Shall we be honest? It is easier to shop big. There’s so much going for it. The unreasonably generous return policies. The constant discounts. The free, fast shipping.
The other day I placed an order after dinner, and the next morning, before I rolled out of bed and brewed the coffee, it was already sitting on my doorstep eager for unboxing.
I will not pretend this didn’t feel entirely wondrous. Miraculous even. I love a good dose of immediate satisfaction.
Yet there’s something magical and important about shopping small. The heartbeat of it. The humanity of it. Small businesses are a starting point. They are the beginning of great and meaningful ideas. Nearly all the household brands we’ve come to know and love have blossomed out of small ideas and home garages.
Even more important perhaps, are those who start and stay small—intentionally. Their footprint is tiny but mighty, and the individuality they bring to the consumer landscape is so valuable.
I don’t know about you, but I love having something original. Something distinct. I love discovering something that’s clearly on its way up. The “discovery” gives a sense of ownership that you’ve spotted something great in the making. And it gives that little I-believe-in-you nudge to the maker, which is the fuel that keeps dreamers and doers going.
But these things—the originality, the blossoming—they don’t occur without support. People who are willing to wait a few days, pay for the shipping, and be patient with manual customer service.
Brands prosper because a good idea shakes hands with a loving community. It takes both—creator and consumer, maker and enjoyer—to cultivate something special.
You may be the first person who ever buys from the brand. You may the only person who buys from them today. Your investment, not only in the product but in their company, matters.
So in times where it’s notably easiest to shop big, thank you for “taking the long way” and shopping small. Thank you for helping tiny ideas sprout into promising endeavors.
While perhaps it sounds canned and contrived, there could not be a more genuine statement, especially for this time of year: I am grateful for you. —Megan Proby