Supporting Small Businesses

posted on: | 7 Comments

I thought I would share a few photos from the Fall River Small Business Expo sponsored by Scotiabank. We were one of many local businesses there. It is amazing what people do from locally, from home and/or in their part time.

As many readers will know, it is so vital to support small businesses, however tempting it is at times to buy from cheaper, larger companies. Often small business offer that ‘value-added’
factor that is well worth the extra pennies you may pay off the top. And, in my experience, the quality of product and services offered are so much better too.

Take for example a conversation I had with a woman last week when selling my jewellery at a shopping evening. When looking at our prices (which were VERY reasonable, especially for the bead woven pieces that take HOURS to make!) she commented about the earrings she had on, similar to a pair on our display.

Her earrings were purchased in a popular retail chain store for under $10.00. They appeared pretty, no doubt. But on closer inspection the ‘stones’ were glued off-center, the beads were all plastic, and the findings were pretty poor quality. They were not destined to be cherished and worn for much longer.

Then I began to talk about the earrings I had made. How I handcrafted the wire findings which were made of top quality non-tarnish wire. That the ‘stones’ were lead crystal. That the seedbeads were Miyuki and very uniform in size, so they lined up neatly in straight lines. That mine came packaged in a handmade box, ready for gift-giving. That if anything went wrong with them that I would replace and repair them free of charge. That if she didn’t like them in this color, I could make them especially to suit her tastes. And so on…

To me that is the difference in shopping with small businesses. They are passionate, personal and really care about their relationships with customers. I would rather pay a bit more to support a small business than give my money to a large conglomerate who pay the majority of their workers minimum wage and take the profits for themselves. I am even more aware of it now as a business owner myself. I eat, breathe and sleep beads-fret over slow days and celebrate great days. I worry about paying the bills and agonize over how much more to invest. I am upset if a customer is not pleased. It is who I am and its success is my success. I now recognize that in other peoples’ ventures too, and understand how much my support means to them and their business.

Of course, we all go to the large stores sometimes, especially in these economic times when money is tight. But if possible, let’s support our small businesses. Many small businesses have moved online and are able to offer you competitive prices with the convenience of shopping when you want to and without jumping in the car and battling the traffic!

I suppose we fit into this model-as a small, retail shop we would be unable to compete with the prices of the large, big-box stores and pay the rent and utilities for a commercial property. I do miss having the face-to-face contact with customers that a retail store affords however. In saying that, Brian and I have met many customers when out on deliveries and at local expos. I also correspond with some wonderful people by email, and even though we have never met face-to-face I feel a kinship with them.

So on behalf of many small businesses-locally, nationally and online-a big THANK YOU for your support and encouragement as our businesses develop and grow:) Every customer’s order means so much to us and we feel privileged you choose to shop with us!

7 thoughts on “Supporting Small Businesses”

  1. You are absolutely right! And I think it is vital to actually let people know what they're buy and why the prices are different then at accessories stores… The most conscious people are, the more chance people will buy local :o)

  2. Having just scored my first batch of Miyuki cubes from you, I'm pleased as punch with the products. I just have to comment on the 3mm gold/violet/green metalic rainbow beads. The photo on your site doesn't do them justice at all. They are much more beautiful then any photo could capture. Thank you again … I'll be needing more of those in the future.

  3. They are really great and that is the problem with some of the Miyuki finishes-they are stunning in real life but a PAIN to try and capture in a photo, especially with the really tiny beads:) I am pleased you liked them:)I do too! I have a thing for the transparent matte rainbow ones. Please feel free to post a review on the site for that product-other customers appreciate the recommendations. Sales always go up when someone posts a review on a product, so our customers obviously trust each others' judgement. Thanks!

  4. Well said – wholly agree! That personal touch is what sets local businesses aside. The Fall River Business Expo was a successful one for me! Even though we didn't have a stand (we will next year!) I did win the raffle from The Laker! Pat and I have a 1/4 page ad in the next issue – keep your eye for it!! Onward and Upward…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.