The Power of Local Spending, From a 1915 Ad

Found this charming ad while browsing the internet. It’s interesting that the concept of supporting your local small businesses is as old as business itself. The ad says,

“Will some one tell us, for we’d like to know

Why it is some people go

And spend their money for a bread

Made out of town, when they instead

By patronizing this home trade

Could get as good or better grade?

Think it over well tonight

And tell us if we are not right.


The money you spend with us

We spend with you.


Your telephoned orders will receive prompt attention.

W.S. Bull, The Baker”

We’re right with you W.S. Bull! Money spent with small locally owned businesses does go back into the hands of other small business owners, enabling them to turn around and spend it again.

Our locals-only directory makes it easy to shop local. Search RelyLocal Renton-Skyway-Newcastle first when you need to find a business or non-profit. You might be surprised what you will find! 1915ad

Spend it Here. Keep it Here.

S 3rd St Renton, WA; Rely On Renton

Spending money at local small businesses keeps more of your money here. For every $100 spent at a small business, about $45 remains in the community, versus $13 spent at a big box or chain store. You CAN make a difference in your community today!

Stimulating Downtown Renton

_DSC0017When I think of Enumclaw, I think of the King County Fair. As a child I attended each year. I remember eating fun fair food, seeing out of the ordinary things like rodeo and rides, hearing concerts, and entering my own creations to be judged. The fair created life long fond memories and positive associations with the city of Enumclaw.

As we were conducting our “Fixing Renton’s Future” series, one of the things we heard from those who care about Renton was the desire to beautify and enliven our Downtown core. Events create memories. Having fantastic events that bring people to downtown Renton is of great importance to the beautification of Renton.

Two great places to be involved are through the “downtown events committee” and Piazza Renton. A sub-committee of the downtown committee through the Renton Chamber of Commerce, the downtown events committee creates events to bring more people into our downtown area, and particularly to the businesses there. They organize, promote, and host the Downtown Poker Run during the Spring Festival in May, the Halloween party in October, and the Santa House in December. They usually meet the fourth Tuesday of each month at 8:30 am at the Chamber of Commerce. This month, however, they will be meeting on Thursday, August 29th at 8:30 am. Contact Amy Farnham at for any more questions.

The Piazza Renton is a group of volunteers that brings special events certain times of the year to the Piazza park in downtown Renton, such as the Spring Festival in May (coinciding with the Downtown Poker Run), the Fall Harvest Festival, and the Holiday Tree Lighting in December. They also provide volunteers for the Farmer’s Market, and the Return to Renton car show. Piazza Renton meets every third Friday morning at 8:30 am at McLendon’s Hardware in Renton. Contact Brian Larson at for more info.

Do you enjoy the events downtown? Which ones? What would you do differently? Would you add to an event? Create a new event?

If these questions inspire your creativity, or otherwise tickle your organizational/administrative spot, there is a place for you to be involved! Whenever we visit these groups, members express openness to new ideas, and a desire to attract more volunteers to the planning and creation of downtown e vents. In order for for downtown events to draw all kinds of people, all kinds of people need to be represented when they are planned. Please thoughtfully consider being involved in one or both of these groups. Downtown Renton needs you!

How We Became RelyLocal Renton

Ian and Amanda at the Renton Civic Theatre auction

Ian and Amanda Liddle at the Renton Civic Theatre Auction, March 2013

Sit down and ask a small business owner why they’re in business. I guarantee you’ll hear a story. Behind every small business is a story about people. Sometimes it’s a story about a hobby or passion turned business. Sometimes it’s a story about lifelong dreams or goals. Sometimes it’s a story about job loss and desperation leading to starting or focusing on a business.

Our own story behind starting a RelyLocal campaign is deeply personal. It was born out of personal pain and hardship as well as a passion and drive to benefit our community, and love our neighbors well.

Ian and I grew up in the Renton area. Well, technically now it’s Newcastle, but when we were growing up it was an unincorporated area with a Renton address. We’ve also been small business owners our whole working lives: Ian as an independent contractor selling Cutco cutlery, and I as a piano teacher for 12 years, then as a midwife in independent practice for about 12 years. Between us we have 35 years of small business ownership experience.

