7 Affordable and Localist Approved Tips On Remodeling Your House


Furniture Affair

Image via Furniture Affair

Does your Arizona home need an upgrade but you don’t know where to start?

Remodeling can be overwhelming – so we have 7 tips on how to remodel in an affordable way that will also support your local business owners!

  1. Look At The Label – Reading labels isn’t just for the grocery store. When you purchase a product at a big box store to give your home a facelift, check out that little sticker. Often times mega home retailers buy their products from local companies in large batches at a discounted price and then turn around and sell them to you at an inflated price. If you go straight to the local retailer, you can get the exact same product at the same price as at the big box store. You will be pouring money back into your local community and not spending an extra dime from your own pocket.
  2. Shop Around – In addition to looking at that label, make sure to check multiple retailers. It is a huge misconception that big corporate stores always offer lower prices. Small local stores often spend more time hand picking their products and making sure each and every product is of the highest quality and the most affordable price. Do the research before making assumptions.

    AZ Nativescapes

    Image via AZ Nativescapes

  3. Local Plants Live Longer – If you still aren’t sold on shopping local for your home refresh consider this: the tree you buy from a local nursery was born and raised there. The local tree knows how to handle the Phoenix heat and won’t wilt under the pressure of impressing its new yard. It is almost guaranteed that the local nursery plants will have been handled and transported less than the trees at a national chain. If you buy a rose bush that grew up across the country, it may look beautiful for the first week before it finds out that your backyard isn’t climate controlled. Find local landscaping businesses
  4. Go For Energy And $$ Saving Options! – When you check out your local home stores be sure to look for eco-friendly options. Double pane windows never go out of season. They save you money on cooling and heating your home by making it better insulated. They are stylish and practical. You really can’t go wrong. Find local businesses that specialize in all things window and glass
  5. Know When To Hire A Contractor – You love to do things yourself but you don’t want to end up in a DIY disaster that may cost you more money in the long run. Hire a local contractor for the big jobs to make sure that the job is done right. They can also give you the personalized attention that you won’t get if you hire a contractor affiliated with a national chain, because they’ll be invested as retaining you as a future customer. Find local businesses that specialize in all types of remodeling
  6. Donate Old Materials And Items – Did you know that you can reduce waste and avoid the extra labor of hauling away old items by donating them? For example, Stardust Building Supplies [directory link] offers a free demo service when you donate your used cabinets and appliances. For other household items like couches you can call up almost any local thrift shop [directory link] and they would be happy to take them off of your hands. Check out local businesses that love to recycle
  7. Hire A Local Designer – Did you know that the average cost of a kitchen remodel is $20,000? Well to make sure everything turns out just right, for a small fee you can hire a skilled designer who will make sure that your home looks like it stepped out of Arizona Foothills magazine. Most designers study the trade at a four-year university, and will be able to offer you options that will last a decade so you won’t be spending money on a remodel only a few years down the road.  Which makes hiring a designer a pretty good deal. Find local interior design businesses

When you shop local, remodeling your home doesn’t have to break the bank and you will get a result you love. Find more local businesses to fulfill your Home and Garden needs.

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Buy Local and Save Big – Price comparing daily essentials

En Español

D'EliaFallFest2015.111415.4109There are countless myths around the idea of shopping local. One of the most commonly heard is that it’s more expensive to shop at local businesses compared to buying at big chain retailers. Fuerza Local and Local First Arizona are committed to educating consumers across the state about the impact of shopping local. Learn how these three local companies and Fuerza Local members are saving shoppers money on daily essentials.


Community Tire

Arizona drivers go through tires fast. Whether it’s 120-degree heat, the inevitable gravel on the road, or the usual flat, good tires are a must in this state. Community Tire Pros., a proud Local First Arizona member, offers quality tires, great customer service, and trustworthy work for a great price. Below are costs per tire at Community Tire Pros vs three national tire chains.

Price Comparisons:

Tire: Michelin- Defender
Size: 215/60R16
Standard passenger car/minivan tire.
Community Tire Pros Price: $120.37* per tire.
Walmart Online Price: $125.00* per tire.

