Today I started the in person Holiday shopping season. I took my mask out of its holster, hopped in the car and rolled out with a bff. We went to local Holiday marketplaces. One place featured vendors who left their crafts on tables for consumers to self-vend and purchase. You peruse the beauty, intricacy, imagine the time and effort, muse over the price and decide to purchase without the owner/expert in attendance. The self-vending idea does cut down on the time spent at the location and pandemic risk management (less stopping and chatting). The exchange of pleasantries, information and acknowledgement by the craftsperson of their candles, cheese, condiments, ornaments, wreaths, gloves, scarves, candy, etc. is a void that until today, I didn’t know that I missed.
The locations that had their subject matter experts (vendors) present and communicating with you were the best. The rooms were large, loud and chaotic, but had food and clean bathrooms. With donned masks and two years of practice, we now know when people are smiling with their eyes. Purchasing goods and watching for the newly formed crow’s feet made for happy people on both sides of the aisle. Some of the business people were new entrepreneurs and a few were long time captains in their industries. Many had used the time in this pandemic to create inventory, reconfigure their business models and update their presence in person and on social media. The vendors were kind, welcoming and appreciative of our purchases. Create a great day for yourself and others by buying local.