The last time I stopped in to do a little shopping, in addition to plenty of customers, owner Bill Evans had stacks of packages as high as his counter ready to ship to destinations all across the country, or possibly the world. "That's just from today," he told me. And the day was far from over.
This business success couldn't happen to a nicer guy. But the best part is that what is good for Evans, is also good for many others here in the Pacific Northwest. His sales certainly impact the 250 or so regional artists, artisans, small scale food producers, authors, vintners, and those who run cottage industries, all of whom supply his wares, and all of whom he knows personally.
He hopes they, in turn, will spend their profits locally. Keeping money circulating in the Northwest economy puts a smile on his face, and mine too, especially when I find the perfect gift. That could be homemade soap, food items, art glass, books, pottery, jewelry, smoked salmon, Washinton State wine, or any of countless other high quality products he sells. You can see them all on his website, here.
Just as ABC News reported in a story this week, (watch the video here,) people all over the country are taking this Buy American movement seriously, with tangible results: newly created jobs. If we start to realize the impact of our choices and our collective power as millions of consumers, maybe things will turn around. We're a nation of strong, smart people, and change will come thanks to grassroots efforts. Let's all make it a point to buy American goods, thereby creating American jobs. It all starts in your own home town. Evans does his part with enthusiasm.
Long before "Buy American" became a slogan and a cause, Evans actively advocated not only this idea, but also the "Buy Local" movement. But no matter what your motives, the goods he sells offer enough reason to shop there, regardless of where you live. In addition to the brisk mail order business he does through his website, where orders over $100 ship free, local shoppers can make their selections and have him ship the package for them.
So, does Evans have a trade secret? How does the Pacific Northwest Shop do so well in today's economy? The answer is simple, and it's no secret. In fact, he flaunts his philosophy to the world.
"Hey, did you see my sign in the window?" he asked me. Since I'd approached the building from the east, I had not, but I went outside and around the corner and there on the side facing 27th I saw the reasons for his success spelled out, along with the attitude of gratitude that attracts so many customers to his store.
It says, "THANKS FOR SUPPORTING OUR SMALL, FAMILY-OWNED, INDEPENDENT BUSINESS. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!"
You're welcome. And here's my thanks to retailers like Bill Evans and all of you who are choosing to BUY AMERICAN AND BUY LOCAL. I can't think of a better way to show your patriotism.