The Localist: Think Independent, Buy Local, and Reclaim the American Dream is the story of one girl’s journey from buy-local blogger to woman entrepreneur and indie-shop advocate.
When Carrie Rollwagen decided to give up corporate shopping for a year and instead shop local-only, she knew that she’d have to learn how to shop local, that she’d discover new indie businesses, and that she’d need to makeover her shopping habits. What she didn’t know is that she’d save money, discover how to connect with her community, and learn to love indie business more than the big box stores she’d bought from all her life. She also didn’t know that, before her buy-local year was over, she’d be the owner of her own independent business, a community coffee shop and indie bookstore in Birmingham, Alabama.
In The Localist, we follow Carrie on her localist adventure as she embraces slow food, small business, the locavore movement, and many quirky indie shopkeepers and unique independent shops along the way. She tells the story of her year of blogging about buying local in Birmingham, Alabama, and she gives us an inside look at her experience as a new female entrepreneur opening a new neighborhood business: Church Street Coffee & Books, an independent bookshop and locally owned coffee shop.
Part memoir, part manual on how to shop local, The Localist is pro-community, but it’s not necessarily anti-corporate. Carrie doesn’t attack all big business, but rather shows us what we create with our shopping dollars and helps us see new ways of making positive impact on our communities with our spending. Big box stores are convenient, but corporations are not people, and it’s important that we shop local and support indie business to keep the scales balanced between Main Street and Corporate America.
Carrie Rollwagen is a copywriter and independent business owner based in Birmingham, Alabama. The Localist: Think Independent, Buy Local, and Reclaim the American Dream, based on her year-long blog about choosing independent shops over big box stores, is her first book.