Earn Your Wings

By Diane DeVaughn Stokes

Okay, I admit that my body has been through many transitions over the years, not to mention manufacturers have altered their sizes, and I will never be an online shopper.

I have to try things on!

Who out there in Sasee-land can say they ALWAYS wear the same size wherever they shop? My clothing sizes are all over the board. Except when it comes to Chico’s where I am always size two! Ahhhhhh. Got to love it! It’s the only store I can actually go into without trying anything on and have it fit perfectly when I get home.

But even if I were a perfect size every time, I would still opt to support local merchants. I don’t understand why more folks do not. Stores all over the country are going out of business. Look at Conway. They used to boast about six antique stores – now you can barely find one and the turnover of fashion centers changes monthly.

I was in Georgetown recently and one shop owner said he was so angry about hurricane reports by local newscasters saying Georgetown was under water, and he was down financially by thousands of dollars. Negative publicity must stop. Just because one business has flooding does not mean they all do. He also said folks are not supporting local businesses. It’s too easy to use the internet instead.

Yesterday a friend came over to my house to see if there was a way to install a fan in the pitched ceiling of my back porch. He suggested I go online as Amazon has tons of choices. I snapped back that I always buy local. He then asked me where I planned to buy the fan. I replied I would shop at Lowes or Home Depot.

He said, “Well, they are not owned locally.”

“Yes” I said, “But they employ our local friends and neighbors.” Duh! It’s still better than ordering online.

Today, just as I was writing this article it was reported that Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy hoping to reorganize, closing several stores, and banking on others to maybe turn a profit in 2020. Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, Kohl’s, JC Penney, and Sears have all had serious problems.An astounding 650 Dress Barns, 261 Charming Charlie’s, 805 Gymboree’s, 390 Family Dollars, and 269 Wal-Mart’s worldwide have shut their doors. New shopping habits have affected every demographic – high and low-end.

Everyone needs to think seriously about shopping at home, especially this holiday season. You all know the famous line spoken by ZuZu, George Bailey’s daughter from Frank Capra’s 1946 movie It’s a Wonderful Life that says, “Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.” Well, every time you hear a LOCAL cash register ring, you get your wings. You may just be the person, or “angel” who saves a neighbor’s job or helps a local merchant stay afloat. Let’s make a conscious effort to make these next few weeks merry and bright for those businesses who count on us to make a living, to make their house payments, and to feed their families. It’s no different than buying a toy for a child in need, or donating a turkey dinner for a person who is hungry, and all of us know how good that feels.

Shop at home. Shop local. Be an angel.

Earn your wings.

About this writer

  • Diane DeVaughn Stokes

    Diane DeVaughn Stokes

    Diane is the host and producer for “Inside Out” as seen on HTC TV Channel 4, and serves as a commercial spokesperson for several local businesses. She and her husband Chuck own Stages Video productions in Myrtle Beach and share passions for food, theater, travel and scuba diving.

    They own three four legged kids that they adore!

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