As Christmas is creeping up on us with increasing speed, I’ve been thinking more and more about why it is so incredibly important to shop small, and to shop early.
This is obviously something that is key all year round, but during the festive period, people are shopping and spending so much more than other months, and therefore it is paramount that we are aware of who we are shopping with!
So this week I have put together a lil list of why we should be shopping with small businesses and independents…
The biggest plus for me is simply that I love that there is an actual person on the other side of that purchase.
You could be helping a real family go on a fun day out; or to finish their Christmas shopping; or even just funding a really nice pair of shoes!
REAL PEOPLE MEANS CRACKIN’ SERVICE
While I’m on the subject of real people, one positive of this fact, is that shopping small most often results in really great customer service. You’re likely to be coming in to contact with the owner of that company, as opposed to having to make your way through an enormous chain of people before having your question answered. These brilliant people also will rely heavily on good feedback, positive reviews and word of mouth, and will therefore provide a tip-top service!
When shopping small, you are 100% fuelling someone’s passion, and making dreams a reality.
Running a small creative business is no mean feat, so it goes without saying that the faces behind the name will be incredibly passionate and knowledgable about their particular industry. These creatives are likely to be experts in their field, and it is undoubtably going to be super important to them personally to provide a good quality product or service. It is probably that their main aim will not just be to take your money! This work involves real heart, time and love – what’s stopping you?!
I like to picture someone on the other end of my purchases, doing a little jig in their kitchen, or high fiving the dog – they’re so much more than an algorithm, or a huge panel of shareholders – just real people with real passion.
There is a real sense of community that comes from shopping with indie businesses – the creative small business industry is largely a very friendly one.
Also, small businesses tend to use and shop with other small businesses, so you are contributing to this lovely long chain of wonderful people helping other wonderful people!
Owners of small businesses are most often personally involved with the production of the items that they offer – this results in them being incredibly conscious of operating with transparency, and aware of the methods and materials involved, and the affects that these may have on the environment.
Handmade goods tend to be created in small batches as opposed to being mass produced. These items may cost more to purchase in the short term, and I am very aware that this means that it is not necessarily a viable option for everyone, but if you do have the means to be able to buy these items, they will last longer than the cheaper options that are produced on a larger scale. Quality, not quantity, yanno?
HOW TO HELP WITHOUT SPENDING
If you are unable to shop small this Christmas, there are so many other ways that you can support small businesses!
Follow their pages on social media and don’t be stingy on those likes, comments and shares! If you love what they do, tell them! This engagement will also boost their posts, meaning that more people will see them too.
Sign up to their mailing lists and leave reviews & feedback on your previous purchases!
Save a list of small businesses to shop with when you are able, or when you need gift ideas, and use gift guides for suggestions for the trickier recipients!
Tell all your friends and family! Share their work and pages online, and also tell people when you’ve discovered a new artist or maker!
Spread. The. Word.
Just a small change in attitude and shopping habits can make a huuuge difference for small indie business owners, even if you’re purchasing ‘Just a Card’.
Just a Card is a fantastic campaign, who are, in their words: “on a mission to encourage people to support, value and buy from artists, makers, independent shops and small businesses”.
Check out their website and Insta for how to help the cause!
I have so much respect for anyone running a small business – setting up and maintaining these is a huge undertaking, so I bow down to all of you wonderful creatives out there and thank you for putting your work out into the world for us to enjoy!
So this week, why not encourage your friends and family to get involved in shopping small this Christmas and beyond…
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking it out, I appreciate you reading my rambling!
Have a fabby week, I hope it is full of chocolate and sparkly things!