I am an ardent advocate for the “buy local” movement. I believe that buying goods and services from locally owned independent business ultimately strengths my community and country, economically and socially. However, not everything I need or want is produced in my local area. So, when I need to buy something unavailable from a local merchant, I shop merchants in surrounding localities, or order online from small independent business in my region or elsewhere in the country. While I’m not always technically shopping local, I am supporting communities throughout the country by purchasing from locally owned, independent businesses. This “buy local” approach is limited only to the boarders of the United States, which is not always easy, and for some products, impossible because, sadly, entire U.S. industries have been outsourced overseas. We’d like do our small part to reverse this disturbing trend.
When we started The Old Colony Company, we made a conscious effort to co-opt this “buy local” approach to sourcing local for ingredients for products we make and offer in our store. Our “source local” strategy works like this: we first look within surrounding communities for suppliers of ingredients we use. If we cannot find a local, independently owned supplier, we look at communities where we’ve made a personal or economic investment, such as our hometowns or places where we spend vacation or time with family and friends. If we still have problems locating a supplier, we look across the country for a small, independently owned supplier, preferably in areas that could use an economic boost.
Our approach to doing business is a practical, economically viable, and socially responsible way of bringing you quality, uniquely American products at a fair price. The friendships and personal connections made with local, independent business partners are priceless. We are constantly inspired by the strong sense of community-centered entrepreneurship that has been the chief economic engine throughout history. We believe a strong economy is a pixelated image, with each pixel being a local merchant, focused equally on their bottom line and the well-being of the communities in which they trade and operate.
In the coming months we will be featuring profiles of local artists, craftpersons and local business partners who help us bring you exceptional products. The first artist we will be featuring is Michael McIntyre of Fire Robin Farm Pottery in Leitersburg, Maryland. Michael has produced a shaving mug exclusively for The Old Colony Company, which we have been featuring in our men’s collection at our shows this summer. In the coming weeks, we will be offering Michael’s work online as the centerpiece of our new men’s bath and body sets.
If you are an artist, crafter or small business located in central Maryland or the surrounding region, and interested in partnering with us, please give us a shout. We’d love to hear from you and explore the possibilities of working together.