Purpose of Project:
In 2021 Flagstaff Crafted, a program run by Flagstaff County, launched the second edition (Spring/Summer) and third edition (Fall/Winter) Gift Guide. This is a visual collection of products and services, intended to showcase the unique and incredible options that are available locally. Flagstaff Crafted is on a mission to facilitate the success and growth of local businesses and the growth of our local economy, and the Flagstaff Crafted Gift Guide allows us to further support local entrepreneurs. The Gift Guide helps establish a stronger market for unique, hand-crafted, quality-made products, and exceptional services, and reach people that may ultimately look for a similar product or service elsewhere. As consumers flip through the pages (physically or digitally), they can pause to appreciate the dedication of each business, be inspired by their journey, and recognize that they are a fundamental piece of the Flagstaff Region economy.
Effectiveness / Meeting Objectives:
While the program is supported by the County and offers free participation in the Gift Guide for entrepreneurs that have joined the Flagstaff Crafted Program, the added value that is created for the community, local and external consumers is incomparable and consistently growing. What first started as an idea and only 15 local vendors and makers included in the first guide, has now evolved into 24 makers/small business and 50 unique products proudly promoted in our latest 2021 guide. The Flagstaff Crafted vendors included in the guide are often family owned and operated. The reality is that when you support local, you are helping a family like yours put food on the table and pay for their kid’s school supplies. You may pay a little bit more for these products/services you find in these guides, but the money is going back into the business to give it the ability to succeed in the future as well as keep the money flowing in the local ecosystem.
Local businesses give an average of 5 times more per dollar to groups in their community. Furthermore, local business owners spend 25% more in the local economy than their larger competitors. On average, small business tend to pollute 15 times less than larger, non-local chains. These are all ways that small businesses positively impact the economy, and the Flagstaff Crafted Gift Guide is one way Flagstaff County proudly supports them.
To interest people in the 2021 Fall/Winter Gift Guide we teased them with editorial content on the Flagstaff Crafted website, and to further interest consumers, we created a social media strategy using multiple digital channels, to ensure it was noticed by multiple demographics. Also Included in our strategy was an ad in our local paper – The Community Press. The Flagstaff Crafted Program is made up of businesses who share, support, and encourage one another to grow their business to its fullest potential. Those businesses who participate in the program authentically shared the gift guide on their own social media expanding its reach.
The Flagstaff Crafted participants have created a hub for entrepreneurs, collaboration, and support in the Flagstaff Region. With a high sense of pride in high-quality local handmade goods and services and a goal of business retention and expansion in mind, the Flagstaff Crafted Gift Guide was created and intended to continue as a bi-annual publication. There has been a great shift in “supporting local” that is continuing to become more attractive to both urban and rural consumers, so the Gift Guide helps to leverage this demand by creating this interactive, digital, and visually appealing one-stop-shop method to showcase the unique and incredible options that are available locally.