Holiday Shopping Season

November 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment

Shop small, it's a big deal!‘Tis the season…when all the big companies bombard you with ads and marketing of all the shiny new stuff you MUST have to make this holiday season perfect. Some people love the rush and bustle of trying to find the perfect gift. Some people make it a point to stick it to the big businesses and stay home (Buy Nothing Day is a counter movement to Black Friday). I’m sure you’ve all seen numerous, dueling FB statuses in your newsfeed by now about both.

“Can’t wait til Black Friday! Check out the deal on this HDTV!!!! SO WAITING IN LINE FOR THIS!!”

“Stop the corporate greed! Don’t line the pockets of big companies on Friday”

What are my thoughts on this? Well, I’m  of mixed feelings. I agree that the holidays have largely been stripped of meaning and become a greed fest. When I see the mobs pushing and shoving in Walmart or Best Buy to get that Black Friday deal, it just makes me sick. Do we really need more ‘stuff’? And most of this stuff – where will it be this time next year? Yesterday’s news? And can most of us afford all this new stuff?

However, I am also a small business owner and yes, the holidays do bring in a lot of my annual sales. I start to see an uptick in my various online shops starting around October (to those of you who are the super prepared, I salute you – you’re awesome). While I’m not reliant on business income alone to run things AND pay my bills/living expenses (I have a full time job in addition to running Kimchi Kawaii), I do rely on the money to bring you more products and fund travel to anime cons that are the best opportunities for me to interact with people in person and promote my art. I know that there are some out there who DO rely on this time of year to just get by and holiday sales can make or break a business.

So honestly, I can’t sit here and say ‘don’t buy anything this year’, but instead urge you go consider supporting small businesses within your means. Here are are some reasons why (a lot of these reasons are from an artist perspective as that is what my business is based off of):

Small businesses often keep things local and will reinvest in their communities at a higher rate than a big box.

You can often find something totally unique that can stand out among the mass produced stuff. Do you really need to give another inflatable shark this year?

Some of us are artists creating our own works for sale which means you’re supporting our creativity and keeping us from a diet of ramen and water 🙂

Most of us still believe that Thanksgiving should be spent at home with friends and family and not behind a cash register.

Hey, you don’t need to drop the amount of a new Lexus to make us happy! Just the fact that you’re willing to make even a $5 purchase in our shops is flattering. You’re helping to support someone’s dream. Let’s face it, we don’t jump into small business to become millionaires. It can be a lot of work for little monetary return, but we do it because we want to. Our businesses are often a manifestation of a dream to provide that certain service, product or vision. Every little bit helps!

So in all the blaring ad campaigns out there, I hope you’ll also consider the little guy who may not have the money to compete with a big box, but can offer product with more meaning than you’ll find in any of the usual places.

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