How to Make a Big Difference by Shopping Small
The Holiday season is here. It's been on the minds of small business owners for a few months now. We start thinking about it so early, because for most of us, late November and December sales get us through the slow Fall and Spring months of the New Year.
If you plan on doing a majority of your Holiday Shopping this week, consider the quality or meaningfulness of the items you're buying. Consider what the recipient might do with the gift you give them in 1 month, 6 months, even years down the road. Will it end up being a treasured item? My passion for handmade items is ultimately what led me to become a small business owner myself. But these tips don't just apply when shopping on my website. A win for any small business is a win for every small business.
Tips on how to support small business around the Holidays:
Downsize your shopping list: Instead of gifting multiple items to each person on your list, consider gifting one meaningful item that you buy from an artisan or small business owner.
Ditch Black Friday and Cyber Monday for Small Business Saturday: Many small businesses, makers, craftspeople, and artists run specials on their products during Small Business Saturday. Although most of us can't offer huge discounts like larger stores, we do occasionally run sales to make it easier for customers to own a piece of our work.
Bought something from a small business, maker, craftsperson, or artist to give as a gift? THANK YOU!! Ask for a business card to include with the gift so the recipient knows where to find them later on.
Want to support an artist or maker but can't afford to purchase their work? Tell your friends about them. Share their accounts on social media. DM them to tell them what you appreciate about their work. I promise it's not creepy, messages like that literally make my day.
I asked a few of my fellow makers:
"What does it mean to you when someone buys something from your business?"
Here are some of their responses:
"It means I can keep learning"
"It's another day I can live as my true authentic self and not work for a soulless company"
"It means I can continue to live in this beautiful city that inspires my art"
"It means I can live. Each purchase pays for my rent and bills to keep on making"
"It means I can reinvest into my business and afford to keep making jewelry"
Each purchase a small business makes means A LOT. It means our hard work has paid off and inspires and allows us to keep creating.
I hope you're feeling inspired to shop small this Holiday Season.
Disclaimer: I would like to acknowledge that "shopping small" is not accessible to everyone. Buying handmade is typically more expensive, and I do not encourage anyone to spend beyond their means in order to do so. There are many ways to show support to small businesses besides spending money, refer to the above tips for more information.