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Christina Proctor
COLUMNIST

Hello Waterloo Region. Let me take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Christina Proctor and I’m our community’s fashion blogger at www.WearOutThere.com. Born in Kitchener and raised in the picturesque town of Elmira, I’ve spent my years exploring our great cities and outlying areas. There is something truly unique about our community. It has only been through my experiences travelling abroad, that I’ve come to realize there is no greater place to live and work than Waterloo Region.

There is a distinct energy that surrounds us where innovation, development, and entrepreneurship are driving forces, inspiring us to be or become the best versions of ourselves. We are citizens looking to make a difference, follow our passions, and live life on our terms.

It should come as no surprise that this positive and spirited culture extends into our shopping environments, as our friends and neighbours are setting up shop and bringing top fashions to the streets of Waterloo Region. Let this column be your guide, as we meet our small business owners, uncover top shopping spots, and discuss topics related to beauty, style, and overall good feelings towards the self. Aren’t we lucky the best shops are just down the street?

There are numerous benefits to shopping in your community. When you buy locally, rather than at a multinational or chain store, twice the money remains in the community.

David Boyle, a researcher at the New Economics Foundation, has shown that local purchases are twice as efficient in keeping local economies alive. By choosing to shop local, business owners are able to hire more talent, pay higher wages, make purchases at your workplace, and invest more in local charities. Who knew your purchasing decisions had such impact?

In an area as dynamic as Waterloo Region, where we have such quality in our small businesses and fashion retailers, it’s an easy choice to pay a visit to their locations. Yes, there is an economic impact, which will ripple throughout our community, but you can also expect better service.

“Independent store owners genuinely care about you and they care about their business,” says Mary Reger, owner of Alexandria’s Shoes For Women in St. Jacob’s, when I went for a visit. Let’s not forget how enjoyable it is to spend a day perusing small boutiques, looking for truly unique pieces.

Economic impact, superior service, and fabulous items? Yes, I will be making my purchases count this year. It truly is the strength of local and regional economies that is integral to the wellbeing of citizens, communities and society as a whole.

Have a question or suggestion for Christina’s column? Email us at communityeditor@thecord.ca