Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I can’t think of a better time to show our local businesses some love. This V-Day, show that you care not only about your sweetheart but about your community – visit your locally owned jewelers, chocolatiers and florists like Good Old Days Eco-Florist in New Windsor, New York.
Lynn Mehl had been in business for 20 years before she had an epiphany that completely changed the way she ran her business – she had no idea where a majority of her flowers came from. The flowers she had been filling her shop with were no longer vibrant and they just didn’t have the aroma that fresh flowers should have. She took it upon herself to research the industry and what she found was even more unsettling than she imagined. Lynn essentially discovered that the floral industry is one massive imported, chemical and plastic laden corporate industry and that American flower farms were few and far between.
“I found that nearly 80% of all flowers sold in the U.S. at any outlet are imported. Furthermore, almost 100% of all florist products, gifts and design mechanics are imported and not the slightest bit eco-friendly,” said Lynn. “I was so shocked and really upset at how stupid we all were.”
After this revelation, Lynn made a decision to change the way she operated her business and started a second phase of research – seeking out local and U.S. flower farms. At first, Lynn was apprehensive about this new business model but the reaction she received from her local community was overwhelmingly positive.
It’s been almost a decade since she revolutionized her shop and today, Lynn is still in business and happier than ever at Good Old Days. She’s credited with creating the first “eco florist” offering exclusively locally and U.S. grown flowers. She has been honored with “green” awards and certifications from all across New York.
“Being a green business is my heart and being a business of U.S. goods is my responsibility,” said Lynn. I’m showing customers that I buy local, which is all the more reason for them to make the decision to buy local themselves. Not to mention, the quality of Lynn’s locally grown flowers is much higher than her big box and internet competitors – her flowers last longer, look better and even smell better.
If every family in the country spent $100 of their Valentine’s Day shopping budget at locally owned, independent businesses over $7.8 billion* would be directly returned to local communities. Calculate the impact you could have in your area this Valentine’s Day or use Independent We Stand’s locally owned business locator to find businesses like Good Old Days.
* Based on Civic Economics Andersonville Study of Retail Economics: When you spend $100 at an independent business, $68 returns to the local economy versus $43 when spent with a national chain. Based on U.S. Census projection of 115 million households.