Today, we have a Bourbon Heritage Month present for one lucky HerKentucky reader, courtesy of Shop Local Kentucky. We sat down with Rick from Shop Local Kentucky with a few questions about their initiative, and he kindly offered a gorgeous reclaimed bourbon barrel necklace embossed with the outline of Kentucky. What a great way to celebrate the Commonwealth! Here's what Rick had to say to us:
HK: Tell us a little about the mission of Shop Local Kentucky.
SLK: Shop Local Kentucky is an initiative to 'Keep the Grass Blue' by promoting local shopping and independent business owners across the Commonwealth. While Kentucky have had several successful localized 'Buy Local' programs, business alliances and campaigns, this will be the first statewide grassroots local shopping awareness initiative.
HK You’re starting off by selling SLK merchandise, but what’s coming next?
SLK:. Right, The Kentucky Shop is the funding mechanism behind Shop Local Kentucky. This effort has completely funded the intiative through year-end and gives us a way to plug local makers and artists in with our Kentucky following via the e-commerce store. Through the store we have paid out nearly $6,000 in sales to these local business owners since first opening one month ago. Further, we have raised over $1,100 for the Toy Chest Childrens Charity of Kentucky through a charity T-shirt sale.
However, that is not the full extent of Shop Local Kentucky. In the fall we have an app for Android and iPhone coming that will connect locally owned, independent businesses to the Kentucky customers who seek them out via geolocation services. In other words, you open an App on your phone, it locates you wherever you may be in the state, whether Bowling Green or Pikeville, then it shows you Shop Local Kentucky businesses within a given radius. There are a few more bells and whistles like exclusive coupon deals (think groupon for locals), a searchable directory and a reviews service. If you are a business interested in becoming a Shop Local Kentucky business - Click here to sign up for more information.
HK:Your Instagram is a must-follow! Where do you get those gorgeous shots of Kentucky?
SLK:. Our Instagram account, which is nearly 10,000 Kentuckians strong, is a place to highlight the Commonwealth's beauty through the lens' and phones of folks from across the state. 60% of the photos are user content driven with #ShopLocalKY and the other 40% are original content. It's a fun way to look at the state from each individuals' different point of view. Once we get the app going, we plan to highlight Shop Local Kentucky businesses on the platform. You can follow us at @ShopLocalKy.
Someone once said to me “People from Kentucky are obsessed with being from Kentucky.”What’s your favorite thing about the Bluegrass State?
SLK: The cliche answer... Fall in Kentucky. However, I think the overarching pride we as Kentuckians take in our state is unparalleled and trumps the changing leaves any day. There are so many great initiatives, blogs and people out there right now all with one goal - Make Kentucky look awesome in some fashion. You really don't see that sense of ownership elsewhere.