I work for a local, non-chain company; the owner started by teaching cooking classes out of her house! I feel like I am treated better as an employee of a small company, but today I realized that I need to be more diligent about supporting local commerce. This is something that has been on my mind for a while; my goal is to support at least one local company (store, restaurant, farmer's market, etc.) a week, and then see if I can build from there.
I do have a local shoe store recommendation; Fosee's, which has many hidden gems; you do have to search a bit, but I have found beautiful shoes that were marked down like 60-70%. They have great brands; similar to what you would find at nordstroms and anthropologie. And the saleswomen are so sweet. If you are in the Dallas area check it out; it's in the forest shopping center across the lot from whole foods.