November 2013

November is the perfect month to reflect on  what we’re thankful for. Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 28th. For many, the list includes family and friends and a roof over our heads. As the years change, timely specifics come into mind. For us, Kris has been cancer free for a full year! And given our recent career changes—Kris is now the proud owner of Southport Magazine—I’m able to work from home and spend more time focused on the communities I love: Southport, Oak Island, Boiling Spring Lakes, Bald Head Island, and St. James. Having worked in other markets, I think I’m qualified to make this statement: Our areas harbor some of the kindest people on earth.

I believe much of our neighborhood’s charm comes in the fact that so many businesses are locally owned and operated.

Chefs know the names of their customers and surprise them with specially crafted dishes, treats not available on the menu. Shopkeepers let regulars know what items they can special order—”You’re looking for it in yellow to match your bedroom? I can definitely get that in! How’s the remodel going, by the way?” Plumbers remember the names of kids—not because they’re making multiple house calls but because their children are on the same swim team.

Even Johnna Jalot, owner of Four Legs Good Pet Boutique, can remember the names of my three “fur babies” and their breeds. She can make personalized recommendations—certain toys or treats they might like—because she recalls my last purchases and I share with her the stories of my crazy trio’s personalities. When was the last time an employee of Walmart asked you how Fido liked his bone?

This year—and, well, every year—I’m thankful for the local businesses which make our communities stand out amongst a sea of other coastal towns. Tourists can visit any oasis they choose, but they often visit us because our small businesses offer unique products with a smile. It all just complements the waterway views and salty breezes.

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