We each left the Renton area as adults to find “greener pastures” associated with big city life, intending never to return. Ian interjects: “Well truthfully we left for greyer pastures. We never got farther from home than Seattle.” Nevertheless, as fate would have it, a series of tragic events including death of a loved one, loss of careers, and other similarly disruptive circumstances, led to making the decision to return to our hometown in March 2011.

Big winners at Las Vegas night at Harrington Square Apartments

Big winners at Las Vegas night at Harrington Square Apartments

True to the entrepreneurial spirit we both possess, we “got resourceful” and began to evaluate our options. Stripped of our identities, and newly married, our field of choices were wider than ever before. We considered what our goals as a couple were; top of our list was building community in our geographical area. We began to pray and seek opportunities to be community builders. We found our niche working as a “Community Team” with Community Northwest at Harrington Square Apartments for a little over a year. As a Community Team, we spent about 70 hours a month planning, organizing, and executing events for our neighbors, to encourage them to get to know one another. We put on over fifty events during the year of 2012.

Our heart for small businesses began to shine through in our work at Harrington Square. Recognizing small businesses as important stakeholders in the community, we began to reach out local proprietors to feature them in our events. We found that most of our neighbors chose to live in Renton, not because of it’s attractive features, but because of it’s proximity to Seattle, Bellevue, and other larger cities. They had no idea about the distinct flavor of the city they lived in. We enjoyed introducing residents to great businesses like The Local 907, Santa Fe Mexican GrillCedar River Cellars, Berliner Pub, All Things Wine, The Whole Pet, and others. We saw the importance of The Landing as a reason to go “under I-405″ from the Highlands, and even continue on to the magical land of Downtown Renton

Berliner Pub did a beer tasting for our barbecue at Harrington Square Apartments

Berliner Pub did a beer tasting for our barbecue at Harrington Square Apartments

I’ve heard it said that “No one knows how awesome Renton is, until they live there.” Historically speaking, Renton is not a bedroom community to Seattle. It has it’s own distinct story, flavor, and “scene”. As we offered residents a glimpse at all that Renton has to offer as a standalone community, we watched the shame that residents felt over Renton’s reputation change to pride in their community. We were proud of the work were doing as a Community Team, both bringing people together, as well as highlighting the great small businesses of Renton. And, we found that we were falling in love with Renton in a new way, also.

Encouraged that we could effect positive change working as a part time Community Team we started to look for opportunities beyond the gates of Harrington Square Apartments. We wondered, “What would happen if we were to do this work full time? Could we bring this type of influence to the whole city of Renton?”

We led a series of community meetings discussing action steps to following our screening of "Fixing the Future"

A series of community meetings to discuss action steps after our screening of “Fixing the Future”

Meanwhile, RelyLocal Olympia was doing exactly that in their community. We heard about the Olympia campaign through a friend who is a small businesses owner in Thurston county. She gushed how much it has helped her business, and highlighted how similar it was to the work we were doing with Community Northwest. We knew the moment we heard about RelyLocal that it was a match made in heaven for us. We launched our campaign the very next month, in August of 2012.

A few things that attracted us to this model were:

  • Great Tools. RelyLocal provides vital tools to start a buy-local campaign in the area where you live (it’s required that you live in your territory to start a campaign): web directory, logo, mobile app, etc.
  • Inexpensive. Without a ton of startup capital, there is no way we would be able to replicate the quality of tools we license from RelyLocal.
  • Adaptable. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each territory owner creates a campaign based on the needs of your community. It’s also adaptable in terms of the final product offered to businesses; we have the freedom to make use of our unique skills, passions, and experience in creating our local brand.
  • Potential. RelyLocal is not a scam or get-rich-quick-scheme. It’s a solid, leading-edge concept backed with highly functional tools that a motivated individual or team could implement in such a way as to have 1) a rewarding career that 2) sustains a family 3) while we’re doing good work in our community. Opportunities with all of these three characteristics are rare.
2012-08-25 12.42.23

This photo was taken at the cash mob for Happy Delusions shortly after owner Mary Clymer announced they would be closing. You can’t tell by our faces, but we were brokenhearted.