Tire: Bridgestone – Ecopia EP422 Plus
Size: 215/60R16
All-season passenger car/minivan tire.
Community Tire Pros Price: $109.95* per tire.
Costco Online Price: $111.99* per tire.

Tire: Goodyear: Wrangler SR-A
Size: P215/65R17
Enhanced traction for pickup Trucks.
Community Tire Pros Price: $110.95* per tire.
Goodyear Online Price: $113.00* per tire.

Cleaning Supplies


Toiletries are a must. Whether looking to stock up the closet at home, the office, or simply trying to save in the long run, we tend to look for the most convenient and affordable option. For a lot of people, the idea that quickly comes to mind is a global warehouse. But did you know that there are locally owned suppliers here in our state? Universal Supplies is a janitorial equipment supplier open to the public. There, consumers can find necessities ranging from toilet paper, paper towels, fabric softener, and much more. Universal Supplies is a recent graduate of the Business Accelerator Program and a proud member of Fuerza Local. Save even more with their weekly specials and a coupon for 10% off your next purchase.

Price Comparisons:

Windex Glass Cleaner (32 oz.)
Universal Supplies: $1.25
Global Retailer: $2.99

Multi-Fold Paper Towels (4000 count)
Universal Supplies: $25
Global Retailer: $39.99

Downy Fabric Softener (103 oz.)
Universal Supplies: $6
Global Retailer: $8.47



A daily cup of coffee is essential for most Americans. Whether you take it hot, cold, black, or with whipped cream on top, there is no denying that coffee shops are a must stop before heading to the office. Colados Coffee’s menu is loaded with favorites including Americanos, cappuccinos, macchiatos and even chai lattes. Their raving reviews on Yelp, exceptional customer service, and delicious menu items keep customers coming back for more. The best part? Their prices are better than the popular global coffee chain. Check out the price comparisons below.

Price Comparisons:

Iced Macchiato (20 oz.)
Colados Coffee: $4.35
Global Coffeehouse Chain: $4.95

Mocha Blended Beverage (20 oz.)
Colados Coffee: $4.45
Global Coffeehouse Chain: $4.95

Caffe Mocha (20 oz.)
Colados Coffee: $4.25
Global Coffeehouse Chain: $4.65

These cost comparisons prove that it is often cheaper to shop with local businesses rather than national chains. Make sure to do the research before making a quick purchase with a national chain – you could be saving money at a local business!

Aside from saving money, shopping local puts more of your investment back into the community. Your purchase at a local business helps fund schools, fix roads, and create a more vibrant community for all. Studies show that for every $100 spent at local businesses, $45 stays in our community, where only $14 out of every $100 spent at big box retailers stays in the local economy.

Find a local business near you by using our Local Business Directory, an easy to use guide with nearly 3,000 locally owned businesses.

*These prices were collected online in August 2016.

D'EliaFallFest2015.111415.4109Hay muchos mitos que circulan alrededor de la idea de comprar local. Uno de los más frecuentes mitos es que es más caro comprar local comparado con comprar en tiendas de cadena nacional. Fuerza Local y Local First Arizona están comprometidos a educar consumidores alrededor del estado sobre el impacto económico de comprar local. Nota como estas tres compañías locales y miembros de Fuerza Local ayudan a consumidores a ahorrar dinero en compras de artículos esenciales.


Community Tire

Conductores que viven en Arizona saben muy bien que el desgastamiento de las llantas de auto es común. Sea la alta temperatura, la grava en la autopista, o la llanta ponchada infortunada, llantas buenas son esencial en este estado. Community Tire Pros., orgulloso miembro de Local First Arizona, ofrece llantas de calidad, excelente servicio al cliente, y trabajo seguro por un bajo precio. Abajo encontraras el precio por llanta en Community Tire Pro. contra precios de tres llanteras de cadenas nacional.

Comparación de Precios:

Llanta: Michelin- Defender
Medida: 215/60R16
Community Tire Pros Price: $120.37* per tire.
Wal-Mart Precio Online: $125.00* per tire.

