EUGENE, Ore. -- One local creative agency recently launched an online marketplace focused on shopping locally and supporting small businesses.
Quip created the Hometown Collective, where local vendors have the chance to sell products and services online, and customers can shop and purchase items from multiple vendors -- all in one transaction.
Erik Quick-Warner is the founder of both Quip and the Hometown Collective.
“It’s just like Amazon,” Quick-Warner said. “If Amazon can do it, we can do it locally.”
Any merchant within a 20-mile radius of Eugene can join The Hometown Collective, and it’s completely free to get started. There is a 10 percent commission on sold items only.
Each store has the option of offering curbside pickups, contactless delivery or shipping directly to the buyer.
“Whether you already have an online shop, you have a brick-and-mortar or you don't have anything started -- Hometown Collective is for you," Quick-Warner said. "It really just provides another sales channel for you to get on and reach those local customers.”
It also gives retailers who previously did not have an online presence the opportunity to launch their own online store.
Angela McDonald is the owner of Oregon Tea Traders, a business launched in 2011.
“I thought why haven't we been doing this longer? McDonald said. “There’s so many ways that you could get products from all over the world, yet there haven't been really any programs that made it easy to be able to source products right here in our own home or right around our own communities.”
McDonald said her business has been one of the luckier ones throughout this pandemic, but navigating so many moving parts has still been a challenge. She shared her thoughts about joining the Hometown Collective.
“It’s been exciting to see people really focusing more on their own communities,” McDonald said. “I think since this problem has been around, people are much more focused on helping out their neighbors, helping out their families and the people around them. The amount of businesses that have closed that are struggling has really helped people become aware of how fragile small businesses can really be -- especially when they're competing with large businesses that have a wealth of resources that small individuals just don't have access to necessarily.”
Maurice Ross is the founder and owner of the Mo Love Movement in Eugene.
“Small businesses need different outlets to get our name out there,” Ross said. “Obviously, we're a small business. Some of us don’t even want to be big mainstream businesses, so to be able to have organizations like this locally that are trying to support local businesses is extremely important.”
Ross said Mo Love is very active within the community, but the pandemic has impacted some of that work. He said any support is appreciated.
“Whether it's one, one thousand or a million people out there -- it’s important and a good feeling.”
“Shop local,” Quick-Warner said. “If you can shop in person, that's great. Just know that being able to shop online at Hometown Collective really allows you to support your community and uplift those that you know.”
To learn more or to become a vendor, CLICK HERE.