With the pandemic at the forefront of everyone’s minds throughout 2020, and the various lockdowns & restrictions that we have all endured, I expected this year to be very slow and tedious. However, between starting a business, and all the stress and hoops that Lawrence and I have had to go through with our upcoming move to Australia, it turns out that this year has in fact disappeared very quickly! One minute we were moving out of our apartment in Virginia, and the next a wonderful thanksgiving in Florida has been and gone, and Christmas is fast approaching. With all this chaos and excitement, this year more than most I am definitely not organised, and have yet to decide on what presents I’ll be buying for everyone. However, one thing I do know, is that I’ll be shopping small this year and supporting small and local businesses.
There are a number of reasons why this is hugely important this year, not least of which is the fact that the pandemic has had a far greater impact on small businesses than it has large global companies. If anything, many retail giants have enjoyed a particularly fruitful year, while small businesses have been hit particularly hard, both in terms of a lack of financial support from government and also many being forced to close their only source of income during the worst days of the pandemic. By shopping small, we are helping to boost the economy by supporting those businesses and the people behind them, spending our hard-earned money with those who will really benefit from each and every purchase.
But there are other equally important reasons why shopping small is so important. Fast shopping has been the norm for such a long time, and the environmental impact that it has is increasingly devastating, in addition to often questionable ethical practices. I’ve written a few posts here recently about some of my favourite sustainable brands who are founded by small teams of wonderful people. They not only want to produce beautiful products that you will treasure, but also change the way in which we shop, putting conscious thought into each purchase to ensure that the brands we are supporting are in turn supporting their supply chains and doing their best to help the environment. By shopping small, we are voting for how we want the world to be, hopefully creating lasting change in both our own behaviour and sending a clear message to large retailers that we expect them to do the same.
There is another reason though, that is often overlooked but is equally as important: By shopping small, we are supporting someone else’s dream. We are supporting people who had an idea and worked damn hard to make it happen, someone who may not have had another option, or maybe just wanted to leave the rat race and do what they love. Every lovely comment on social media, and every purchase made means the world to them and gets them one step closer to their dream. (As a small business owner myself, I can say this is 100% true – we read every comment and appreciate every heart emoji that comes our way, and each one makes the stress and chaos worthwhile!). Let’s be honest, isn’t that what the Christmas spirit is all about?