Llanta: Bridgestone – Ecopia EP422 Plus
Medida: 215/60R16
Community Tire Pros Price: $109.95* per tire.
Costco Precio Online: $111.99* per tire.

Llanta: Goodyear: Wrangler SR-A
Medida: P215/65R17
Community Tire Pros Price: $110.95* per tire.
Goodyear Precio Online: $113.00* per tire.

Productos de LimpiezaUniversalSuppliesCar


Productos de limpieza siempre se encuentran en la lista de compras. Sea que estés buscando artículos para surtir tu casa, oficina, o simplemente tratando de ahorrar a largo plazo, tenemos la tendencia de buscar la opción más barata y conveniente. Para muchas personas, la idea que pronto viene a la mente es una bodega de cadena global. ¿Pero sabias que hay proveedores locales aquí en nuestro estado? Universal Supplies es un proveedor de suministros de limpieza. Ahí, clientes pueden encontrar artículos necesarios, desde papel higiénico, a toallas de papel, suavizante de telas, y mucho más. Universal Supplies es uno de los negocios graduados del Acelerador de Negocios y un orgulloso miembro de Fuerza Local. Ahorra más con sus especiales semanales y un cupón de 10% en la siguiente compra.

Comparación de Precios:

Windex limpiador de vidrio (32 oz.)
Universal Supplies: $1.25
Tienda de Cadena Nacional: $2.99

Toallas de Papel Plegadas (4000 piezas)
Universal Supplies: $25
Tienda de Cadena Nacional: $39.99

Downy suavizante de telas (103 oz.)
Universal Supplies: $6
Tienda de Cadena Nacional: $8.47


coladoscoffeefbEl vaso de café diario es esencial para muchos. No importa si lo tomas caliente, frio, o con crema encima, no se puede negar que una parada a una cafetería por las mañanas es rutina para muchos rumbo al trabajo. El menú de Colados Coffee está lleno de bebidas populares incluyendo Americanos, cappuccinos, macchiatos y hasta chai lattes. Las maravillosas críticas en Yelp, servicio al cliente excepcional, y delicias del menú son lo que atrae a los clientes a regresar por más. ¿La mejor parte de todo? Sus precios son más prácticos que esos de la cadena internacional de café. Revisa la comparación de precios abajo:

Comparación de Precios:

Iced Macchiato (20 oz.)
Colados Coffee: $4.35
Cadena Internacional De Café: $4.95

Mocha Blended Beverage (20 oz.)
Colados Coffee: $4.45
Cadena Internacional De Café: $4.95

Caffe Mocha (20 oz.)
Colados Coffee: $4.25
Cadena Internacional De Café: $4.65

Estas comparaciones de precios comprueban que muchas veces es más barato comprar con negocios locales en lugar de tiendas de cadena nacional. ¡Asegúrate de investigar antes de hacer tus compras con una cadena nacional – puedes estar ahorrando dinero con negocios locales!

Aparte de ahorrar dinero, comprando en negocios locales devuelve más de tu inversión a la comunidad. Tus compras en un negocio local ayuda a proveer fondos a escuelas, arreglar calles, y a crear una comunidad más vibrante para todos. Estudios realizados por expertos han demostrado que por cada $100 gastados en negocios locales, aproximadamente 42 dólares se quedan en nuestra comunidad. Pero si esos mismos $100 son gastados en una tienda de cadena nacional, sólo 13 dólares se quedan aquí.

Encuentra un negocio local cerca de ti usando nuestro Directorio de Negocios, una guía fácil de usar con casi 3,000 negocios locales.

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Proxy 333 Drives Efficient Design to Evans Churchill

Tilton Development Company’s latest project is designed to set itself apart from its neighbors.

Proxy 333 takes up a quarter of a block in Roosevelt Row, directly across from an upcoming phase of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. At the corner of Fourth and McKinley streets, the development combines artist partnerships, mixed-use, walkability, shade, a welcoming façade, and context-sensitivity to the surrounding, changing neighborhood to produce something yet unseen in the glut of new units arriving in the Evans Churchill neighborhood.

