As we enter not only a new year, but a new decade, I want to talk about the importance of New Year’s Resolutions. Not just making new ones, but continuing to carry out the ones we’ve made in the past.

I have long been a proponent of supporting local businesses. As a small, local business owner myself, not only do I rely on my clients for my livelihood, but also as my tie to the community. While there are valid reasons for shopping online, at the mall, or at “Big Box” stores, I’m a firm believer that nothing matches the quality or experience of products and services bought from your friends and neighbors. And those same friends and neighbors are the ones who are there to support the community in times of joy, sorrow or need.

When considering your New Year’s Resolutions this year, I encourage you to shop local. If this isn’t something you have done much of in the past, use 2020 as a springboard to learning about all the wonderful gift shops, clothing stores, restaurants, cafés, and service oriented businesses in your area. If you are already a local shopper, continue to keep the importance of this habit in the forefront of your mind. Buying local keeps dollars in our community. The more profitable a local business is, the greater the ability that business has to give back to schools, hospitals, fire and police departments. It’s a positive cycle that helps everyone in the community.

I am a board member both for the Ripon Chamber of Commerce and Garden Joy (located behind Studio Joy), a public garden we are working on creating to open hopefully in the spring of 2020. As a matter of fact our rotary group, ModestoFLEX Rotary, will be volunteering at the garden on January 18th  from 9am – noon. We’d love for anyone to join us! I can’t say enough about the efforts of these organizations in providing a prosperous community where people enjoy living and working. I also recently worked with a fantastic local business, Emmry Cloth, whose one-of-a-kind children’s clothing designs are hand-sewn from vintage materials. The owner, Tawnya Van Houten, works from her home and travels to vendor markets to sell her clothing. I was lucky enough to be able to photograph this darling little girl in several of these hand-made outfits. The cake seen in these images is from local bakery, Sweet Crumbles Bake Shop, owned by Serene Asire. Have you ever seen anything as precious as this?


As we say goodbye to 2019, I thank all the local businesses that I’ve enjoyed getting to know and work with! In addition, I thank those who have supported my business by having their professional headshots and family portraits done by me. So as you raise a toast to 2020, buy local and check off at least one item on your New Year’s Resolutions list. Happy New Year!

Contact us today to learn more about Rachael Venema Photography!

(209) 456-9353 or hello@rachaelvenema.com

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