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Babies smile brighter with gifts from us!

24 Jan '17

What Is The Future of Your Community?

Posted by Ginny Parker

What Is The Future of Your Community?

Do you shop Amazon? Here in our small city, we don't have much in the way of shopping malls and big box retail and after checking with our local shops sometimes we have to resort to online shopping. Supporting our local merchants first is part of keeping our community just that, a community. We do have some great choices for retail experiences but occasionally we just can't find it locally. So despite our shop local, shop small inclinations we go to the web.

But a growing concern for us at Baby's First and so many other small retailers, along with many of the big boxes, is the space in the marketplace that is being consumed by Amazon. If you want to make every purchase choice from a screen, then Amazon's your dream come true. But what about those times when you need something NOW. Or maybe you want to touch and feel the product you are considering. Or maybe you have some questions and would like a smile along with the answers, or just even to feel like you are communicating with another human. At the rate Amazon is consuming the marketplace, that won't be possible in the future.

According to the  Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), Amazon is eating up the retail marketplace. Amazon captures nearly one of every two dollars spent online. Some 55 percent of people looking to buy something online start directly on Amazon. Half of all Americans are members of Amazon Prime.

Need more convincing that too much reliance on Amazon may not be such a good thing?  As Amazon keeps growing, it forces smaller retail into one of two boxes. Either the small retailer, or in many cases established big boxes, can continue to battle against the big gorilla and watch their on line sales continue to decrease or they can become part of the problem, listing their goods on Amazon where they become dependent on Amazon and have smaller profit margins. For small businesses, neither is a sustainable choice.

The convenience of shopping on Amazon is very tempting for us all.  But as Amazon consumes the marketplace, the local communities are left weaker and workers are left less prosperous.So far Amazon's growth has led to 135 million square feet of retail space becoming vacant, the equivalent of about 700 big-box stores plus 22,000 small businesses. How many vacancies do you see in your community? I know we experience them in our town. Those vacancies mean fewer dollars to be spent locally and fewer property taxes to be paid in the community. ISLR, in their research, has concluded that employees in Amazon’s warehouses make 15 percent less on average than other warehouse workers in the same region earn. Where are the wins in this scenario? Yes, the product we want to buy might be cheaper on Amazon but we'll pay for it in the end in higher taxes.

So the next time you consider purchasing from Amazon consider this: Are the few dollars saved  when you click the buy button worth the future of strong, vibrant communities? What do you want your community to look like, a thriving busy, active neighborhood or a bunch of boarded up businesses?

Of course, we encourage everyone to shop local and shop small. Sometimes that just doesn't work though. We think the next best thing is search for smaller businesses when shopping online. And a last resort might be the big boxes that aren't Amazon. That way the marketplace continues to give us all choices.

14 Dec '16

What Moms Really Want For Christmas

Posted by Ginny Parker in Christmas, gift ideas, Lexington, Shop Local

What Moms Really Want For Christmas

Ask any Mom what she wants this year and she'll tell you she wishes for a happy holiday with her family and for everyone to be healthy. And while that's true, if you dig a little deeper, you'll discover what that really means. We have a few thoughts that are the results of personal experience and what our customers tell us.

Here's our list of Mom's deepest desires:

First, she'd love to be able to sleep in one or two mornings. Sleep is the one thing mothers never seem to have enough of and with some cooperation between Dad and the kids, maybe just for a couple of mornings during the holidays she could actually get some extra Zzzzzz....

Second, Mom would love a delicious meal that did not involve her cooking it or cleaning up the mess after everyone has eaten. Dad, or the grandparents perhaps, could foot the bill for a nice dinner out or what she might enjoy even more is the kids handing her an afghan and cozy pillow as she puts her feet up in her favorite chair while the rest of the family takes on kitchen duty for the evening. Come on Dads, you can do this! And pizza delivery doesn't count fellas, has to be a good meal.

Moms energy gets zapped regularly during the holiday season, so it might be Dad's job or perhaps an older child can help keep the coffee ready for those times Mom needs a boost.

Okay kids, you can take charge of this one! Keep all the toys picked up. Don't let Mom see any out of place during the holidays unless you are using them. And when you're done, put them away! Simple but effective. And Mom will relish it too.

How would you like a massage? We can guarantee Mom would love one. Again, a simple thing but very effective for relieving the holiday stress and keeping Mom in a good mood.

Chocolate and lots of it! Chocolate makes everything better and there are so many ways to provide it. A hot cocoa in the evening or a chunk of it mid day will give Mom a dose of goodness that she'll enjoy.

Peace. After all isn't that what the angels decreed? Peace on Earth. Or at least in your house. Give weary Mom a few minutes of her very own everyday and everyone will be happier for it. And kids, you can help with this Peace thing too; no squabbles during the holidays. Peace.

And our last suggestion is the easiest of all. Hugs and kisses. Moms love hugs and kisses and not just the chocolate ones either. They are easy and free and make for cherished moments. Shower her with them!

Now, if you don't think you can accomplish everything on our list, pick your top three and go for it!  It is a guarantee for a very Merry Christmas!

 

04 Nov '16

Our Simple Secrets of the Perfect Baby Gift

Posted by Ginny Parker in Fun, gift ideas, Shop Local

Our Simple Secrets of the Perfect Baby Gift

We see it all the time. A customer comes in looking for a gift because they're going to a baby shower. Some shop early and take their time in choosing a gift while others are last minute customers who are shopping on the fly.  But both have one thing in common, they want the perfect gift. Here are the thoughts we frequently share with our customers in search for the perfect baby gift.

First, while you want the perfect gift for the new family, a gift is about the giver as well. Choose a gift that reflects your personality as well as something the mother will like.

There are always the "go to" brands or products. If you don't know the mother well, there are always safe choices which never fail to please. 

Often the mother has a registry at a big box. Many of our customers use the registry as a starting point for choosing a wonderful and unique gift. Read the registry list and even bring it shopping with you. That way, you can have an idea of what Mom likes and wants and you can get creative from there. A recent customer had a registry list and from it determined the nursery was being decorated with a zoo theme. Our customer felt safe buying a giraffe belly blanket and the new mom loved it. 

Of course, we recommend Shop Local. Or if you are shopping online, choose the smaller online stores, like ours, and stay away from the big boxes. You are far more likely to find something unique that no one else has found.  

And the last thing we recommend is this --- Have fun with it!

 

 

06 Mar '16

Mornings Would Be Better If...

Posted by Julie Sager in Fun, Hashtags

Mornings Would Be Better If...

I'll admit, this hashtag game caught me on a slow-to-rise morning. But I got some great ideas for making my mornings better. Which of these would help your morning?




At some point, we just got greedy.


28 Nov '15

Our Community

Posted by Julie Sager in Caroling, Christmas, Lexington

Our Community

We talked about the importance of community... Last night ours went caroling, in a big way.
Hundreds walked through our picture perfect downtown following a horse-drawn carriage to see the lighting of the Christmas tree. I snapped some pictures with my cell phone as we sang and decided to share them with you.
Caroling at Hopkins Green
Jefferson St Filled with Carolers
Hopkins Green Christmas Tree

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