The Project name is derived from both the meaning and the application of the word “Proxy” – “the agency, function, or power of a person authorized to act as the deputy or substitute for another.” As a high-end, urban infill property in Downtown Phoenix, Proxy provides its residents immediate proximity to the Arts District, while staying close to the massive employment centers of the Biomedical campus, Arizona State University, and TGen. As an exclusive destination product with an exceptional location, Proxy encourages its residents to live, work, and play without compromise.

While so many apartment developments have produced mega blocks and/or neglected shade in this area, Proxy walks the walk. The apartment project runs right up to the street with commercial spaces along Fourth Street and a public lobby on the corner, while laying the foundation for full pedestrian shade coverage with an overhang extending from the building, and trees buffering the sidewalk from the street. The project also features a parking ratio below one-per-unit to encourage car-free living, and was built without any major city tax incentives, unlike many other new developments in the area.

Across 118 efficiently laid-out units, Proxy provides primarily studio and one-bedroom units, with a handful of two-bedrooms, and ten studio-loft/live-work units. All units include energy-efficient appliances and high ceilings, plus shared access to the podium deck with pool and recreation facilities, dog run along the property line, fitness center, lobby kitchen and lounge, and rooftop observation deck.

Units range from roughly 450-850 square-feet, making the most of their shared amenities and proximity to employment entertainment around central Phoenix, with rents starting at $1000 per month.

Though this is its first urban infill project in greater downtown Phoenix, Tilton Development is already looking ahead to future developments to provide ever-more housing options to the booming city center. Recent related projects include a 322-unit apartment project in Tempe called Residences at Fountainhead, with an additional apartment project in Metro Phoenix in the works.

Proxy 333 is ready for immediate move-in, at 333 E. McKinley along Roosevelt Row in the Evans Churchill neighborhood. Schedule a walkthrough by contacting their leasing office at (480) 750-4872 or visit their website at www.proxy333.com.

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Join Community Leaders on September 11th to Build a Better Tucson

Kimber Lanning speaking with community members at PopCycle

Kimber Lanning speaking with community members at PopCycle

This September 11, 2016, Tucson community leaders are gathering for the inaugural Arizona Living Economy Forum to discuss forward-thinking movements that grow prosperity in Tucson.

Presented by Local First Arizona, Mrs. Green’s World, and the YWCA of Southern Arizona, the forum features presentations from local business leaders and community organizers. Tucson’s Mayor, Jonathan Rothschild, introduces the forum, which welcomes Dr. Maribel Alvarez, Program Director of Tucson Meet Yourself, as the keynote speaker.

ALEFLogoFinalThe event presents six forum tracks, each focusing on the improvement of a unique piece of Tucson and Arizona’s economy. The forum aims to bring together the public to learn how to support what’s working in Tucson to make us a community of greater shared prosperity and sustainability. Tracks run concurrently and attendees can attend as many as three tracks and join the event organizers and speakers afterwards for complimentary appetizers.

Localist RSVP button 100x100

The Food, Soil, & Nature track discusses investing in local soil, produce, and how to maintain strong circulation of Arizona-grown foods. The panel features Chet Phillips of the University of Arizona’s Compost Cats speaking about the country’s only partnership that partners academic, tribal, city and private business resources to divert over 10 million pounds of organic waste from our landfills. Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona’s Farmers’ Market Manager, Kara Jones, will also speak on a unique program that bundles the products of multiple small farmers to fill institutional needs. Along with a panel of others in the community that are strengthening our local food businesses.


City of Tucson delivering food waste from around Tucson to the San Xavier CoOp Farm and the Compost Cats.

The forum’s Shared Ownership and Community Capital track highlights building economic models with a focus on worker ownership and the new Arizona law that sources local investment within the community. Chris Squires will talk about his experience with 1055 Brewing as the first Arizona company to make use of this new law. He will be joined on that panel by Kelly Watters, Education and Outreach Coordinator at Food Conspiracy Co-op, and Howard N. Stewart of AGM speaking on ESOPs – employee-owner programs that provides a company’s workforce with ownership interest in the company.

