When we opened The Guest Room over sixteen years ago, we simply wanted to provide handcrafted furnishings and accessories so that our clients could create beautiful, comfortable homes. That was our mission, then and now.
So, the re-birth of “shop local, buy small’ movement was a surprising yet welcomed one because it’s a drum we’ve been beating for some time. Buying furniture from a local small business raises the bar when it comes to style and substance. While much of the emphasis has been on the benefits to small business owners like us, the recurring question posed by shoppers is “What’s in it for me?”
We’re glad you asked. Here are the five big benefits of shopping small:
1. You’re treated like family. With a global economy —thanks to online shopping—we’re gaining immediate access but we’re also losing the capital that comes with a personal relationship. And let’s face it, relationships matter.
Unlike with an online purchase, shopping small gives you a personal, face-to-face relationship with your neighbor shop keeper. Relationship building extends even beyond you. We also value the one-to-one connection we have with our manufacturers like Three Coins Cast, a second generation family-owned company in Newman, Georgia and designers like Randal Weeks of Aiden Gray who share our commitment to exceptional design and superior customer service. Knowing who creates the products sold in our stores and placed in your homes conveys that personal touch that you cannot get from the big box stores. When you walk through our doors, you will receive exceptional customer service because you’re not a dime a dozen to us.
2. You get extra customized service. For example, we don’t just sell furnishings – we also offer personalized interior design services. At the Guest Room, our knowledgeable staff is invested in helping you create a home of distinction. This is done by working closely with client after client in selecting products best suited for their respective lifestyle. Cookie-cutter design need not apply.
3. You support “Made in the USA” makers. The creative economy is robust in America. Shopping small invites you to endorse the best-and-brightest designers in your backyard and across the country. Handcrafted furniture and accessories are not put together in an afternoon. They are designed and constructed with the utmost attention to detail and premium materials by artisan hands.
4. You’re purchasing unique products. Admit it…don’t you love having something that no one else does? In shopping with a small furniture business, you get the twinge of satisfaction of knowing that the pieces in your home cannot be found at IKEA, Pottery Barn and other mass market outlets.
5. You’re creating a thriving community. When you spend your dollars at The Guest Room and other local businesses, it generates a measurable boom to city, town and hamlet. You are investing in local employment and job growth, infrastructure, education and public services. Small businesses are an integral part to a community’s sustainability. Tourism boards and chambers of commerce sing the praises of independent-owned, small businesses because they up the ante on charm for local and visiting consumers. Charm equals commerce.
Your home décor is an extension of your personal style statement. Buying from a small retailer versus a mass market outlet showcases the elements of your décor philosophy better than any big box store. After all, anyone can go to the mall (virtually or in person) but in supporting a local furniture retailer, you’re boosting the economy, investing in Made in USA industry and gaining one-of-a-kind products.