While I’ve always been well aware of our purchase power and just how important it is to support small businesses (hello, I am one!)... my eyes were opened to it when I held our adoption auction this past week. I met so many amazing shop owners, heard so many lovely stories, and gathered so many NEAT items!
So why don’t we support small all of the time?
Here’s what I suspect (because I'm guilty of believing the following):
- It's too expensive. It’s true… small businesses charge more than big-box stores. But there’s a breakdown in the understanding of VALUE. These businesses have to create a profit in order to sustain themselves. If they locally source materials, keep within ethical standards, provide good jobs for their employees, turn on the lights each month, AND still make a profit at the end of the day—they have to charge more.
So, what if our mindset shifted? What if our mindset went from “more for my money” to “my money for more…” more support for business owners living their dreams, more for a better cause, more that challenges our society's consumerism? I think then we’d be able to justify the cost quickly and educate those around us what you’re really buying when you’re supporting small, ethical businesses.
- There's a limited availability of products. This is what I’m most guilty of believing, especially locally. I’m always the first one grabbing my bag to head to the downtown Holiday Stroll and craft fairs and buy ALL of the Christmas gifts! (First stop: hot chocolate.) But unfortunately, I often leave in disappointment having not found the perfect gifts.
In all honesty, it’s because I go to these sorts of things with no real plan. I wander aimlessly looking at all the pretty products, and just wait for something to hit me as being good for someone on my list. This just doesn’t work for me.
So I’ve started to make a list of items I want to keep my eye out for as I approach the shops and craft fairs. For example: I have a tea-loving friend, so I need to keep my eye out for organic loose-leaf teas and maybe some cute mugs. My dad loves flying R.C. airplanes, so I want to keep my eye out for clever R.C. airplane items for him to decorate his office with.
And the list goes on. Imagine heading into these situations with a clear plan? I’m thinking I’ll turn up much more successful.
But sometimes there truly is a limit in products—whether that's due to the size of your town or simply not knowing where to find all of the shops. Which leads me to the whole point of this blog post.
Buy local, support local when you can...
But know that there's MANY small businesses that you can support right from your couch.
That’s what I want to provide you with today—a resource list of those amazing shops that you can support right from home. None of these shops have paid me to feature them... in fact, most won't ever even know that I sent you their way. But I feel like it's my duty to wave their banner and let you know that you CAN shop small (and get really, really awesome stuff)!
This is my collection of small businesses that I've either gotten to know personally through my online groups of biz owners, found when putting together our adoption auction, or have simply stumbled across when searching for something entirely unrelated.
Check out the categories below and take advantage of all the amazing sales they’re offering this weekend!
SIMPLY UNIQUE GIFTS
Thanksgiving is basically over at this point, so you might as well dive right into your favorite time of year and have fun shopping!