ask you to take a moment and do the same thing, especially with places like indie stores and small size companies that you love? Friday, May 1st has been identified as a Shop Indie Bookstore Day where readers are encouraged to buy books from independent store owners. We'd love to see you support this effort. Click on to find the indie bookstore nearest you.

It's not about crass materialism. It's about supporting the places --- and the people that run them --- that you love. So they always will be there for you.