Part of the conversations I have had lately all revolve around how someone I know has lost their job, or they know someone who was laid off or fired from a job they thought was their golden ticket to retirement age. The sad reality is most employers do not care about their employees, they only care about their wallets. This includes not wanting to pay Uncle Sam (taxes) or pay their employees what they are worth. This goes for both big corporations, and the small business that sells the stuff you love but complain is too expensive. So what gives? Should we revolt? Should we march on Washington? Actually in some cases we definitely should, but in this instance, it is important to remember why small businesses matter. They matter not only to your paycheck, but to your communities around the US, and globe.
Why does it matter? Why should we pay more for something that we can get elsewhere a lot cheaper? Consider the source of where the other store manufactures their goods. Consider who is actually making those items you are trying to save fifty cents on. Consider what the bigger companies do to small, and even mid sized suburban towns. Do they know your name? What you like? Is that something you look for when spending your money? It should be – absolutely! A positive experience in a store is what creates repeat customers. It also instills pride to wear and advertise for that specific brand, which makes you feel good about yourself.
Let’s focus on the community aspect for a moment. When a small business pops up, do we make an effort to stop in and check the place out? Do we even know what they are selling? Some would say yes, because it fits into their interests, but a lot would say no. Some will complain there is nothing in their neighborhood, then never patron the business(es) that pop up. Most businesses fail within the first year for various reasons, and I’m sure this is a big reason for it. Of course, community can be as small as where you live, or expand to the entire world. The best part of the internet is connecting with people from all around the world. There is nothing stopping us anymore in reaching out to others to expand our view points.
So what is the solution?
It’s a simple fix that actually works for the consumer and business owner. Actually give those shops a chance. Why give up on them because you have to spend a little bit more? Why give up on your community? Why give up on yourselves? For example, currently in the plus size market there is boom of fashion designers. Fantastic, right? You see them all over social media promoting their items for sale and promoting awareness. Not even 5 years ago did curvy and plus size women have many options. They were limited, if not imprisoned by a few stores that did not sell anything flattering, or attractive, yet the sticker shock had many of us camping out for sales or the clearance rack. Even with this boom in the market, does that mean that these new designers are creating great clothing at a great price? Yes and no. I say yes because I can find clothes for women size 12-28 that are not going to break the bank. I say no because a lot of these items don’t flatter our figures It IS possible for all women to find clothing items in various stores inexpensively – don’t believe it isn’t. I’m working on an honest installment on how and where to find great pieces for all budgets. I think it will take time for there to be the right balance of fit, fashion, and price in this market, but we are off to a great start. It’s great the conversation and images are out there. We do exist and have needs that deserve to be met!
I know most of us are watching out bank accounts like a hawk and can’t justify spending a bit more for something from a small business all the time. With as much as I love the uniqueness, and originality of small business items, I wish I could buy them all the time, I can’t. The good news is, if we all do it on a small scale some of the time, that will make such a great impact in the long run. Remember the holidays are coming up too. Instead of getting your loved ones another bath set that don’t really need, why not opt for something more original and personal? Getting it earlier in the year will also save you some serious cash (and headache, let’s be honest!). Let’s start thinking globally and shopping smaller.
What are some of your favorite places to shop?