Since launching our RelyLocal campaign we have been privileged to meet amazing, dedicated leaders who work for our city. We suffered alongside every small business owner we talked to in Renton through a DESOLATE 2012 holiday season. We’ve met tenacious small business owners who haven’t taken home a paycheck in 3-5 years, and yet somehow persevere. We’ve mourned the closure of businesses we’d fallen in love with, while internally wondering if we’re “too late.” We’ve seen new collaborative relationships blossom between Renton businesses. We’ve seen our friends and neighbors begin to promote the spirit of “shopping local,” and get excited about various businesses we promote. We’ve discovered new local treasures that are so much fun to tell people about that it’s hard to stop promoting them when work hours are over. We’re compelled to promote these businesses because they’re just so amazing. And the people behind them are amazing.

In talking to some of our clients, we’re getting the picture that we’re an answer to prayer. We sense a wave of relief when we relate to our clients. They know that they’re not alone, that there’s a team that has their back. We feel so blessed that we can build a business out of not just what we love to do, but that we can see, even in it’s infancy, is good work. This is not a marketing startup with a thin veneer of localism painted on because it’s trendy. We’re a localism movement with a side of marketing on so we don’t have to get boring, meaningless, soul-sucking, dead end jobs. We’re participating in the movement here that is effecting true prosperity and combatting poverty and despair in our city.

Shop Local to Support Children’s Hospital

523571_586941094664576_1874657739_nThere are times in life where winning is a sub-optimal outcome, because it means a worthy party loses. There are also times when one win leads to another win, which leads to a big win-fest around the room. Local Rewards cards, sold as a fundraiser, is one of those things. Small businesses benefit, an important charity benefits, and our local economy benefits. Triple Win!!!

Danielle Gould, owner of Little Quadoo Children’s Consignment, is partnering with RelyLocal Renton, Skyway, Newcastle, to benefit Clare Beckett Guild, a non-profit that covers uncompensated care for Children’s Hospital of Seattle. She is selling the cards at $15 each at her store at 601-A S 3rd St, Renton, WA 98057. A special fundraiser Sidewalk and Bake Sale to benefit the Clare Beckett Guild will be held this Saturday, July 20th, 2013, from 11am-5pm at Little Quadoo Consignment.

Children’s Hospital provides about $100,000,000.00 per year in uncompensated care. The Clare Beckett Guild, founded by two mothers whose children received care at Children’s Hospital, helps to offset some of those costs. Their mission is to see that every child who needs care at Children’s can receive it, regardless of ability to pay.

Local Rewards cards allow you to receive special cardholder-only discounts at your favorite independent, locally owned businesses. For instance, you can use your Local Rewards card to save at Little Quadoo Children’s Consignment, which offers a 20% discount on Wednesdays to Local Rewards cardholders. New Local Rewards offers and discounts at businesses around Renton are being added all the time. In time, your Local Rewards card will only get better!

See for more information about Local Rewards.



cards.largeYou’ve been waiting for the Local Rewards cards to appear, and they’re finally here! About fifty free cards are waiting for you to claim them at local businesses across our city! Participation in the Local Rewards Scavenger Hunt is simple!

  • Go to to see where the free cards are located.
  • Go to the checkout counter and ask for one of the free cards.
  • First Come, first served! There are only 5 free cards at each location, so you may have to visit more than one location to find a free card.
  • Don’t want to hunt around? Prefer to purchase your card? No problem! Each location also has extra cards they are selling for the limited time, reduced price of $15. There are a limited number of free cards available, so get them quickly!
  • We request that only one free card be claimed per person. Honor system. (And maybe big brother…? Nah.)
  • We’ll post hints about where you might still find free cards on Twitter and Facebook throughout the week.

Joining RelyLocal as a card-carrying member allows you, as someone who cares about Renton’s future, to participate in the Rely On Renton campaign as “Loyal Localists”. Many businesses around town are willing to thank you for your loyalty with discounts and special offers on everything from appliances to clothing to entertainment! More offers are being added all the time. Look at some of the great Rewards your card will get you:

Renton Civic Theatre

Reward Details: Renton Civic Theatre offers tickets to the Summer Teen Musical, “Legally Blonde” for HALF OFF to RelyLocal Rewards members. To order, call / email the box office, let them know you’re a Rewards member, and show your card when you pick them up.

