Why should we support small businesses?

    I have been a Girl Scout for over a decade now (oh my goodness, that makes me sound so old!). This year everyone in my troop will be graduating, and my troop leader will have so much spare time on her weekends and holidays. We went through the rigmarole of selling cookies every year, so we had a good amount of savings to use up before we disband in June (que sad music). What did we decide to do with the money? Well, go on a senior trip of course. This mini vacation landed us in St. Augustine and Castillo de San Marcos in sunny Florida. When walking through a hub of stores we came across a place called “Stubbees” and were immediately drawn in.

     Being a seasoned HGTV viewer, the first thing I noted about the Stubbees storefront was the beautifully decorated interior. The storefront had big windows allowing the Florida sunshine to beam through and rich navy cabinets storing the traditional blossoms, whipped, and bourbon infused honey varieties. Natural wood shelves housed the face and body products in another section of the store, including the Instagram-worthy apparel on the backwall. I was taking photos of this gorgeous establishment while tasting basically every honey sample that was available–they were all delicious, but I must say that I preferred the traditional blossom varieties. What I am trying to say in simple terms is this–the store is beautiful! While browsing through the store my troop leader saw a copy of Southwest magazine (go to pages 48-49) with a photo of the store owner, Justin Stubblefield, and how he grew his family business to reach the shelves of grocery stores in the Southwest and their retail location in St. Augustine. We read through the blurb about him and continued browsing. A few minutes later, I heard someone walk out of the backroom, and my troop leader said, “Hey! Wait a minute–you’re Justin!” We got to meet Justin and talk to him about the high standards he sets for his products, his passion for protecting our pollinators, and what it is like to be a young entrepreneur. All of us could see how much he really cared about his work, and it makes you feel proud to purchase; you are helping to support someone’s dream. It makes a huge difference being able to see someone’s passion while you shop instead of through a tweet or Instagram post where those in charge are simply sitting at their huge oak desks delegating the grunt work to everyone else. He doesn’t do it alone though. In this same visit, Stubblefield’s mom was working the register, and his dad was greeting customers coming through the door (he also held it open for you–like what?) After our chat with Justin, we scourged the shelves for everything we wanted. Being a tree-hugger, I was quick to notice that everything was packaged sustainably–meaning packaging was mostly paper, aluminum, or glass with minimal plastic (whoop whoop!) My group left with facial oil, honey, lip balm, reusable wax wraps, and apparel in tote. Our items were wrapped in tissue paper and placed in our matte-black bags (with real handles) for us to take home. You just don’t get that kind of care at Walmart and Target.

     When is the last time you supported a small business? Or walked downtown in your hometown? Many people are scared off by the slightly higher price point, but you get what you pay for! You’ll be getting sustainable packaging, care, passion, supporting the local economy, and keeping dreams alive when you support small businesses–isn’t that priceless?

Check out Stubbees website here

P.S. Justin, we want stickers! Just think: people will buy them to put them on laptops, water bottles, and you could put them on the bags for purchases. Just a thought.


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