The third track on Innovation for Good talks about how the change we want to see is on our backs. As the third largest polluter worldwide, fast fashion fills our landfills, pollutes our environment and erodes economic security. Fed by Threads owner Alok Appadurai, speaks about his store that revives Made in America clothing that is both beautiful and sustainable. He is joined by Kristen Bloch, the Founder and President of Buffalo Exchange speaking about how she turned a sustainable model for secondhand clothing into a National brand, PopCycle Owner Jen Radler on her model of “upcycled” clothing, and Charlette Pedia, a lecturer at the University of Arizona’s John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences about the history of fashion and how we got here . Together they are presenting ways for entrepreneurs to improve and build Tucson’s economy through more ethical and sustainable clothing and manufacturing practices.

Murphy-Darling is overseeing the forum’s Health & Soul and Opportunity for All track. The Health and Soul track welcomes Executive Director of the Center for Compassion Studies Leslie Langbert, Cottonwood Rehab’s Susan Swan, and Shelley Whitlatch, Patient Wellness manager at El Rio Community Health Center and others, to speak about the use of health, soul, and mindfulness to bring entrepreneurs together in a way that fosters powerful community engagement.

The Opportunity for All track draws attention to how local businesses can build opportunities for historically oppressed communities. Abby Rosen, Sous Chef Instructor for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Dora Martinez and Tito Ramierz from Flowers and Bullets, and Barbara Eiswerth, founder of the Iskashitaa Refugee Network, are leading the discussion.

Local First Arizona founder and Executive Director Kimber Lanning closes the forum with the Localism and Localist Policies track. Lanning, the executive director and founder of Local First Arizona, was awarded the Citizen Leadership Award by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for her extraordinary commitment in promoting economic development.She will be leading a presentation on how business owners can leverage their localness and how the community can advocate for policies that create a level playing field.

The forum is held at the YWCA of Southern Arizona, located at 525 N. Bonita Ave, and runs from 12:30 to 5:30pm.  Don’t miss your opportunity to be part of the conversations that are moving Tucson forward. Tickets can be purchased here.  View the full forum program here.

Posted in Economy & Jobs, Local First Movement, Local Impact Champion, Press Releases, Tucson & Southern Arizona | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joy Bus Opens Diner Benefiting Cancer Patients

custom-Custom_Size___Joy Bus Diner

Image via The Joy Bus Diner

The Joy Bus Diner is a 100% nonprofit restaurant providing chef-crafted, classic diner meals with a local, friendly, and humanitarian flare. The newly opened restaurant serves breakfast and lunch with all profits going to the Joy Bus foundation. It also will function as a kitchen commissary for Caraway and her two dozen volunteers to make meals for homebound patients. Locally grown produce from Crooked Sky Farms, as well as other local purveyors throughout the Valley, provide the goods, which enable The Joy Bus Diner to support its core focus and charity mission  – a free meal delivery program for cancer patients Valley-wide.

Since 2011, The Joy Bus is the only local service of its kind and is focused on providing not only quality food but also personal attention to homebound cancer patients. Their free service has helped build awareness of the lack of at home care needed for cancer patients, and each week the Joy Bus crafts meals and warm conversation for those in need. Help Joy Bus continue their mission, by swinging by to savor hearty, made-to-order breakfast and lunch fare served inside a warm, welcoming space at the SE corner Shea & the 51 highway.

Check out Local First Arizona’s other non profit members doing good work in the community. 

Written by Somlynn Rorie

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Desert Schools Reopening Missouri Avenue Branch, Encourages Members to Buy Local

desert schools fcu

Desert Schools Federal Credit Union has announced grand reopening celebrations for one of the company’s most established branches on August 22, 2016.

The Missouri Avenue branch, which first opened in 2002, has been fully renovated and updated to offer members more conveniences in a fresh, comfortable space that better meets the needs of today’s busy consumer. This renovation illustrates Desert Schools’ ability to stay in-step with members’ heightened expectations for a sleek and modern setting coupled with advanced technology when banking.

