Look, I love Target as much as the next person, especially now that they have those dollar bins full of random cards and Star Wars jelly belly beans. I'm not going to sit here and type out a blog post full of hate about big box stores, the man, and other soul sucking things. Big box stores serve their purpose every now and again, like when you want to get wild and crazy and buy six bottles of dollar nail polish, but they shouldn't be our go to.
Shopping small and buying local are becoming increasingly trendy, in the best way possible. It's really something we should all get behind. I want to discuss a little about why we all should do it, how we can get started and where to look.
Why small business
1: It is personal. When shopping at a small business you are dealing with the maker directly, or one of it's (usually) very valued employees. When you are dealing with these said makers/employees they truly care that you find what you need, know how to use it, and usually have other good ideas/suggestions. It is a full experience rather than a quick exchange.
2: It feels good. Being a loyal customer to a small business is wonderful, it feels good and with lots of loyal customers you can watch something great happen, the growth of that business and the positive effect it has on your local town. It is also nice to know that you are apart of something, or apart of someones dream.
3. Great customer service. I can personally tell you a few silly things I do to ensure my customers feel loved. I always write a thank you letter, because I am in fact very very thankful. I always put in a little surprise, usually a lollipop to let them know "hey, I like that you support me, and I hope you like sweets as much as I do." Once I package an order I always un-package it to see what it looks like through the customers eyes. What is the first soap scent they are going to smell, what does that first soap dish coming out of the package look like. All of these details may be over looked, but a lot of times they are not, and it makes my customers feel the love I put into each order.
4: Quality and Customization: Buying from a small business means better quality (usually). For instances with Good JuJu Herbal since I myself have terribly sensitive skin I try to use the best ingredients, and cater to those like myself, which require high end ingredient based skincare. Also, shopping small means you can usually request custom orders that fit your needs better.
How to get started and where to look.
The easiest way to go about this is sit down for ten minutes and jot down the normal big box stores you visit and find alternatives in your neighborhood.
A short list of local places that are probably near you in some form or fashion:
Small clothing stores
The list can go on forever. The point is that being aware of where we shop makes a large impact on the spaces around us.
To wrap this up I will end with my short thoughts on supporting small businesses for Christmas.
This year I have vowed to only give handmade, and try to gift things from makers in North Carolina. Since really diving into my small business I have met a plethora of dreamers, doers, movers and shakers who all love what they do. They all inspire me to really go for my dreams, running Good JuJu full time. I am proud to stand among them and proud to support them. I hope you join me in supporting this idea.