LEX CANIS THE Lee Berlin Kyle Killam
Local Matters Why I Buy Small ... and so Should You
Well, it’s almost school season, which means we’ll all be seeing ads for backpack and binder sales from the big box stores, regardless of if we have kiddos at home or not. While I’m not a father, these nationwide sales from the likes of Walmart get me thinking about an issue very near and dear to my heart, which is why this month, I’m challenging everyone to buy local. Coming from a small town, I was raised in a time when this wasn’t a choice. There wasn’t a Kmart or OfficeMax for 60 miles. All the shops we’d go to were one of a kind, owned and operated by members of the community. Asking people to shop local back then would be like reminding someone not to breathe underwater. In truth, I didn’t fully see the importance of this until I started my practice in Tulsa. I was getting eye glasses for the first time a few years ago, and my eye doctor only gave me a few choices for frames. None of them felt right, so I did my research and found a little boutique shop in town called Eye Candy. What originally caught my interest was that the owner, Gretchen Denslow, was once a lawyer herself! Simply put, I knew she’d understand the demands of a working professional and be able to find me a pair of glasses that fit my lifestyle. What I found at Eye Candy was so much more than I bargained for. They had brands and styles I couldn’t find anywhere else in the city, and Gretchen proved adept at helping
me find the exact pair for me. She explained how glasses are often the first thing people notice about a person and how important it is to frame your face correctly. Thanks to her passion and attention to detail, she won a lifelong customer.
Beyond the excellent selections and expertise these small businesses offer, there is a level of customer service you just can’t get at a national chain. I’ve become friends with Gretchen and her optician, Wes; Travers and his office manager, Keri; his son, Tanner; and his wife, Lori. They know my needs and always make me feel so welcome when I walk in. Owning a local law firm, I can’t help but take notes. Indeed, our office is a boutique itself. We focus all our energy on one practice area and dedicate ourselves to being the best of the best. We also strive to build real relationships with our clients. After all, we’re representing you; you deserve to work with people you know and trust. No matter your needs, there are so many reasons to shop local. If you value having a strong local economy, shop local. If you want a personal relationship with service providers, shop local. If you want to reduce unemployment, shop local. And if you want a stronger community, shop local. In this day and age of online shopping and megastores, it’s never been more important to make an effort to keep your money where you live. Since we’re about to get a huge tax holiday this August, I can’t think of a more perfect time to get out and explore some of our truly great small businesses here in the greater Tulsa area. – Lee Berlin
Another local favorite of mine is Travers Mahan, a high-end haberdashery. The owner, Travers, hand selects every article of clothing and piece of fabric in the store and knows each one well. Were I shopping at Dillard’s or online, I’d be flying blind, but Travers can tell me how a suit lives and breathes. He even makes sure to only order two of every tie to ensure you almost never bump into someone with the same darn tie. That sort of thing happening in court can be embarrassing.
1 Berlin Law Firm • DefendingTulsa.comwww.defendingtulsa.com
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