So I was picking up my daughter from her "Fashion Illustration" art class at the Brush & Palette studio here in Tallahassee one afternoon, when some cobalt-blue and earth-tone water fountains in the courtyard caught my eye. There was one that was hooked up and operational, with a subtle stream of water coming from inside and cascading over the sides of the fountain. It was such a peaceful addition to the courtyard of this art and framing studio. Behind this display were dozens of similar fountains in a variety of sizes and colors. I recognized them, as they made me think of the outdoor bubbler fountains sold by Water Gallery, a local water fountain business in Tallahassee that distributes fountains nationally. As I went up to take a closer look, my daughter says, "Hey, did you know those are Daddy's friend Doug's Fountains?!" At closer glance, I definitely recognized this style fountain as "Doug's" fountains.
I loved three things about this experience:
- The first, and most important, was seeing a local business support another local business. This is what makes it work, y’all. Supporting one another and spreading the power of word of mouth and spreading our networks. I would not have thought to pair water fountains with a company focused on art and framing, but it works! There is a lovely courtyard with one of the fountains featured, and there just so happen to be some for sale behind it. Next door is a flooring store, and around the corner are antique and furniture stores, so the whole home improvement vibe was already in the neighborhood.
- I loved that my daughter knew they were from a company run by someone we know. It gave me a chance to talk to her about supporting local businesses and about helping others to succeed. It gave us a chance to talk about how hard people work for things they believe in.
- Selfishly, I also just loved that this art store and studio had an outdoor space for play and relaxation. The bubbler water fountain was clearly one of the central features of the courtyard and it was perfect. I even mentioned something to the staff working that day. They said they love to just go outside and enjoy the peaceful sounds of the water while people watching at the surrounding businesses.
So, next time you have a chance to shop local or help a local businessman or woman, go out of your way to do it.