Doubled in size, the busy branch now includes several private meeting spaces where members will be able to meet with loan officers, mortgage lenders and financial service providers to receive one-on-one attention in a more private area. Visitors to the branch will now first be greeted by a member service representative at a newly created welcome desk, where they will be directed to the appropriate officer or teller based on the business they need to conduct. A spacious new seating area is also available for guests; a welcome addition to the bustling location. The branch has also been equipped with a state-of-the-art six-monitor, large-screen display behind the teller desks and a separate large-screen TV in the waiting area, on which members are easily able to view Desert Schools’ current promotions, offerings and resources available to them.

Desert Schools executives are excited to welcome the community and members in to this beautifully updated branch, and as part of the grand reopening celebration, Desert Schools plans to “pay it forward” to its members and surrounding community. On Monday, August 22, the first 30 people (both members and non-members) to visit the Missouri branch will receive a $20 Visa gift card. Recipients will be encouraged to spend the gift cards at other local neighborhood businesses to continue the message of paying it forward. The following week, the branch will also raffle off five $50 Visa gift cards to its members.

“For fifteen years, the neighborhood surrounding the Missouri branch has embraced and supported our organization,” said Susan Frank, CEO of Desert Schools Federal Credit Union. “We are honored to be part of the fabric of this tight-knit community and are excited to ‘pay it forward’ by inspiring our members and community to support other local businesses.”

We think it’s a great idea that Desert Schools Federal Credit Union is encouraging members to spend their dollars with other local businesses! Up to four times more money stays in the local economy when you support local businesses over national chains, and the same principle is true when you bank and invest locally. Local banks and credit unions lend at a higher percentage to local businesses, so by depositing your money with institutions like Desert Schools Credit Union, they’ll have more money to lend to local businesses that create jobs in our communities.

Browse the Local First Arizona business directory for recommendations for local financial institutions. 

Posted in Businesses, Financial, Greater Phoenix | Leave a comment

Taliesin West and Local First Arizona Forge New Partnership to Claim Frank Lloyd Wright as Rightful Arizonan

taliesin west

Photo credit: Andrew Pielage Photography

Frank Lloyd Wright is recognized all over the country as one of the most influential architects of all time. While Frank Lloyd Wright spent much of his early days in Wisconsin and Illinois and created buildings and structures all across the nation, Wright spent much of his later life at Taliesin West, his winter home and studio in Scottsdale. Taliesin West is now open for public tours and serves as the home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

For these reasons, Local First Arizona and Taliesin West are working together to remind Arizonans and the country of Wright’s strong ties to Arizona. “Arizona has many influential hometown heroes, and one of those heroes is Frank Lloyd Wright,” said Kimber Lanning, Founder and Director of Local First Arizona. “Wright left a lasting impact on Arizona, from well known structures like Taliesin West and Arizona State University’s Gammage Auditorium to private homes. Taliesin West and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation are doing great work to preserve his legacy and inform others about his contributions to Arizona.”

“Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West is Scottsdale’s only National Historic Landmark, but many Arizonans are unaware we have this treasure right in our own backyard,” said Stuart Graff, President and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “Our ongoing partnership with Local First Arizona will help inform our community about Wright’s deep ties to our state, and how he was inspired to create some of his greatest work from his drafting studio overlooking the Valley.”

The first event to cement this partnership is an intimate dinner on September 19 at Taliesin West benefiting the Local First Arizona Foundation with special guests Graff and Vincent Stanley, who currently serves as Patagonia’s Director of Philosophy, is a visiting fellow at the Yale School of Management, and a visiting executive at INSEAD in Fontainebleau. Patagonia is widely recognized as a leader in operating a triple bottom line company that focuses on people and planet while turning a profit. Stanley will share the story of how Patagonia started, why they built a values-based company and where they are headed. Dinner will be catered by Amici Catering, and tickets are $100. Guests can also purchase tickets for $150 and attend the Social Entrepreneurship Summit (SOCENT Summit) the following day. Tickets are extremely limited and available here. More information on the SOCENT Summit is available at the website.


