New Orleans Unchained sounds just naughty enough to get locals attention. Whats that, a meeting group for S&M addicts? Not quite, unless you consider holiday shopping at big-box retailers a special form of masochism and, come to think of it, you should. The Saturday, Nov. 22, initiative is actually an extension of America Unchained, a national campaign aiming to steer consumers toward the Octavia Books of the world rather than, say, Borders, which just happens to be holding its soft opening in the Garden District on (you guessed it) Saturday, Nov. 22. So go check out those big comfy chairs and expensive coffees on St. Charles Avenue, but make sure you buy that Sierra Club calendar your dad doesnt want from an independent instead. Its kind of subversive to do otherwise.
Whats the gist of America Unchained?
Across the country, independent business alliances like Stay Local! are all saying, Lets take this day, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, to shop conscientiously and try to do all of our shopping at locally owned stores.
How is Stay Local! promoting the event?
Everybodys kind of jumping on at different stages. This is our first time to do it, so were starting small reaching out to our member business and saying, Let us know what youre doing. There are so many great things going on. Im collecting them all on our events page really creative, win-win-win events.
Any youre particularly excited about?
The one I love is Mat & Naddies pairing up with Anne Baker, who is an urban farm and gardening consultant. She does workshops all over town on how to do pot and container gardening, composting, that sort of thing. Shes doing a beds and breakfast workshop. Its $45, you get wonderful lunch snacks provided by Mat & Naddies, she shows you how to do container gardening, and the containers they create stay with Mat & Naddies. They keep the flowerbeds that are created, the folks that come get this great lunch and leave with a skill, and proceeds go to Anne Bakers community garden project in Gentilly. Its brilliant.
What other types of promotions are happening?
There are lots of others with 20 percent of proceeds going to a charitable organization. La Divina Gelateria has something going on with four artisans selling their wares a "homespun holiday" idea.