by Karen Vazquez
People ask me all of the time: “What is LoSoCal?” The answer is simple. I am an advocate for our local Southern California small business owners and artists. LoSocal is the brand that I created about three and a half years ago as a way for me to share my favorite aspects of the local scene in Southern California through photography and the written word. What I love the most about the local vibe here in SoCal is the shops, restaurants, artists and events!
For me, shopping local is a way of life. I try my best to shop local and utilize local services and products as much as possible. I have heard from several people that it’s simply too expensive, especially with Amazon and a great deal of inexpensive stores and resources out there that bombard our lives with their “sales” and “promotions.” I am not against shopping at franchises and chain stores, however I am aware of the positive impact that shopping locally can have on our communities, and so it is something I focus on quite a bit when I am shopping, dining out or hiring someone for a service.
To highlight a few important aspects of shopping locally and using local services and tradespeople, I figured I would offer a list of HOW this practice positively impacts and enhances our neighborhoods.
First off, it benefits the environment by minimizing the mass transport of many products we order or use. It’s an undeniable truth with semi trucks, vans and oversized vehicles buzzing around always in route for deliveries. By shopping locally we literally reduce fuel consumption and air pollution from vehicle emissions. When we shop at our local grocery stores and farmers markets, we are benefiting the environment because many of the local farmers and distributors of products are not transporting their food and products to far distances. What they grow, create or manufacture is provided to local stores, shops and consumers and the quality is usually exceptional compared to other mainstream chains.
Another benefit of shopping in our local SoCal communities is accessibility. It’s as simple as that. In many areas of coastal Southern California we can walk outside to a neighboring farmers market, ride a bike to a coffee shop or a cafe or if we do drive somewhere… there are so many local stores and boutiques that the options abound. In my personal opinion, it is a matter of investing a minimal amount of time doing research on the internet either before hand or even on the go and you’re on your way! By utilizing the local small businesses in our neighborhoods, we automatically contribute to our communities by increasing the value of these local companies and brands. Every local purchase we make provides income for our community shop owners and entrepreneurs. That is why I regularly emphasize on LoSoCal how crucial it is to take our daily purchases off of “auto-pilot” mode and convert them into regular acts of consumer awareness and mindfulness.
So many of us forget that by shopping locally we also create and sustain jobs in our communities. This is perhaps the most obvious reason why we should shop in our local villages and communities. The more we create a demand for local goods and products, the more we proactively develop a thriving workforce in our local cities and towns.
I could go on in more detail about how we can impact our communities with making locally sourced purchases, but the reasons are quite obvious. Here is a list of my favorite reasons to shop local: it helps the environment, it is convenient, it boosts our local employment opportunities and local economies, the products and goods are generally of higher quality and the service at our local stores and shops is customarily better than at chain stores. And, by supporting local tradespeople, artisans, musicians and other local people who are experts in their crafts, we are essentially investing in the families of our local friends and neighbors!
That is always a good choice.
Thanks for reading!
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Owner, Lead Blogger
Hello, my name is Karen Vazquez. I have lived in Southern California for over thirty years. I realized about four years ago that it was time for me to give back to this wonderful community by supporting local SoCal businesses, performers, restaurants, spas, boutiques, fitness studios, farmers markets and more. My support shines through here by highlighting these fabulous local SoCal spots. You can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter, PInterest and LinkedIn. I will be featuring many local destinations in the area that have been my personal favorites for years and am currently recruiting guest bloggers to expand the voice of LoSoCal. I have had guest bloggers in the past, but aim to incorporate local SoCal bloggers on a regular basis as a fun, creative and collaborative way to connect with the community here. Essentially, LoSoCal is a community blog, and it is meant to be resource to locals in this area and visitors from around the world. Please like or follow LoSoCal on the social media business pages and tell your contacts about the blog. Thanks for stopping by...
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