Andre McKay, Jess Pendleton and Rafael Lopez have a very unique service that has just been introduced to our wonderful and weird city. They make buying and selling local goods easy for vendors and for their customers. It is free and "as easy as managing a Facebook profile." Highlighting the words free and easy should be enough to gain the interest of all store owners in Austin and the locals that want to keep Austin the healthy and thriving city that it has become.
Being huge supporters of local businesses and brands, Jess, Rafael and Andre found it frustrating when it came to discovering new products or services in the community they lived in or simply visited. Their options were very limited and even then, they were not easily found or navigable. Most of what they did find was through word of mouth.
Most often, word of mouth does not trickle down to the masses. You most likely don't know about all the local vendors, boutiques, and services that the live music capitol of the world has to offer. Now, add in the tourists and visitors on business into the mix. Word of mouth travels only so far and tourists need a platform to help them explore the home to SXSW. The solution was simply -Something Local.
Prior to Something Local, the dynamic trio found themselves in situations "where buying became guilt trip purchases from brands that were national retailers."
Throughout the years of working with vendors and merchants as consultants, "we found that they were frustrated with the difficulty of managing their business while still trying to attract, capture, retain and engage their current and potential customers." Wanting to have an online presence became a necessity. However, they had no idea on how to leverage the playing field and felt intimidated with the idea of spending money for advertising.
Something Local is a win- win situation for everyone. "The benefit of shopping local is that afterwards, you don't feel guilty about it," states McKay. Pendleton adds, "Shopping is not only cheaper, but much more fun than going to a psychiatrist." Lopez emphasizes that "shopping local creates jobs within the community and boosts the local economy."
In 2013, U.S. online retail numbers are expected to reach $240 billion, and by 2016 that number is projected to jump by 62%. With more and more local business shifting to online sales, there’s an opportunity to grab some of that market for Something Local. And an equal opportunity for Austinites to take full advantage of from both the retailer and consumer sides.
Why buy local goods? Shifting just 10% of your shopping from chain stores to locally-owned businesses adds $244 Million to our local economy annually, and creates 2,855 new Austin jobs.
Something Local only features vendors who create local jobs and spend money in our economy, so shopping and registering on Something Local always means supporting local-fellow Austinites. For every $100 spent at local businesses, $45 stays in Austin. Every $100 spent at a chain store, only $13 stays in Austin.
Now, in one central location, you can discover items from retailers in your city, and buy or share them with your friends. Shop owners can easily create a place to share their inventory without having to worry about hosting, design, or staying up on the latest trends in social media. Everything is taken care of for them, with no upfront costs.
Since January, there are over 80 shops in the Austin area that have signed up with Something Local. Think about it. Seize this wonderful opportunity so your store, services, and products will be a part of the buzz. An online presence at no cost is a rare gift and is a treat to Austinites like me who never seem to know where to go in Austin. I like simple and free. Welcome to Austin, Something Local. The three master minds have just moved our "weird "city up a few notches. Just look at the numbers. We are the number one fastest growing city in America thanks to people like McKay, Pendleton and Lopez. Let's all make it stay that way and prosper together. For more information, visit www.SomethingLoc.al