I remember getting so annoyed as a young kid shopping with my dad because he'd take his time deciding which item to buy based on if it was marked "Made in the USA". It took us twice as long to complete our shopping trip because of his determination (okay, it felt like it took twice as long) and sometimes it meant going to multiple stores to find said item that was actually Made in the USA. I can remember asking him at one point why it mattered so much. At this point in my life I can't remember the exact conversation other than him explaining that products Made in the USA not only meant better quality but also meant that it took American workers to make those products which in the long run meant a stronger US economy over purchasing imported goods. That conversation had great impact on me at a young age. My dad's commitment to American made products rubbed off on me and in all honesty...as an adult and small business owner I've taken it one step further with a focus on supporting Made in Oklahoma products and Oklahoma based companies. Of course, supporting Made in the USA and American companies as a whole has a huge impact on our Nation's economy which is vital to the growth of our country--HOWEVER--we can hit two birds with one stone when we focus on supporting Made in Oklahoma companies.
As Mollycoddled Hash Slinger is nearing an 'official' second birthday--our passion for supporting other Oklahoma companies grows every single day. What still blows me away are the times we're able to connect with customers at events and as we're letting them know we use Oklahoma sourced ingredients-- about 1 out of 5 say, "I don't really care about that.". Like, SERIOUSLY--it blows me away! I guess with the era of "Amazon" and big chain stores this shouldn't blow me away--but it does. How can you not care about our Oklahoma economy?? Or is it that people don't really understand the impact of supporting local businesses? Here is a tidbit by Entrepreneur Magazine (full story: www.entrepreneur.com/article/244839), "When a consumer buys local, significantly more of that money stays in the community. In fact, one Chicago study found that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remained in the city while only $43 of each $100 spent at a chain retailer.". LET. THAT. SINK. IN. Ya'll. Part of this passion is the relationships we have built--our upbringing--our heritage--our love for OKLAHOMA. I don't expect the entire world to have the same passion--but could you imagine how great our economy would be if they did?? We personally know the employees and owners of the Oklahoma businesses we purchase supplies from. We share strategies, marketing ideas, product ideas and industry insight with each other. We refer customers to each other. We're in this for the long haul together. Because of this passion, we can bring you true artisan candies. Candies that contain Oklahoma honey, Oklahoma pecans, Oklahoma corn syrup, Oklahoma roasted coffee and so much more. What ingredients we can't buy Made in Oklahoma--we at least source from America. Same as our other supplies needed. It's a passion that we're hoping will rub off just a little on those around us. It's a passion that led us to including other Oklahoma businesses in our Subscription Boxes. It's a passion that keeps us from finding a co-packer to make our candies for us. It's a passion that makes us unique. It's a passion that has become our standard. It's a passion that comes from our heritage.
Ya know, after tragedy strikes Oklahoma whether it be storms or terrorism..we always hear the media (local and national) talk about the "Oklahoma Standard". This is so incredibly true! This standard has become known because of our compassion, our willingness to help a stranger, our courage to lead and our friendliness. It doesn't matter where I travel--most people recognize my occasional 'twang' and can usually guess that I'm from Oklahoma. More often than not...their response is, "Oklahomans are always so friendly." It's so true! The culture our state has created since statehood is truly one of a kind. Maybe it's that our state began as a melding pot of various cultures that had to learn to get along to survive or that things are just a bit slower paced here that allows us to relax. In high school, my classmates often said things like "I can't wait to move away from Oklahoma." and "I hate this backwards state.". Do you know what's funny? After 15 years out of high school...many of them went out of state for college and didn't come back...or many went to college in state and moved away for a job...HOWEVER, many of them are COMING BACK TO OKLAHOMA to raise their kids! This is HOME. We may have our political issues (but what state doesn't) but when it comes down to it-- THIS is OUR state. THIS is OUR heritage. WE are why the Oklahoma Standard, is the Oklahoma Standard. Our state is beautiful. Our state has a LOT to offer. We LOVE our state! THIS. IS. HOME. By gosh--there really is no place like home!
As this ramble is nearing an end (I promise)... I challenge you to-- make an effort to support local businesses more--people often wonder what happened to XYZ local store. Chances are, XYZ store closed because it didn't get the support it needed. Chances are, you ran to a chain store instead. Although chain stores provide jobs, they also kill local businesses. From pharmacies, coffee shops, general stores, hardware stores, gas stations and more... the chain options have and are wiping out the local options. Yet, the local options often provide better customer service, better quality products and more of the revenue generated from local businesses stays in the local economy. So, I challenge you--the next time you find yourself about to walk into a chain store or utilize an out of state or foreign based business--what local business could you patronize instead? Not sure? Turn to a friend...turn to facebook...ask for a referral...heck, ask Google! Chances are, your friends know a friend who knows a friend...that owns a local business providing the product or service you're looking for. P.S. Did you know using #madeinoklahoma or #shoplocal in a search on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook often leads to you finding some really sweet products out there?! That's often how we find companies to work with for our subscription boxes and sourcing supplies and ingredients for our confections. American Express may have been a driver in "Small Business Saturday" to drive people to local small businesses around the holidays a few years ago...and "Shop Local" is cool right now... but let's make sure it's not just a fad. Let's get back to the "Main Street America" mentality for the good of our local economy.
Oklahoma. Our heritage. Our passion. Our home. You vote with your money. Decide where your money goes and where it stays. Take care of Oklahoma and Oklahoma will in turn take care of you. (Okay, rant over).
P.S. Comment with your favorite local business/businesses! We love discovering new resources!
Made in Oklahoma
Oklahoma woman business owner