Creative Mom Toys

Reward Details: Creative Mom Toys offers RelyLocal Rewards members 20% off any one item, on Mondays or Tuesdays. Limit one item per week.

Shannon Richards, Stylist

Reward Details: Shannon Richards, Stylist at Shear Delight offers RelyLocal Rewards members $5 off hair cuts and $10 off coloring.

King and Bunny’s Appliances

Reward Details: King & Bunny’s Appliances offers 5% off MSRP to Local Rewards members. May not be combined with additional offers.

Renton Photography Galleries by Lana Blinderman


Great New Website with Renton Photographs!

Local photographer, Lana Blinderman, recreated her website with two galleries of architectural photographs throughout Renton. Using images of urban decay and architectural styles from the past, Lana weaves a tale of Renton’s history into the present time. Lana’s business name, Ex Factory Creative “is a tribute to [her] love of industrial buildings and to the years [she] spent working in the field of trade and logistics, where ex factory is a shipping term.” Her goal, she says is “to document the beauty of cities and industry.” You can find her galleries at: and




Juneteenth – How we still support slavery in Renton

Happy Juneteenth! One-hundred forty-eight years ago today, slavery was declared abolished in Texas, two and a half years after the rest of the United States. This was an important landmark in our shared American history: African American as well as every other ethnicity; we are equal in value in spite of the color of our skin. No one person should ever be allowed to own another.

As we commemorate the end of slavery in America, let us remember that although we abolished legal slavery in America in the 1860’s, slavery still exists in America and around the world in the modern day. Even though you’ve probably never seen a restrained person laboring in Renton, you and I unknowingly pay for slavery to continue on a daily basis. Slaves harvest the cacao beans that are made into the chocolate that we eat in our chocolate chip cookies. Slaves produce the clothing that we purchase. Slaves mine the coltan that is used to make our mobile phones (watch the documentary online here). Slaves harvest produce grown in America that you buy at your grocery store, and raise the beef cattle that are processed into your fast food hamburgers.

It’s awkward to think about supporting slavery in our day to day lives. However, we can make choices that impact the demand for slavery produced products. We can:

  • Eat food that has been produced with transparency. Moving production of our food and goods behind closed doors has led to a proliferation of human rights violations and abuses. Undocumented workers, under myriad threats of violence against themselves and their families, deportation, and exposure, work for little to no pay to produce much of the food we eat. We can call for more transparency in the production of our food and supplies by choosing to buy locally from producers we know are ethical. What is transparent? Can you visit the farm where your veggies are grown? Can you shake the hand of the person who harvested your food, and ask them what their wages are? Buy instead from: Whistling Train Farm, Top of the Hill Produce, Smoking Monkey Pizza
  • Choose coffee, sugar, chocolate that is “Fair Trade” or “Direct Trade”. Yes, you will pay a little more for these things. You are paying the people who produced it a little more, too. That is a good thing. Liberty Cafe uses coffee from Middle Fork Roasters. They purchase Fair Trade coffee as often as it is available, which is apparently seasonal.
  • Buy clothing that has been produced ethically. This one is especially difficult. Most of the clothing we purchase has no history attached for us to view. The wages of the workers can influence the price of the final product, so that clothing produced ethically is more expensive than clothing produced as a result of slave labor. “Fair Trade” labelled clothing has added cost associated with being labelled “Fair Trade Certified”. Buying clothing second hand is a subversive way to “rob” money from the companies that produce unethical clothing. Buy Fair Trade clothing from Maya Whole Health. You can find second hand clothing at Chici Baby’s Consignment Boutique, and Little Quadoo Consignment Boutique
  • Be prepared to pay a little more. The question always is asked, “How can I afford to pay more for fair wages, when I can barely pay for the food and goods that are produced unfairly?” Ask yourself, can you do more with less? Do you really NEED another pair of shoes? Can you eat a little less chocolate? Eat at home a little more frequently? We are so accustomed to living with excess. Try living simply, so that others may simply live.
  • Share this information with others in your network. Spread the word. You may not be able to make a huge difference, but someone in your life may. Watch the video below and share it with everyone you know!