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The Full Treatment


Image via Salon D’Shayn

If you’re looking for a salon that can handle all your beauty needs and keep you fashion forward, be sure to swing by Salon D’Shayn, which has two convenient locations in Old Town Scottsdale and Downtown Phoenix. Salon D’ Shayn is a cutting-edge salon when it comes to hair, makeup, and skin care. Both locations are proud to boast a five-star rating by their clients. Additionally the salon was also voted the best place to get waxed in 944 Magazine’s Reader’s Picks, as well as being featured in Haute Living’s Top Things To Do in Phoenix.

Image via Salon D'Shayn

Image via Salon D’Shayn

D’Lisa Shayn, owner and waxer extraordinaire, has a large following of men and women who swear by her expertise in waxing. Each stylist has their own unique twist on hair ranging from the latest hair color trends, edgy cuts, color corrections, up-do’s and bridal hair & makeup by Royal Glam Crew. If you have a vision for your next hair style or need an update, Salon D’ Shayn is the place to go. Each space is open and modern featuring local artists work on rotation every three months. You can also find an inventory of products including men’s beard oils by Dream Beard, Bioelements Skincare to organic, vegan hair care by Neuma Beauty. Salon D’ Shayn is an upbeat, relaxing place to unwind and be pampered. Check out their website to meet their team and make your appointment.

Written by Somlynn Rorie

Posted in Arizona, Businesses, Greater Phoenix, LFA Member Spotlight, Local First Movement | Leave a comment

Advocating For Localism

Former LFA Intern, Lore Contreras, recently shared with her class, what being a Localist means to her. 

Lore Contreras helping out as an LFA Intern.

Lore Contreras helping out as an LFA Intern.

“Hello my name is Lorena and I am a Localist. Considering my self as a Localist means that I make a conscious effort to invest my time and money in locally owned businesses and organizations to help sustain Arizona’s economy. This lifestyle is simple if you ask me. Without even realizing many of you are already doing it. How? Say monsoon season got your car dirty. Metro Car wash is voted one of the best car washes in town and on Tuesdays they have two for one car washes. Another simple Localist lifestyle choice is heading to Downtown Tucson for the night life and entertainment, shopping at a store such as Bookman’s to purchase books or sporting goods; farmer’s markets and food trucks. All around town there are local businesses. Local does not always mean small. You could bank with a credit union like Vantage West Credit Union. We as individuals decide where we want to spend our money. We can choose to invest in a positive impact for Arizona’s economy by actively thinking local, shopping local and being local.

You are probably wondering… Can I really make that much of an impact by buying a worn t-shirt from Buffalo Exchange? The answer will probably be no. Because it is not easy to be 100% local, in reality, a majority of us “localists” probably aren’t and will never bee 100% local. However, we can try to be consistent by thinking of ways that we can positively impact our communities with small and simple shifts in how we spend our money: even allocating 10% of our shopping or spending to local businesses can make a huge difference! A study examining the impact of local businesses on the western Michigan economy for Local First Grand Rapids Michigan made by Local Works shows that if consumers shift just 10% of their spending to local business, it would be generate more jobs and bring more money back into the local economy. In detail, it proves that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $73 remains in the local economy. But, for every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business, only $43 remains in the local economy, and $57 leaves. That is a big thing to think about, especially considering that spending money adds up. Yet if we can’t help and spend money every day to get our daily coffee fix at a chain coffee shop, we can instead make a difference by shifting over to one of the many locally owned coffee shops around town. All of which are unique with local vibes, a sense of community, and excellent baristas with stories to tell

Farmers Markets are a great way to meet the people growing the food for your family.

Farmers Markets are a great way to meet the people growing the food for your family.

