Shop Local, But Why?

It’s that time of year again, gift-giving season. As you compile your list of people to buy for and rack your brain for what to buy them, let us make a case for “shopping local”. We hear this term a lot, but have you really ever stopped to think about what it really means? Most of the treasures in our store are upcycled, recycled, reclaimed, repurposed, vintage, handmade or just plain second-hand. If you want to be completely socially and economically responsible, this is truly the best way to buy.

According to the EPA, almost 50 percent of the earth’s pollution is directly related to industrial pollution. Shopping locally helps to cut down on processing, packaging, and transportation waste, leading to less pollution. In addition to that, when you shop local, more of your dollars go right back into our community. For every $100 spent at a local biz, $68 of that stays in that community. For every $100 spent at a big box store, only $48 stays in the community. If every family committed to spending $10 a month in local stores instead of chain stores, over $9 billion would be returned to local communities!

When you shop at AAE, not only are you supporting local artisans that spend countless hours making products to sell, you are helping to provide local jobs. We are a community marketplace that treasures the relationships we have built between customers and vendors and we are proud to play host to so many talented people that otherwise wouldn’t have a place to sell their items.

At AAE, we value community and one another, and that is not a principle easily found while shopping at big box stores. We also care about social responsibility and doing the right thing. We believe giving new life to old things is a great way to spend our time and money and we hope you do to.

So this season, if you adhere to these values or you just want to find some really cool UNIQUE gifts that no one else has, come see us! We can help you! We are open 7 days a week. We have literally thousands and thousands of unique items (handmade and otherwise) that you won’t find anywhere else.

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Ashland Artisan Emporium

The Ashland Artisan Emporium is owned by Michelle Christian, wife and mother of 3 daughters. Her husband, Travis, is the business manager for Adroit Construction in Ashland, Oregon. The Emporium was the vision of Michael Rydbom, Michelle's father. In April of 2010, Michael asked his daughter if she would be willing to help transform the old DJ's Video space into a crafter's marketplace. Michelle had always admired her dad's entrepreneurial spirit and was eager to make him proud, so even though she already had two kids, a real estate career and one more daughter on the way, she said yes. On November 1, 2010, the store opened it's doors to a welcome reception from the community. They were voted Best New Business of 2010 only months later by the Ashland Sneak Preview. Within weeks of opening, the store was at capacity and had quickly become the "go-to" store for all things unique and affordable.

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