I do my best to shop local, but I won’t lie, Amazon boxes arrive on my doorstep regularly. This past week I went out of my way to teach my son a lesson. But in the end I was the one who was reminded of the importance of supporting our local business owners.

My six-year-old son is fierce. He has charm, good looks, a witty sense of humor, and learns quickly. However, his fierceness also includes a wicked temper.

During one of his epic meltdowns, he busted our glass fireplace door (which, in turn, busted the gas insert). Luckily, it was tempered glass and didn’t hurt him. But you can imagine the mess a thousand tiny pieces of glass shards create inside a gas fireplace. Determined to teach him a lesson, I told him he had to pay for the repairs.

First, I took him to the bank to withdraw savings from his dog walking business. The second stop was Napa Valley Hearth. There we met Steve, and I told him that my son had made a bad decision and that we were there to fix his mistake.

Steve was incredibly helpful in finding the supplies we needed to repair the gas insert. I asked him if they sold fireplace glass doors, but unfortunately, they did not. I then said, “No problem, I found them online for $200.” He replied, “Don’t buy it online. Take the doors to a glass shop and just have the glass replaced.”


The third stop was to Javco Window & Glass. There we met Kelly and explained our situation. She was very helpful and gave my son a discount for taking responsibly for his mistake. Kelly quoted him $40 but gave him a 25% discount for being responsible. What a savings compared to buying the doors new online!

Lastly, we hired Josh from Fairbanks Plumbing to help repair the damage. Josh was very patient with my little guy and explained everything he was doing to repair the fireplace. I asked Josh what my son owed him. Josh looked at me puzzled. I could tell he didn’t want to charge a six-year-old for the 20 minutes he was there, but he knew I was trying to teach him a lesson. He charged my son a whopping $4 for his time.

Shopping online is convenient and often cheaper. However, had we not talked to Steve at Napa Valley Hearth we would have never considered replacing the glass locally and ultimately saving hundreds of dollars. Shopping local not only helps improve our economy but keeps Napa unique. All the business owners were kind to my son and reinforced the importance of fixing his mistake. Steve, Kelly andJosh went above and beyond for my family. They gave us personalized customer service.

As I mentioned, my six-year-old runs his own dog walking business. I am confident this lesson also taught him about being a compassionate business owner and the correct way to treat customers.

It takes a community to raise a child. It also takes a community to support local business.


Claudette Shatto has lived in the Napa Valley for 19 years. She is married with two elementary-aged children. Although she is extremely active in her community and her sons’ school, she is not your average PTA Mom.  She avoids the Pinterest-inspired classroom potlucks and instead lends her expertise to the school’s digital communication efforts.
When not teaching at Napa Valley College you can find her in an elementary classroom teaching the Entrepreneur Mindset to 5th graders.  Her recent passion project is teaching leadership to kindergarten and first graders. She is a classic type A, life-long over-achiever and is dedicated to serving her community.