OK, so here I sit, at my desk, contemplating what role our business will take this “Black Friday”? “BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR”, “PRICES SLASHED” & “ONE DAY ONLY” does not really fit with our type of business. Yes, we do own a retail store that like most, depends on successful holiday sales to carry it through the first quarter of the year when shopping is a bit slow. But we have a really different mission than most retail stores and “ROCK BOTTOM PRICES” just does not fit our business.
As much as we look forward to successful holiday sales this year, I personally find “Black Friday” a bit repulsive and I have personally never jumped out of bed early the day after Thanksgiving to run out to department stores to fight the mass crowds in search of that amazing deal. Before having a life in retail, I used to love being with family during the holidays and looked forward to just hanging out, going with the flow and enjoying each other’s company. Now that we run a business my day after Thanksgiving is different, definitely not bad, just different.
I now look forward to working on the floor in our shop the day after Thanksgiving and truly enjoy it. First, because I am with my loving wife, spending the day together doing what we believe in and knowing that we are making a difference to so many.
Secondly, because we operate in a really great little destination town that does not really participate in any “Black Friday” chaos. The people we see come into our shop the day after Thanksgiving are generally our locals, with family and friends in tow, getting out of the house, strolling through all the quaint shops doing a little Christmas shopping, maybe a little wine tasting or even taking a horse drawn carriage ride through the candle lit streets of Healdsburg. It is festive, it is fun and it does really feel like the beginning of the Christmas season.
And last but definitely not least is the way our sales give opportunity to those who truly want to work and create a successful life for themselves and their families. Every product has a unique story and every sale makes a difference to the artisan and their communities. Many of our customers support us because of our mission but others just come in because they see something beautiful they just have to have. Either way, it is a win-win, artisans are empowered to stand on their own two feet and the consumer takes something handmade, unique and beautiful home for themselves or someone they love.
So, after two cups of coffee and reading through a few other posts from other Fair Traders & ethical bloggers that I follow, I have decided to join in on re-branding “Black Friday” to #FairIsTheNewBlack in hope that it will encourage people to think about where their products come from, who made them and can they have possibly been paid a living wage to produce the item we just found at such an amazing price?