Anyone who knows me, or follows me on Instagram, will know that I love to shop small. But why do I do it? I thought I would collate my reasons to support ‘small businesses’ here for you. Perhaps you’re also a small shop lover, or maybe you’ve never bought anything from a small business but you’ve been thinking about it. Here are my ‘5 Reasons to Shop small’…
1. A Unique Look
One of my most favourite things about shopping small, is that you find unique and unseen items. I mostly shop small for my daughter, but slowly I am finding more and more to buy for myself and Rob too. The amount of times people purposefully stop me to ask where something is from, or to compliment an item is unbelievable. I love that I can take Ivy to a toddler group and know that no other toddlers will be wearing the same outfit, or even close to it. I overhear people saying how lovely/cool she looks on a regular basis and that makes me smile. I like the fact that she doesn’t look like all the other kids. Through the choices I make, she looks unique, just as she is! I have a few small shop items in my own wardrobe, and again…it is a great feeling, walking down the street, knowing that no-one else will be wearing the same item. Especially if it is a personalised item, in which case it is a total one of a kind.
2. Showing Support
By shopping with small businesses you are supporting those that need it. The majority of small shops that I come across, celebrate every tiny order that is made. They are usually being run from home and the people doing ALL the work are quite often doing it on their own, whilst also holding full time jobs or looking after small people! They work tirelessly into their free time to make their dream a reality. These people don’t make a lot of profit from what they do, but they are doing what they love, and if I can support them in their journey then I want to do so. It means you quite often pay slightly higher prices than you would on the high street, but you also know that all the money you pay is going directly to that small business and is helping them to continue offering their unique handmade items. That said, there are certainly some high street shops, where people regularly shop, that are selling items at much higher prices!
3. Excellent Quality
I have been shopping small for the past two years, and I must say the quality of items is incredible. The amount of time and effort that is put into each individual item is extraordinary and it shows. I have rarely been disappointed by items that I have ordered. The quality is another reason I shop again and again with small shops that I find and often become a regular customer. The items available are often handmade to order, meaning that it takes slightly longer to receive your item, but when it arrives you know that it has been handmade just for you and that the person behind it all has done/made every little element of the item themselves. They’ve set up their website to help you order easily. They have chosen the fabrics and carefully cut them out to the exact size you need. They have spent their free time sewing/making your item until it is perfect, often choosing to add special unique touches that make their brand stand out. And then, they have hand packaged your item beautifully and made the journey to the post office to post it out to you. That moment when you receive the item and open it up is priceless as you realise it is perfect and the quality is outstanding. Small shops often joke about doing a ‘happy dance’ when they get an order…but I do one when I receive an item and notice that it is perfect! Because of this, I also find that these items tend to last a lot longer than high street options too.
4. The Sense of Community and Friendship
How often can you say you are on first name terms with the person that made your daughters dress? Or that you received a free gift from a shop owner for showing them support? Many of you will be aware that I rep for a few small businesses, and I love the community and friendships that I have built through these little company’s. But I’m not just talking about these ones. I’m also talking about the small shop that I just came across, inquired about one of their items and in turn started chatting to the ‘actual maker’. Discovered that we have loads in common, and without even having to make an order became friends. The support and love that is shown across social platforms is amazing. It can also be hard going and some of these small shops face daily battles with staying open vs having to close. So when I order an item and it arrives in perfect condition, better than I could have ever expected…I shout about it! Not because I have to, but because I choose to. I know that in doing so, I will be helping that small shop to stay open and in business that little bit longer.
5. Guilt-free Shopping
It is often very easy to feel a little (sometimes a lot!) guilty for a sudden/impromptu purchase that you just made whilst out and about. It is easy to suddenly feel like you have over-indulged, and then you start to think about who your purchase benefited? Maybe you got an absolute bargain, but you can’t help feeling that the person that actually put in all the hard work didn’t benefit from your purchase at all?
I never feel guilty about shopping small, as I know that each time I do I am genuinely helping individuals to achieve their dreams. I know that the money I spend on their items gets used appropriately and actually sometimes doesn’t even cover a wage for the person doing all the work. But each purchase made means they are one step closer to making it on their small business journey. And that makes me feel good, completely guilt-free and happy with my choices.
I obviously don’t do ALL my shopping via small businesses and sometimes it is necessary to shop the high street. But I am slowly spending more time and more of my money supporting and helping small businesses rather than the big high street names.
Some of my Favourites
I find most of the small shops that I use, through Instagram. The ones I rep for, who often provide a ‘Friends & Family’ discount code, which can be found in the highlights on my page are:
Some of the others I highly recommend for childrenswear and accessories are:
and for Breastfeeding friendly clothing:
Why not head over and see what you can discover? There is a small shop for anything and everything you can think of. There are so many more I could have listed and even more that I am yet to find.
**This blog post is not affiliated with any of the shops mentioned and it is all my own opinion.**