There has been a lot of talk recently about promoting business in Zionsville, specifically with the Walmart decision looming and questions revolving around how its arrival will impact local businesses. Earlier in the year, I also learned about the new Downtown Committee, spearheaded by the Chamber of Commerce to bring merchants together to promote downtown. Then there’s the Cultural District board which was formed by another group of individuals who are working together to help bring more exposure to their town. With this spirit of togetherness lately, I wouldn’t be surprised to see merchants take to the bricks grasping hands singing “kumbayah” or at least clinging together for dear life to create a human wall to prevent the Walmart semis from barreling into town. Okay, that was a joke.
But, seriously, I do admire the merchants, many of whom I have yet to meet, several who are competitors of one another, working together for a common cause to promote their beloved town. But, it makes me think of another important ingredient in the mix – YOU! You, the residents of Zionsville, who shop and eat on the streets of town or take your business elsewhere. I have found it interesting, especially with all the Walmart talk on how it will affect merchants “someday,” that people forget that merchants need your help NOW. And, this has nothing to do with a potential Big Box store around the corner.
Being intentional with where you spend your time and your money will affect this charming town where you live. This idea of “intentional shopping” I have personally tried to practice for years. Remember the Abercrombie and Fitch Christmas catalog of 2003 with its title, “280 pages of Moose, Ice Hockey, Chivalry, Group Sex & More…?” I do. I clearly remember flipping through a copy at the register with pages strewn with naked young models, sometimes in groups, with one ad reading, “Sex, as we know, can involve one or two, but what about even more?” That was it. Abercrombie and Fitch would never get a dime of my money, not ever. That was 10 years ago, and I can honestly say I have yet to step foot in that store, and neither of my teens has ever doned a piece of trendy clothing from it. Call me crazy, I call it intentional. I give my money to the “good guys,” the ones I want to keep in business. And, especially this Christmas season, those were the merchants of Zionsville, good people trying to make a living in the town that they love.
As my mom always said, “Put your money where your mouth is.” I would make one small adjustment, “Put your money where your town is.” And, may that be Zionsville.