You can decide what is better for our economy because you have control of your spending. Where you invest your money can create a ripple effect and that ripple effect is called revenue. If you spend money online, be aware that although you might be paying taxes and shipping to the provider, your dollars will probably not be invested in our local Arizona economy. To create positive revenue, you want to invest not in national corporations, but instead change your spending habits and invest in local companies. Companies like Amazon, Walgreens and clothing stores such as Forever21 serve their purpose and we rely on them for our necessities. Yet if we can find a local substitution for them in our own communities, we can make a difference by deciding where we spend our money. For example, locally owned grocery stores like Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market or Bashas’, are great alternatives to national chain grocery stores. Another example is substituting your Subway with delicious local sandwich shop options like Beyond Bread or Bagging’s. The local businesses will be the one paying state taxes without subsidies. These taxes will then go into our public schools and universities, help sustain government wages for our firefighters and law enforcement officers and last but not least employ within their own business. YES! By spending local you are not just spending money, you are rippling an investment into our communities and you are sustaining jobs, building better streets and saving energy…all of which are beneficial to our Tucson community.

The local movement goes beyond dining and entertainment. We have local plumbers, marketing specialists, law firms, yoga studios…you name it! By shopping or hiring locally you are also giving the local business owners the opportunity to work together and create jobs for more people in your community. Many of them work together and collaborate when they are part of organizations such as Local First Arizona or chambers of commerce. They are comrades and give each other a hand when it comes to business, helping each other grow and benefit Tucson. These partnerships create a useful network of support, and their integrity shows a side of humanity (business owners) that has nearly vanished in many of the corporate companies that have taken over our economy.

Local businesses are also more likely to give back to their communities.

Local businesses are also more likely to give back to their communities compared to national chains.

To be a localist, all it takes is making a bit of conscious effort to make a difference. In this day and age, we have unparalleled access to information & with the click of the search button, we can get instant information on whatever topic we are interested in. This allows us as consumers to make the most educated decisions about where we want to spend our money and help put money back into our local economies. Once you are in that Localist mind set, you will see how easy and exciting it can be…because being local is not just an Arizona thing, it is a national and even worldwide thing. It is an adventure to find the local gems in a community anywhere that you travel, because personal customer service and good quality are the essence of locally owned and sustained businesses.”

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Panelists announced for SOCENT Summit

SOCENT teaser.smallWe’re excited to announce some of the panelists that will be speaking at the Social Entrepreneurship Summit (SOCENT) coming up next month!  Hear from business owners across Arizona who are operating with people and their community in mind, and how it is impacting their bottom line.  You’ll also not want to miss keynote speakers Vincent Stanley, Director of Philosophy at Patagonia and Adam Goodman, President of Goodmans Interior Structures.

The Summit will be held from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20th at Vintage 45 in Phoenix.  Tickets to the Summit are $60 per person. Lunch will be provided by Fair Trade Cafe.  Tickets and more information can be found here.

The Operations Panel will focus on how businesses are incorporating social practices into their business and how it can serve as a way to engage your employees and the community.

  • Carolyn Sechler with Sechler CPA
  • Raveen Arora with The Dhaba
  • Chandler Yelton with O’Neil Printing
  • Brian Mohr with Y Scouts, Moderator

The Environmental Sustainability Panel will focus on businesses that are leading the charge in reducing their impact by incorporating sustainable practices into their business.

  • Eric Glomski with Page Springs Cellars
  • MaryBeth Scanlon with Pizza People Pub
  • Robin Reed with Occam Sustainability Partners, Moderator

The Supply Chain Impact Panel will focus on businesses that are analyzing their purchases of goods and services , and the impact it has on the community.

  • C’pher Gresham with Swillings Coffee
  • Shanna Ellis with the Centers for Habilitation
  • Sentari Minor with Social Venture Partners, Moderator

The Advocacy Panel will focus on business owners who are advocating for their industries, and how you can have your voice heard on issues that are important to you.

  • Kevin Koch with Technicians for Sustainability
  • Stephanie Vasquez with Fair Trade Coffee
  • Heidi Jannega with WebPT
  • Lance Muzslay with Sole Sports
  • Angela Hughey with One Community, Moderator

The Marketing Panel will focus on business owners who are excelling at telling their story about the good things they are doing, and why it’s important to let your customers know what you are doing to better your community.

  • Matthew Clyde with Ideas Collide/Danzeisen Dairy
  • Alok Appadurai with Fed by Threads
  • Jenny Poon with CO+HOOTS & eeko studio, Moderator

Thanks to our amazing sponsors who are making this event possible!


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