What other producers and retailers around Renton do you know of who sell slavery-free merchandise? Share them with us here so we can support them too!

Maya’s Partnership with Whistling Train Farm Organic Whole Foods

The Maya community now has a more convenient way to access locally-grown, organic whole foods.

The Maya community now has a more convenient way to access locally-grown, organic whole foods.

By Janet Muniz

Through a new partnership with Whistling Train Farm in Kent, WA, Maya Whole Health Studio is now a drop-site for its Summer Community Supported Agriculture Subscription Program, or CSA. Here’s how it works:

  • Every Tuesday morning starting today through the end of October, owners Mike and Shelley Verdi assemble a tasty, well-balanced assortment of harvested organic foods and deliver the boxes of fresh produce to Maya.
  • Subscribers can pick up their parcels by 7:30 pm on Tuesday, or between 8:30 am and 1:00 pm on Wednesday.

Tuesday mornings are a perfect time for Renton area subscribers to pick up their organic foods, especially if they’d like to supplement with fresh finds from the Renton Farmers Market, which takes place Tuesday afternoons from 3:00 to 7:00 in downtown Renton (through September 24).

Sign up before Tuesday, June 25 and get one extra delivery. Those interested in joining the Summer CSA can learn more by visiting the Farm’s website and completing an application. Three share sizes are offered -Small Shares feed one to three adults, Large Shares feed about three to five and Mini Shares each include five items of your choosing to supplement harvests from your home garden, or to introduce you to the CSA concept.

“The price is extremely reasonable, based on the rave reviews from last year,” Shelley tells us, “and the added bonus for subscribers is having all-you-can-pick flowers and peas available at our Kent farm for no extra cost.” Prices listed are for 18 weeks of delivery, so anyone who signs up before Tuesday, June 25 will get an extra delivery.

061913_MayaWholeHealth_WhistlingTrainFarmLogoHappy Farm-iversary! 2013 marks the 15th anniversary of Whistling Train Farm, a small family farm growing healthy food for the community. To celebrate, the Verdi’s are offering other great perks for subscribers, such as an expanded u-pick area, farm maps for self-guided tours, farm workshops and a late summer farm party!

Click the link to download the Whistling Train Farm 2013 CSA Flyer: 2013 CSA Farm Flyer. If you’re interested in subscribing or if you have questions about the CSA program, send an email to

Originally posted on Maya Whole Health’s blog, “Maya Currents”.

Introducing Local Rewards!

Coming soon! We're gearing up to launch the Local Rewards program here in Renton!

Coming soon!

We’re gearing up to launch the Local Rewards program here in Renton. We’ll be rolling out this program with a contest and giving away FREE Local Rewards cards at participating members’ businesses.

What Is Local Rewards?

Local Rewards is a way for local businesses to say “thanks for choosing local!” by offering discounts, freebies, and extras to cardholders on everything from your daily coffee to a new roof for your house. These rewards can save you a few cents on a car wash or a few hundred dollars on car repairs. And, the best news is – the cards are valid for one full year!

New deals will be added all the time. More businesses are joining our community of small businesses every week. Let your favorite local business know about Local Rewards. Maybe they’ll offer a reward too!

Local Rewards is a YOUR OPPORTUNITY, as citizens of Renton, to “put your money where your house is” and participate in the RelyLocal campaign. As we launch the Local Rewards program, we’ll be selling the cards at a reduced rate of only $15.00. (That is less than $0.04 per day for access to major savings while supporting the local community!) We do anticipate this price to increase soon, so don’t wait, buy early – buy often! They also make fantastic gift cards!

How Can I Get Local Rewards?

You will be able to purchase local rewards cards for $15 from non-profits and resellers around Renton. A hefty portion of the proceeds goes to support local charities.

Stay tuned for details about our LOCAL REWARDS SCAVENGER HUNT CONTEST where we will be giving away many free Local Rewards cards!

If you haven’t already, create a personal account on our RelyLocal site. You’re going to need it! We will announce the official launch of Local Rewards on Facebook, Twitter, this blog, Google + and on our mailing list. Please connect with us on one or more of these platforms so you don’t miss this special opportunity!