An all-local holiday shopper

Published 8:35 am Wednesday, December 9, 2009

FRANKLIN—For Michelle Buchanan, shopping 100-percent locally for Christmas this year is top on the holiday to-do list.

“I will not go out of town to buy anything,” the local realtor said Tuesday.

Inspired by the impending closing of International Paper Co.’s Franklin mill, Buchanan started a Facebook page called “Shop Franklin for the Holidays.” The group already has 121 members and is gaining in popularity.

“This is a place where locals can give one another gift ideas they have found locally,” the page says. “Also, local stores, shop owners and local venders can promote their gift ideas for the entire family. Churches and clubs can promote their craft shows and selling events. Together we all can support our local town and keep business local.”

Buchanan’s husband Quinton is one of 1,110 people from the mill who will lose their jobs in the spring. The way to help offset that loss is to spend money in town, Buchanan said.

“If we all as a community shopped locally, it would boost the economy, not just now but for the long term,” she said. “We have so much local stuff that we’re missing, and we’re taking money out of family and friends’ pockets.”

On the Facebook page, people post gift and money saving tips, and businesses are able to post deals and links to their shops.

“Great site,” Michelle,” posted Melissa Neave Darden. “Our town needs people like you offering an avenue to support our mom and pop shops. One year I did all my shopping between Parker Drug, Ace and Dails. (There are) great gift ideas everywhere you look!”

Buchanan said she used to be one of those people who would drive to Chesapeake or Norfolk for huge sales, but figured out that it cost her more in gas and time than just staying at home to shop.

“We can save money, save gas and save our town,” she said.

Buchanan is almost done with her list and has shopped at Wal-Mart, Designs by Sandra, Walgreens and The Christian Bookstore of Franklin.

She even had her family, who will be visiting from Tampa, Fla. shop online at and have the items sent to the store here.

Buchanan, who heads up the local Trooper Hill Toy Drive, took her shop-local mantra to beyond her family, too.

“All the stuff that was bought here was bought in Franklin,” she said during Tuesday’s giveaway.