Though it’s convenient and quick, shopping online can feel like a guilty pleasure when you realize your money is going out of state to mega-retailers instead of your local economy. Spots on the FOX takes away that guilt with an e-commerce platform featuring Fox Valley vendors selling everything from arts and crafts to cakes and books.
Diane Moca: Welcome to Talking Cities. I'm Diane Moca. If you're like me, you probably want to shop at local businesses, but sometimes it seems like a hassle compared to online shopping. So Anna Tredrea and her husband Kyle, started Spots On the Fox. It's like Etsy, but all of the products are from Fox Valley entrepreneurs. So Ana, what made you decide that you wanted to create something like this? Ana Tredrea: Well, when the pandemic hit, we stopped going out. My husband works from home. I was a stay at home mom, we had a brand new baby. High risk. We stayed home, so we didn't go out at all. And every day we were getting packages. Amazon, Walmart, Target. You name it, we were getting it every single day. I started feeling really guilty because I'm a huge advocate and supporter of small shopping and community shopping, but because we weren't going anywhere, we had to, it was out of necessity. And we're like, "This isn't right. We would really like to come together and bridge that gap of community shopping and community support. And that's how Spots On the Fox was born. So it is an e-commerce, completely online, all in support of small local businesses. We have over 70 local vendors, and it was born because of the pandemic, but it's convenient so it'll outlive the pandemic. There's just so much more exposure with being a part of a community of 70 plus vendors that's constantly promoting and sharing. Diane Moca: And what kinds of products can people find on Spots On the Fox? Ana Tredrea: Oh boy, all kinds. We have tons of different local crafters. We have bakers, we have candles, we have crocheters, we have books. We saw everything unique gift, giving opportunities. You can shop Spots first and find tons of different options. All vendors keep 100% of their sales. So we have a monthly subscription. So vendors get their own virtual store front, where they can add their company information company logo, and they can add unlimited items. Diane Moca: There's a new version for little entrepreneurs. And how old are these entrepreneurs on Spots junior? Ana Tredrea: So our spots junior is for 13 through 17. They get the exact same benefits that all Spots On the Fox vendors get, but it's a $9.99 a month. We are 100% involved in everything that Spots has. We wake up at four or 5:00 AM every day and we don't go to bed until 11:00 PM every night, and the weekends. So this is our baby as well. And we do this every day, all day. We breathe it, it's a labor of love. We are hoping to take Spots initiatives to different locations in the country wherever there's a small community. And at that point is the idea of having a lot of different small vendors, obviously in each local initiative. Diane Moca: When a group of people were surveyed and asked where they prefer to shop, more than half of people said they prefer to shop online. So it's just going to keep growing, and like you told me when I first talked to you, a lot of people think, "Oh," they search for something, they see Walmart, they see Target, they see Amazon, they click. Instead of clicking, think about those local entrepreneurs, those local businesses, and check out Spots On the Fox, or wherever your future growth may bring you.