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Shop Small and Local Businesses for One-of-a-Kind Experience

Angel Mitchell works on the Christmas tree at J&J’s on Main in Marble Falls. Shop owner Lindsay Burrow says local stores like hers offer a wide array of benefits for customers such as personal attention, custom products, and an atmosphere you can’t find online or in chain stores. Burrow and many businesses in the Highland Lakes depend on people shopping locally. Since 2010, American Express has emphasized the importance of shopping locally through its annual Shop Small promotion, which is Saturday, Nov. 25, this year. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

MARBLE FALLS — Lindsay Burrow, owner of J&J’s on Main, doesn’t sugar coat it when it comes to the importance of people shopping locally over going online or heading into a larger city.

“For me, it’s my kids,” she said. “This is how I make a living, and it’s how I keep my kids here in school.”

As the Christmas season approaches, many people begin eyeing trips to the bigger cities or browsing online stores. Local businesses owners really want people to give the their shops a try first.

A great day to start is Saturday, Nov. 25, when American Express holds its annual Shop Small promotion.

Though “small” in name, small businesses pack a big economic punch. According American Express research, more than 99 percent of all Texas businesses are small businesses (500 or fewer employees). They employ almost 50 percent of the Texas workforce.

For Burrow, however, it’s not about the big numbers; it’s about the personal feel small businesses like hers have.

“We have a complete experience,” she said. “You can come in and look, touch, and smell — you really get to experience everything.”

Burrow and her staff can also customize items in the shop. Plus, with the addition of the Painted Pallet, a hands-on art workshop, customers can get an experience not possible online.

There’s just something special about walking into a small store with its handpicked decor and unique items. It even gets people into the Christmas mood.

“We had two girls walk in here and look around, and when they left, they said they couldn’t wait to get home so they could decorate for Christmas,” Burrow said. “That was, for me, a compliment.”

Business owners like Burrow know they can provide great products with great service at competitive prices. All they ask is shoppers give them a chance.

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