New project

As alluded to the other day, I am starting yet another project.

I’ve been an avid supporter of mom-and-pop businesses since I got involved with Route 66 a few years ago and started to see the impact of the big-box mentality on American culture — and on people’s livelihoods.

Two films I’ve watched recently — Shut Up and Sing and Independent America — have reinforced for me the importance of keeping the little guys alive and breaking the throttlehold that corporations seem to have on this country.

Almost a year ago, I spent a month trying to shop exclusively at mom-and-pop stores. In Tulsa, we’re blessed with a great many such stores of every imaginable type, so it’s possible to find just about anything you need without ever setting foot in a big box. While there were a few inconveniences involved in the all-indie-all-the-time approach, I found I could get by quite comfortably without the big guys. In a lot of towns, such an endeavor would be impossible, because the chains have killed all the mom-and-pops.

I’ve wandered back into the chains since last year’s experiment, but I do find that I’m more aware of the little stores and more inclined to shop there after spending a month familiarizing myself with their products and their hours.

My new goal is to expand that awareness — for myself and others.

To that end, I am starting a separate blog, called Indie Tulsa, for the express purpose of reviewing independent businesses in Tulsa. My initial goal is to review one business per week. Depending on how successful this project turns out to be and how much time I have to work on it, I may authorize additional users to post their own reviews, and I may do more than one review per week.

The first review will go online sometime in the next few hours, so stay tuned. The site may not look pretty right off the bat (I need to shoot some photos and put together a header, blogroll, about page, etc., etc., etc.), but I expect it to grow and improve quickly over the next few weeks.