Posts tagged ‘shopping’

Support Small Businesses This Holiday Season!

Shop small, it's a big deal!

Why Shop Small?

I know November has just started, but I want to put a bug in your ear. When you are making your plans for holiday shopping, consider supporting a small business this year!

  • Small businesses reinvest in their communities through job opportunities and sales tax revenue which can support schools and other local improvements, often on things you use every day like roads and parks.
  • Some businesses specialize in handcrafted items that can make for unique and memorable gifts.
  • When you support a small business, you’re supporting someone’s hard work and dream, allowing them to continue doing what they love!

What is Small Business Saturday?

Right after Thanksgiving, Americans hit the stores to kick off the holiday shopping season with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In the middle of those two days is Small Business Saturday which started in 2010 and is gaining momentum. This year, it falls on November 29, 2014. Many small businesses will participate with special events and sales. Added bonus – you can avoid the chaos of the larger retailers!

What Does This Mean for Kimchi Kawaii?

Even though I don’t have a traditional brick and mortar store, I will still be celebrating both Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday with special deals in my Storenvy shop*.

  • I’m planning on doing a one day deal on Small Business Saturday so stay tuned! To keep up to date, like my Facebook page which has the most current updates.
  • This year, I’m participating in the Storenvy Cyber Monday sale. Kimchi Kawaii, along with participating Storenvy shopkeepers will be offering 30% off shop-wide on December 1st.

So in your holiday shopping plans, I hope you remember to support at least one small business this season. It really is a big deal to us!

*Kimchi Kawaii also sells on Redbubble and Zazzle and I’m pretty sure they will be running deals this weekend as well, but I don’t have control over what the discounts are. Another reason to follow the Facebook page as I’ll be updating there when I find out. 🙂

November 5, 2014 at 12:04 pm Leave a comment

Holiday Shopping Season

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.

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

Shop Different, Shop Small!

Shop small, it's a big deal!

I saw a friend’s post in my Facebook newsfeed the other day talking about how the Black Friday ads are already being leaked. I’m seeing Christmas stuff in the stores already even though we are still two weeks away from Halloween. Yep, that time of year is rapidly approaching where stores are going to be frantically begging for your money.

I’m not trying to rush things here, but I just want to plant a little seed. This year, consider supporting a small business or independent artist. Ever since I started my own business under the name Kimchi Kawaii, this has taken on a whole new meaning to me. I admit, in the beginning, when I went to anime cons as an attendee, I would spend most of my money in the dealer’s room buying the mass produced items sent over from China.

And then I found the artist alley.

And then I started my own business.

Now, I spend most of my money supporting fellow artists. I know what it’s like to have someone come up to your table and like your items enough to give you money for it! Even though I’ve done a bunch of cons at this point, it’s still rather humbling. I also really like how I can find unique items there, often better crafted than the mass produced items.

I know that not everyone can go or wants to go to an anime con, but this is the digital age! Independent artists and small businesses are easier to find and support than ever. Check out sites like Storenvy, Etsy or Art Fire for artist’s shops. Visit your local craft faire!

Commercials from big companies will make it look like their items are THE items you must have to be ‘in’ this holiday season. I challenge you to be unique! Giving items from artisans and small businesses can be so much more rewarding. You’re recipient will get something that is often one of a kind or made with loving care. The small business or artist will be given the means to continue doing what they love and bringing more unique creations to the world.

**I’m going to start doing features of shops and artists who I’ve personally bought from or have a working relationship with. Stay tuned and you may find that perfect present for a friend or family member!

October 18, 2013 at 2:23 am 2 comments

Small Businesses Need You!

The year is flying by and unless you’ve been hiding out from all contact with the internet, television, stores, newspapers and people in general, you know that the holiday season is rapidly approaching. And of course, the big kick off for the shopping season, at least in America is the day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday. Ok, I know that stores are creeping it up earlier and earlier each year and now some are opening ON Thanksgiving which I think is rather grinchy, but I’ll refrain from ranting in this post.

