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I’m terrified that one day technology will surpass humans and robots will take over the world (I really should have never watched that documentary on singularity, or any sci-fi movie ever made).  Okay, that might be an extreme exaggeration of my fears having to do with the future of shopping, but, I do worry about the fact that some people are starting to solely shop online and only shop from huge chains.  Sure, I love to shop online too (especially Topshop and Nasty Gal) and I’ll eventually actually be able to shop at the new H&M rather than just walk around and take photos.  But, shopping at small local stores has always been my favorite.  From as long as I can remember I have always been on the hunt for the unique.  Why would anyone want to look exactly like everyone else?  This desire has gotten even greater with age and now every time I shop inside an Urban Outfitters I look around and worry about looking like everyone else and usually walk away empty handed.

I didn’t have time to do much shopping yesterday during Black Friday but after brunch I took my Mom to 2nd St. and we went into Etcetera Etc.  When we walked into the store, the owner Emma Jones hugged not only me but also hugged my mom whom she had never even met before.  I can’t even express how cute and sweet that was and how great my Mom and I felt leaving the store.  Austin is full of stores that are owned by amazing people who not only do amazing things for our city, but who also curate amazing things as well.  If you can afford to shop somewhere like Urban Outfitters, then you can afford to shop at small boutiques.  And if you can’t afford to shop at either, you can shop at all the awesome local affordable vintage stores that us Austinites are lucky to have such as Room Service, Charm School Vintage, and New Bohemia to name a few.  I never want to see these types of stores disappear.

Today is Small Business Saturday which is a promotion started by American Express to get people to use their American Express cards and get back money from purchases at small businesses.  But, even if you don’t have an American Express card, or you don’t feel like shopping today, I encourage everyone to rethink how they shop and what they buy.  Every purchase you make is a vote for how you want the world to be.  Maybe I’m just becoming a sentimental old person, but I would love to one day take my kid to shop at the local boutique down the road and get hugged by the store owner.  That’s the the Austin I want to live in, the world I want to live in.

Joanna Wilkinson
keep austin stylish