It seems everyone has a personal connection to the effects of our troubled economy. As a result, shoppers I spoke to are being very careful about the amount of money they're spending on gifts this season, and consciously planning where they will spend their money - choosing to support local artisans and small businesses rather than mindlessly fighting through the aisles at behemoth big box stores.
Some of the talented people I have had the pleasure of meeting over the past few weeks shared their stories with me. Corporate job layoffs have forced them to rely on the income they make from their 'hobbies'. So before you head to the mall to finish your Holiday shopping, give some thought to where your dollars are going. Stop by a small retail shop in your town or log onto www.etsy.com and search for local artists. Spend your money in a thoughtful way that will provide unique gifts while supporting your community.
And by all means, before you venture into Wal-Mart, think of how this company is changing the retail landscape across our country.