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Independents Week

Day 29/90 – Indie Week Lunch at Fez

Day 29 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I had lunch with a new friend at Fez during Independents Week (not a typo).

Photo courtesy of Fez on Central

Photo courtesy of Fez on Central

I received a request to meet with a fellow lawyer who is new to Arizona and starting a solo practice. He wanted to hear about my experiences starting a firm and marketing myself with social media. It’s always fun to chat with receptive lawyers about what’s working for me with social media. This guy was brand new to the valley so I got to give him an overview about networking in the Phoenix area.

We met for lunch at Fez. I picked this restaurant for several reasons:

  • They have awesome food.
  • They’re on the light rail – which would give my friend a chance to try public transit.
  • They’re members of Local First Arizona – great way to introduce this organization to him.
  • And they’re accepting Golden Coupons during Independents Week so we got 20% off our bill.

I enjoy Independents Week. It’s a week to focus on spending your money at locally-owned businesses so more money stays in the community. It may seem strange that I (an aspiring minimalist) get excited about a consumerism-focused event. But there is method to my madness.

  • Carter Law Firm and Venjuris are members of Local First Arizona, and I believe in keeping my money in my community.
  • Although I’m not a recreational shopper, I do buy things.
  • I’m frugal.
  • Shopping during Independents Week with the Golden Coupon to buy things I’m going to buy anyway lets me get them at a discount.
  • Everyone wins!

With nearly 3,000 businesses belonging to Local First Arizona, it’s hard to keep track of everyone. Seeing the list of companies that are accepting Golden Coupons is a reminder of some of the awesome local businesses in this state.

In case you missed it: Day 28 of the 90 Days of Awesome was Less than Awesome.

Indie Week 2013 Recap

I had an awesome time during Independents Week 2013. Over 300 members of Local First Arizona offered 20% discounts to patrons with Golden Coupons. Here’s the rundown of every place I visited last week.

ZiaStop #1 – Zia Records
Apparently if you went to high school in the Phoenix area in the 90’s, Zia Records was your go-to place to buy and sell movies and music. The shop was huge and had a massive variety of products, including a ton of pop culture paraphernalia. I wished they arranged the DVDs in the sales bins so you could read the spines and not have to flip through each case. I walked out with a copy of Argo – one of the movies on my “must buy” list.

Pink SpotStop #2 – Pink Spot Ice Cream
Anyone who knows me knows that I love ice cream (ICE KREM!) I’d never been to Pink Spot and Indie Week gave me a chance to check it out. They have a limited selection but a lot of creative flavors. I also enjoy the inviting quiet ambiance of the place.

Stop #3 – Urban Cookies
When I heard that Urban Cookies has gluten-free cupcakes I knew I had to check them out. Urban CookiesIt was a moist chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting. It was heavenly. The shop is adorably tiny and the staff is super sweet.

Stop #4 – Write On’s
This stationary and gift shop has been part of my family for decades. It’s the only place I go for greeting cards. Indie Week gave me an excuse to stop by and stock up.

Stop #5 – Arizona Fun Services
Ever since I saw a head-to-toe spandex body suit, Write OnsI wanted one. My partner-in-crime and I have had several discussions about what types of flash mobs and pranks we could do with these. Arizona Fun Services is the only shop that has ever let me try one on. They didn’t have the colors we wanted in our sizes but they took our names and numbers and will let us know when they get their next shipment. This costume shop is huge with a wonderful selection of costume pieces. I will definitely be back.

Body SuitStop #6 – The Dhaba
I fell in love with this Indian restaurant when I came here for lunch with Local First Arizona. I don’t know what most of the food is but it’s all delicious. We ate way too much and it was totally worth it.

Stop #7 – Melrose Pharmacy
I had heard of Melrose Pharmacy but I had never been here. It’s a charming little shop that is primarily a pharmacy with small retail area compared to other drug stores that are mostly retail and a little pharmacy.

0702131205Stop #8 – Changing Hands Bookstore
I love Changing Hands – the diverse book selection, the other items they sell, and their wonderful events. I rarely buy books because I usually check books out from the library if I only plan to read it once. However, when there’s something I want to own, it’s a great place to go. And I love that they buy used books. I have a stack of books from my minimalism project that I Duck and Decanterwill be bringing to them with the hopes to exchanging them for store credit.

Stop #9 – Duck and Decanter
I love Duck and Decanter. It’s a wonderful deli that has edible gluten-free bread and delicious sandwich options. They have excellent desserts too including amazing fudge. They have indoor and outdoor seating which makes it a wonderful place to enjoy a meal with friends.

Stop #10 – Jamburritos 
JamburritosI love food trucks. I think the owners are determined and make themselves stand out in wonderfully delicious ways. I’m looking forward to the weather cooling down so I can get back to Food Truck Friday without having to worry about melting. Jamburritos is my hands-down favorite food truck. The Cajun-Mexican food is awesome and the staff is so sweet. I made the trek out to the Downtown Farmers Market (which is also awesome) just to pick up lunch.

So that was my Indie Week 2013. I had an awesome time and it was definitely worth it to make my schedule work around these awesome deals. If you used your Golden Coupon somewhere in Arizona this week, I’d love to hear about it.

Excited for Independents Week 2013

Independents Week is coming up June 30 – July 7, 2013. I’m really excited for this week of celebrating independently owned business by getting awesome discounts. Since I joined Local First Arizona last year, I’ve learned a lot about the benefits of supporting local businesses. When you shop locally, not only are you supporting “the little guy,” you’re keeping more money in the local economy. I was amazed when I learned that for every $100 you spend at a big box store, only $43 stays in the local economy. When you spend $100 at a local business, $73 stays in the local economy.

LFA Infographic

To celebrate Independents Week, Local First Arizona created the Golden Coupon program where dozens of Local First members are offering a 20% discount if you shop with the Golden Coupon.  The list is pretty extensive and diverse.

Here are some of the places I’m most excited about using my Golden Coupon:

The Dhada: This little Indian restaurant in Tempe will blow you away. Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with Indian food; everything here is fantastic. This was the first place I made sure was on my calendar for Independents Week. Some of the other great restaurants that are accepting Golden Coupons include Fez, Coronado Café, House of Tricks, Tryst Café, and Duck and Decanter.

Urban Cookies: I’ve been looking for an excuse to indulge my sweet tooth. This is an award-winning bakery and they make gluten-free cookies and cupcakes.

golden-couponAZ on the Rocks: I really like this rock climbing center in Scottsdale. The staff is friendly and they have auto-belays so you can climb by yourself if you are so inclined. I’m really happy that this place is on the Golden Coupon list.

Zia Records: Independents Week will hopefully be my first of many trips to Zia Records. They are known for being a great place to buy and sell CDs and DVDs and for finding obscure items that aren’t available in other stores or hellaciously expensive if you buy them online.

Write On’s: This charming stationary and gift shop in Phoenix is part of my family. This is my go-to place when I need a greeting card or a classy gift. The women who work here are like a set of aunts. I love shopping here.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the full list of Arizona businesses that are accepting the Golden Coupon for Independents Week. It’s a great excuse to try someplace new and explore what’s available your community. Yes, even Carter Law Firm is participating in this year’s event.

For those of you who don’t live in the Phoenix area or are looking to get out of dodge, a lot of businesses in the Cottonwood, Flagstaff, and Tucson areas are also accepting the Golden Coupon.

Update: Be sure to check out these last minute additions that are accepting Golden Coupons – Jamburritos, Brand X T-shirts, and Changing Hands.

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