Recently I bought these Kata tights by Karma at my Pure Barre Studio. AT FULL PRICE. I did this because I love Karma tights (this is my second pair) and I desperately needed a new pair of tights that fit (I bought these in a size SMALL. SMALL!!!!). And they were right there in front of me; I could take them home right then, and wear them to class the next day if I wanted to.
A few days later I was browsing Nordstrom’s activewear section and saw that the pants were on sale there for $68 – nearly $30 less than what I paid for them. Instantly, I berated myself a little for not checking there first (because how did I not remember that they were at Nordstrom? and that they’d go on sale eventually…I AM a shopping blogger…) and getting them for less.
But then, as I thought more about it, I reminded myself that I love the pants, believe they’re worth full-price, AND that I helped support a fellow female entrepreneur by buying from her independent boutique. No one at Nordstrom would have been particularly impacted by my purchase, but I know that my studio owner IS.
If everyone was like me and shopped around like a maniac before buying something, then she might not be able to keep up her retail business available for the other women who rely on her as an easy way to get workout clothing that is high-quality and most of the time eco-friendly. Small, independent boutiques struggle to survive amidst constant discounting and competition, but they are so important.
While I do try and purchase garments that are made in the US – or as with Karma, made in Canada (close by anyway!), I don’t spend enough of my money at smaller boutiques. I have spent a disproportionate amount of my clothing “budget” lately at James Perse and Splendid, so maybe that counts, but I’m not sure it’s “enough.” Part of my frustration is the pricing though, even at Steven Alan, James Perse, etc., prices are very high, and sale cycles are fewer and farther between. Every dollar off helps, so I search around online until I can find the best deal. (sometimes the best deal IS at an independent retailer)
I’m not saying I won’t continue to do that, but I would like to be more aware of what and when I can purchase from a smaller boutique, and in person. I’m enjoying the personal interaction I get shopping in person lately, and I would love to be just a teeny-tiny reason why we still HAVE small, independent boutiques in this country.
So, I’m proud that I bought my Karma tights where and from whom I did.
What about you? Would you ever purchase something from an independent retailer instead of a big-box store? Even if you end up paying more for it? Have you done that? Or is getting the very best deal the highest priority for you?