Emma Beck is guest blogging this week.
Becky Kulka, who owns Becky Beauchine Kulka Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, based in Okemos, Mich., recently stoked hometown pride with a statewide campaign that encourages residents to shop local.
“Buy Nearby” is a year-long program sponsored by the Michigan Retailers Association that promotes local businesses through social media promotions, special events, and gifting opportunities.
Kulka was one of the collaborators on the initiative, and her store is one of the many Michigan-based shops hanging the “Buy Nearby” sign on their storefronts.
Shoppers who spent more than $100 at the Oct. 5 jewelry event received a Michigan state pendant (emblazoned with a cute snow mitten!) and offered the option of placing a diamond or birthstone on the city of their choice. Sales associate Kaila Kulka says most people chose to bedazzle their hometown or college city.
The store kicked off the campaign with an event called “Get Caught Blue Handed” on Oct. 5. Roughly 50 shoppers turned out for the promotion—a bit more than usual for an average Saturday, reports sales associate Kaila Kulka.
Customers donned blue gloves (homage to the Great Lakes) and posed for a photo that was uploaded to the campaign’s Facebook page. “Buy Nearby” relied heavily on social media marketing to get the word out.
“It’s just a really phenomenal and fun promotion,” says Kaila Kulka. “It really gets people aware of where they’re buying while supporting…and celebrating their state.”