A thank you to my neighborhood Tennyson Street Denver small businesses…for building a sense of community and making our lives better.
Happy Thanksgiving! I wasn’t planning to do a post today because of all the turkey that needs roasting, and potatoes that need mashing, and wine that needs opening, and gravy that needs making, and desserts that need frosting, and wine that needs opening. (Yes, again.)
But, this morning I was thinking about what I’m grateful for this year. One of the things I am truly grateful for is that we get to live only two blocks from all the Tennyson Street small businesses. It’s not just that it’s fun to shop there (though it is), but it’s also because these businesses add so much to my life, to my family’s lives, on a regular basis.
About a month ago I stopped into one of my favorite gift boutiques to pick up a card. As soon as I walked into the store, the owner Nicole said, “Hey, did you find the shoe?” I paused for a second. My 2-year-old had kicked his shoe off during a stroller ride two days before, so I posted to Next Door to see if anyone would find it. But I hadn’t talked to Nicole…in fact, we’ve never spoken outside her store. It seems she saw my post and remembered it, and thoughtfully asked about it the next time she saw me.
What struck me most about this exchange is the realization that Nicole is not just someone I buy things from…she’s also a neighbor, a member of my community. And, because of that we have a relationship.
Local businesses know our names, or at least our faces, and we know theirs. They often know what we like, what we don’t like and what we need. Being a small business owner is not an easy life…those I’ve known (and I’ve known quite a few) work all hours of the day, all week long. But I’m so grateful to them because these small businesses shape the quality of our lives. In so many ways they help to build our neighborhood community. And community is something you can’t order online or buy at a big-box store.
So today, on this day of thankfulness, I wanted to give a shout-out to the many local businesses that make my life so much better…
Lalu, where my 2-year-old excitedly goes to “do art projects!” every week. And, even though we stopped going for nearly a year, the first time we walked back in a month ago, owner and art teacher Julie gave my son a big smile and knew his name immediately.
Tried and True Barber, where they give my 5-year-old a haircut that makes him look so grown up, and they make him feel so grown up while they’re doing it.
Second Star to the Right Books, where they’ll read to my kids on the mornings that it’s too crummy to go to the park, and teach them kid-style yoga on the weekend. And, because they sell the kind of toys that I actually want my kids to play with.
Bookbar where they not only sell me books, but also save my sanity by reading to my kids AND pouring me a glass of wine on the days that I really need a break, but it’s still an hour or two before my husband gets home from work.
Lady Jones Boutique, where I not only love to pick out something beautiful to wear, but where the owner has also befriended my 5-year-old so that he always wants to stop in to say hi to “his friend.”
Whit’s Custard for making after-dinner family walks a little sweeter.
Feral Mountain Co. for stocking the outdoor basics that every Colorado family needs even if you’re not a hardcore camper.
Real Baby because if I’ve given you a a baby gift, it’s probably from here.
Mas Kaos for being our go-to spot with visitors (thanks to their broad, dietary-sensitive menu) as well as our kids.
El Chingon for never minding that we bring our kids to a grown-up restaurant and even making off-the-menu quesadillas for them.
Brazen for being our favorite neighborhood date-night spot.
Small Batch Liquors because…well, isn’t this one obvious?
There are so many more local businesses I appreciate, but for brevity’s sake, I chose to keep my list limited to those I interact with on a near-daily basis. To these and all local Denver businesses, I say thank you. Thank you for making our lives so much better.
I know there are local businesses in neighborhoods across Denver that are doing the same thing for their customers. I’d love to hear about the small businesses that make your life better! And later this week, once the Thanksgiving festivities have subsided, maybe pop in on Small Business Saturday and let them know, too. Because, like in all good relationships, everyone likes to know they’re appreciated.
Not sure where you’re heading yet for Small Business Saturday in Denver? Check out 30+ Denver Small Business Saturday Deals and In-Store Events, 53 Denver Women’s Boutiques You Need to Know, The Ultimate Guide to Denver Gift Boutiques, and more Shop Local posts.