Longmont businesses are celebrating love this Valentine’s Day with a small act of kindness and community solidarity.
Launched by Jennifer Ferguson and Bricks Retail, the #longmonsterlove Valentine’s Day campaign wants to take the holiday beyond couples and bring out the love for local businesses and the community as a whole. Bookmarks printed in English and Spanish have been distributed to businesses across the city.
“I had flashbacks to high school when you’d send ‘candy gramscandygrams’ to friends in other classes. With the pandemic making things hard all over, I thought about how to share a little brightness,” Ferguson said.
Bricks Retail covered costs for the campaign with assistance from the Longmont Downtown Development Authority. Printing was handled by Kelly Nowlin and Print Experts, but files are available for anyone interested in printing their own to share.
Designed by Jean Ditslear of 300 Suns Brewing, the bookmarks feature adorable monsters and community-focused messages.
“Jennifer wanted something fun and playful and Longmonster was the theme. I just tried to make it as colorful and upbeat as possible with the goal of making people smile. We worked on the messages together,” Ditslear said.
“It's all about just saying ‘look, we all make Longmont this awesome place’ and we need each other, right? Longmont has this really uniquely ‘us’ vibe. And until you live here, you just don't understand it — down to earth, unpretentious and more of a small town vibe than other cities of our size, while being pretty cutting edge in a lot of ways,” Ditslear said. “We've been through a lot together, especially this past year, and the community has really been supportive of small businesses through this. We've really experienced a ton of love from our customers, so it's nice to have a little something to hand out to say thank you and that without them, we wouldn't be here. Jenn took all the work/expense out of it, and made it easy and fun.”
The bookmarks can be found at dozens of local stores, restaurants and bars. Locals can pick one up, take a picture of themselves with the bookmark and share it on social media using the campaign’s #longmonsterlove hashtag. After Valentine’s Day, all participants will be entered into a random drawing for a gift basket valued at more than $150.
Cindy Jones, the biochemist behind Colorado Aromatics, has added her business’ stickers to the bookmarks. Anyone that uses the hashtag and tags the business is invited to return to the store at Third Avenue and Lashley Street for $5 off their next purchase.
“We really wanted to share some goodness and cheer, to celebrate coming together for the community,” Jones said.
John Young, an owner of Abbott & Wallace Distilling, said, “I see the #longmonsterlove campaign as another chance for Longmont to embrace community. People are tired of this pandemic, but our community leaders are still championing local businesses that give our community character.”
Other participating businesses include Big Daddy Bagels, the Longmont Humane Society, La Momo Maes Bakery, Red Frog Coffee, Summit Tacos, Washed Up Car Wash, Hidden Treasures 2, Wispy Greens and Pistachio Cafe & Bakery. More retailers are joining daily.
Despite the winter weather this week, plans to pass out bookmarks to passersby on Main Street will begin Friday and continue through Sunday.“This campaign is just one more way they are bringing us all together and we look forward to the community joining in on the fun while we take a moment to celebrate Longmont's small business owners, employees and patrons,” said Jennifer Bridge of Branded Beet, the marketing studio that manages Bricks’ social media.
“We think it's fun to see Valentine's Day becoming a broader holiday than just a day for couples —spreading love and celebrating community is so important right now and we know Longmont is always up for more #longmonsterlove,” Bridge said.