Local is the new black

It’s been one year since the Asheville Grown Business Alliance launched its Love Asheville campaign. Now the hand-cranked posters and T-shirts are ubiquitous reminders of how our community creates and keeps it character: Independent businesses.

“The purpose of the posters and shirts is to create a moving message to customers that shows that we are Asheville grown and more than our individual businesses,” writes Franzi Charen of the AGBA (Charen also owns the very Hip Replacements on Lexington Avenue, with her partner Kip Veno). “Together we are what makes Asheville unique and we we wouldn’t be able to do it alone, nor without the support of the people who shop, eat and value our services.”

The association’s latest campaign, “Local is the new black,” kicked off on Black Friday, but the buy-local season extends through the holidays. Business owners, employees and fans are encouraged to wear their “Buy Local” shirts each Saturday in December.

“Shopping downtown and local can provide an amazing alternative to the mall madness — or coming downtown can be a comforting refuge after you’ve hit the early bird sales — to enjoy a snack, find something unique and experience our wonderful community,” writes Rebecca Hecht of Adorn Salon, another prime mover in the AGBA.

And don’t forget that original Buy Local event: The Big Crafty. The bastion of the local handmade movement happens on Sunday, December 5, from noon to 6 p.m. at Pack Place. Bring the shopping lists.

Businesses wanting to purchase T-shirts wholesale (with the business logo on the back) can contact David Waller of On A Roll Printing at onarollorders@bellsouth.net or 281-1274. Independent, locally owned businesses needing a poster can get them at Graphics Four, 9 Broadway St., downtown Asheville, 252-2252.

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