going local

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of grabbing lunch at a small cafe here in our new adopted hometown. From the handshake greeting from the owner, to the personable, friendly service of our food server who delivered tasty goodness on a plate (can you say BLT with a NM twist of adding both avocado AND green chile), it was a great experience.

Stumbling upon this type of establishment seems to be falling in line with my latest job focus — regional advertising. Having worked on global accounts in the past, there was excitement and pride knowing my words were being read by people all over. But I feel a greater sense of both knowing that, in some small way, the work I’m doing is helping people right where I live.

It’s like making the continued effort to support more of the Mom & Pop store, and less of the Big Box. Or choosing the vine ripe tomato at a local vegetable stand rather than one in the grocery store that appears to be red, but you know it started its journey many, many miles away as a green one.

Speaking of green, I know part of this “going local” trend has ecological benefits, too. I tend to work remotely most of the time, which helps cut down on my own personal carbon footprint. (It doesn’t hurt to have moved from the parking lot traffic of SoCal to a city with wider open spaces…and what seems to be better timed traffic lights…because I’ve upped my average mileage by nearly 4 mpg, or an additional 70-80 miles on each tank.) And by choosing local products that didn’t require being trucked/flown/trained in, that helps, too.

I guess this decision to look more at regional shops than those in bigger cities is a similar decision to my current shopping habits. Seems all the big agencies are owned by big holding companies. The regional shops tend to be more independent-minded, and maintaining a high level of creativity and professionalism. I’d rather experience the personal relationship and reward that comes from working on a piece of business where I actually get to interact with people in my vicinity. And where I can put my experience, talent, and expertise toward benefiting the people in my community.

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