I’ve always had an appreciation for small businesses, especially the ones in my community. I value our city’s quaint coffee shop, town movie theater, community farmers market and our Minnesota-made apparel shops. I loved our small businesses so much, that I was spending my well-earned money at places like Starbucks, AMC theaters, department stores and so on…yeah, that has since changed.
*Illustration by Christian Watson via 1942 U.S.
I allocated my money to chains and corporations that had storefronts on every corner, but I wasn’t giving to the small businesses I cherished to see in my community.
- When you shop at your local businesses, you support your community; creating funds for projects in your parks, schools, trails, etc.
- When you shop small, you support talented artisans and not larger enterprises.
- Small business can accommodate their shoppers’ needs and create product diversity.
- The feeling you get after supporting small businesses and artisans is priceless.
While giving financially is a huge factor in showing your support for small businesses, there is others way you can show your appreciation as well.
- Be a marketer for your small businesses, vendors, and artisans by sharing their story through word-of-mouth or via social media.
- Be active on Small Business Saturday and encourage others to do the same.
- Sign up for small business memberships, loyalty programs, and punch cards.
Shopping small makes you not only think about the communities you are supporting but the people too! What owners, staff, vendors, designers, and artisans are you supporting when you shop? This was a question I found myself asking quite often after being introduced to Artisan & Fox: An Ethical Artisan Marketplace.
This social enterprise, focused on fashion goods, introduced myself & others to extraordinary artisans across the developing world. According to Artisan & Fox, “artisan craftsmanship remains the second largest employer in developing countries”. As consumers, we get the chance to give financially to these men and women who are earning an income from creating these pieces.
Their artists are “guaranteed 50% of the gross profits of each item”! Plus, each piece is made by “locally sourced materials with a low ecological and carbon footprint”. The benefits to both the artisan and consumer, as well as the economy and environment are inspiring.
I know all of this to be true because I was gifted a pair of ALMASI brass earrings, made in Kenya from up-cycled Kenya brass. What’s the best part? For me, it’s that I know my earrings were made by a lovely artisan named, Ojiko. I got to give a small amount to Ojiko’s livelihood and there is absolutely no greater feeling.
*Purchase your own pair of brass earrings here.
Want to learn more about shopping small and #knowyourmaker? Check out this informative article and the Artisan & Fox website.