As I sit here in CrossIron Mills amidst the hustle and bustle of the Christmas shoppers, I can’t help but think about how the Alberta economy is impacting many families this year. With the oil prices last week hitting just about as low as they did in the economic downturn of 2009, the unemployment rate sitting at near 7% in the province with more layoffs to come and now CBC reporting that the suicide rate has jumped 30% compared to the same time last year as a result of the oil patch layoffs, it’s hard to feel all warm and fuzzy while frivolously spending money.
So just as my wandering thoughts did appear, along came a booth that captured my stare…
As you will read on the ‘About Us’ page of their website,
“Silla Designs began as a table at the local farmer’s market in the spring of 2008. With a love of design and a vision for sharing unique, wearable art, founder Young Sil Kong’s pieces were an instant hit. As the season came to an end, Silla moved into a small store front in Lethbridge.
Over the years, it has expanded from jewelry to fashion accessories, clothing and gifts.
Now with three locations across Alberta, as well as an online shop, Silla offers its own line of women’s clothing, which includes unique, high-quality tunics and graphic tees. You will also find a variety of men’s items like gifts, accessories and clothing. With a growing online presence and quality service, Silla hopes you find exactly what you’re looking for.”
It was the most darling little booth in the middle of the mall, competing with all of the huge retailers, and staffed by…guess who…the owner, Young Sil Kong. So I stopped and admired her creations, captured a few pictures (shown above) and purchased the cutest handmade, wide knit head band. In a brief conversation at the cash, the owner mentioned that business was definitely slower this year and the hardest part was though sales have declined, her rent remains the same.
Now as I sit here, unbeknownst to the owner and writing this brief article about my encounter with her fabulous little shop, I encourage you to consider all of the reasons why you should shop local. Regardless of having a Silla Designs in your area or not, I’m certain you can think of at least a dozen retailers in your community that would truly appreciate your support this Christmas and always. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Live Local. Love Local.