Faces light up with recognition when I walk into a number of small businesses around Renton; I’m known by name. It’s a refreshing experience, and one I realize I’ve been missing.
Our culture has a secret; it’s not that we love our technology, but that we long for true connection. We clamor for the latest gadget and social media program, then we “connect” to one another through it. Through technology our culture is the most connected we have ever been, and yet those connections are superficial and unfulfilling. Despite Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and myriads of other online communities, we are lonely and long for something more.
Remaining anonymous while shopping regularly at small, locally owned stores is nearly impossible. Small shops with few employees are counting on your business. Consequently they tend to remember you. Merchants are transformed from nameless faces, ignored behind the counter as you swipe your card, to real people, who contribute to your community by cultivating unique places to purchase goods and services to fulfill your needs and wants.
This is your neighborhood. What do you want out of it? Where are you shopping to make that happen?