I’m sure some of you have a plan of attack all laid out on how to hit all the best sales on Friday and get a head start on holiday shopping or a little something for yourself. I hope that you will consider also spending some money at small businesses. There is even a movement encouraging people to shop small called Small Business Saturday.  Ever since I started my own small business with Kimchi Kawaii, this has become something that resonates very closely with me. I am also a member of the deviantART community – a social network site for artists and have met many other people on there also running their own small business, selling their wares through sites like Etsy, Store Envy, Zazzle or direct sale. Many of us are passionate about our work and spend hours pouring our creativity into  pieces that we hope will bring enjoyment to our customers. Some of us also work closely with customers on special commissions for something truly unique. We also often get our supplies in our communities which help local economies. These are things you are not going to find in a big box store selling mass produced items!

This year, check out that little boutique in your town that you may have overlooked in previous years. Take a look at the above mentioned sites or any others that feature independent artists or small businesses. Shop small, it’s a big deal to us!

November 14, 2012 at 6:17 am Leave a comment

Searching for Something New?

Happy Black Friday everyone! Let the holiday shopping insanity begin! Or not. You know, when I was younger, I used to kind of savor the rush of going out among all the hustle and bustle of everyone looking for good deals and stuff. Now, the thought of the crowds (that often turn unruly) just makes me cringe. And there is no deal good enough to get me up and out in the cold before the day’s started. If the sun’s not up, neither am I!

I am sure that while the turkey induced drowsiness has worn off, the urge to move may still be in hiding. If you are looking for unique designs and a way to do all your holiday shopping in your bathrobe, why not give my shops a try? I carry my items in both Cafe Press and Zazzle. They can be accessed by going to my webpage http://www.kimchikawaii.com. In the shops, you’ll find various items with my Japanese kawaii inspired artwork (like the cute little pumpkin pie to the left). I also like bad puns you will probably come across a few eye rollers in there too. If kawaii isn’t your thing, there are other art styles that I work in and you can find these under the K2 section of the  shops. I am constantly creating new designs. If you are on Facebook or deviantART, you can either become a fan (Kimchi Kawaii) or watch me as those two places are updated with new designs on a fairly frequent basis.

November 26, 2010 at 4:02 pm Leave a comment

Hot Chocolate!

I just found out that this design got a Today’s Best in the Zazzle shop! Yes, I still get really excited when I get one of these as it means that other people like my stuff as much as I like making it! Of course, even if no one liked my stuff, I would still make it because in the end, I love doing art and I can’t stop. But it doesn’t hurt when others like it too 🙂 Anyway, you can check out the link here.

Anyway, this design was a sketch that had been laying around since last year and I just hadn’t had the time to get to it then. You should see my sketches folder. If I was to stop drawing right now, I would still have enough design material to keep the shops going for at least a year if not more. Just finished up doing a huge design push to stock the shops with holiday and non-holiday stuff for the shopping season. It’s been rather chilly here so hot chocolate actually fueled a lot of my design hours. It had the double advantage of keeping me warm and the sugar kept me going on those long hours in front of the computer. I actually designed so long that I started experiencing image burn on the side of the screen – oops. I think that they are well stocked enough for now though to let them sail  along a bit on their own. I think I’m going to focus on some of my traditional art for a bit. It’s been a bit neglected lately.

November 14, 2010 at 4:45 pm Leave a comment

What?? Already???!!?

Two weeks ago, I was surprised to see that two of my sales were for some of my Christmas designs. This was a week before Halloween! AND it was from two different people, so it wasn’t just one person who really has their act together in their present shopping plan or really, really obsessed with Christmas. Following that, I started receiving emails from both Cafe Press and Zazzle about how it’s time to get the shops holiday ready. Wow. Where has this year gone? I know that it seems like there is a rush to get to the holiday shopping season and all, but when I stopped to think about it, I realized that with internet sales, I do need to get going soon on my stuff since people have to factor in shipping times and sometimes additionally, postal times if they are then sending the items to another person for a gift.

So yes, even though it’s only November, I’ve started doing up my holiday sketches. Don’t worry, I won’t flood everyone with my Christmas designs this early, but I don’t want to miss the boat like I nearly did with the Halloween ones!

November 4, 2010 at 5:32 pm Leave a comment

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