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I just read a blog post from one of my favorite retailers, and couldn't wait to pass it along. Interior designer Heather Marz is a California transplant who, together with her husband, promptly opened a fabulous design boutique upon settling into the Lowcountry. (If you haven't been, you should check it out: The Sitting Room, www.thesittingroomhome.shutterfly.com)

Anyway, here's the idea: we all love our independent shops, right? The 3/50 Project (www.the350project.net) offers a gentle reminder that these local favorites are open daily, and have much to offer in the way of what we need and use everyday. Problem is, habit and convenience overtake sometimes and before you know it, you're parking your car in the lot of a big chain store to pick up a gift, a book, a bottle of wine, even just a card. I'm guilty myself, which is why this 3/50 Project caught my attention. They propose you call to mind the three shops you'd miss the most if they weren't here. Next? Aim to spend just $50 per month in these or other independently owned stores, which will go a long way in saving our local economy.

I love it. So check out the website and let me know what you think. Better yet, send me a photo or two of your recent finds in your favorite local shops.

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