As a shopper, I definitely tend to purchase from larger brands and companies, probably for the convenience more than anything. That said, I am also a big believer in supporting small, independent businesses.
It’s A Date (featuring The Tiny Closet Shop and Cameo de Bore)
When it comes to holiday shopping, I am definitely not a huge Black Friday shopper. If I do any Black Friday shopping at all, it’s on-line where I can avoid the stressful or annoying crowds and surf through the marketing gimmicks to find the real deals.
By the weekend though, I’m usually ready to venture out for a little shopping at small businesses. Small shops and independent designers often offer unique, even one-of-a-kind pieces that you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, you get one-on-one knowledgeable and individualized service that you will likely never get with the bigger chain shops.
When you shop independent, you are supporting individual small business owners, people like you and me who are pursuing their dreams of making their mark in the world or fulfilling a need. You can see more clearly to whom your money is going and what ideals the business owners support. What’s more, many small businesses pride themselves on principles like ethical business practices, sustainability, and diversity.
Smart Glamour and Body Positivity (featuring Smart Glamour)
Shopping small AND local also means that you are supporting your local economy while nabbing great finds for yourself or others. While shopping small and local is arguably a more moral choice for those who can afford it, it is true that sometimes shopping small can be more expensive and therefore out of reach for many shoppers.
Large chains deal in volume. They are able to mass-produce and transport items at cheaper prices than independent stores. Many large brands also manufacture their products or part of their products in other countries (often in multiple other countries where each step of the process is farmed out to the lowest bidder). This can result in a lower cost of production, and therefore lower sticker prices, but it often also results in less ethical employment and environmental practices. Someone’s paying the price, even if it doesn’t feel like us at the time of purchase.
Beachy Bohemian (featuring JORD Wood Watches)
Again, it’s definitely understandable to shop big box stores and larger chains. They’re readily accessible, offer tons of great merchandise, and are often more affordable. That said, the holidays are one of the best times to give small businesses a try. Many of them offer fabulous discounts during the holiday season which can put their pricing more on-par with larger companies. Plus, when you’re trying to find that special dress to wear to a holiday party or that unique gift for your niece that no one else is going to give her, small businesses are definitely the route to go!
To make your small business shopping a little bit easier, I rounded up a list of some of my favorite independent or small shops and designers, with a special section dedicated to those in my community – the St. Louis-metro area. If you live in or are visiting the St. Louis area, there are some great small businesses to be had. In fact, according to a recent Yelp survey, we rank 18th in the nation for local holiday shopping!
St. Louis-Metro Area
Cameo de Bore (metro St. Louis): Custom oversized clutches for everyday, nights out, weddings, and more – Save 50% off all clutches, including clearance Honey’s Child Boutique (St. Louis): Stylish and Curves-Minded Plus Size Fashion and Accessories featuring independent designers like Liv & Kiss and Shukuru Couture – Saturday deals in-store only – 25% off from 11 am-8 pm plus posh bite, lush sips, vendors, and free gifts; Cyber Monday deals on-line, no codes needed – 15% off up to $75, 25% off $125, 30% off $225, 40% off online 9 am-11am.
JORD Wood Watches (St. Louis): Beautiful, modern, hand-crafted wooden timepieces for women and men – $30 to $100 off watches, plus click on the large BLACK FRIDAY text at the top of the page FIVE times to unlock even MORE savings!!! I’m wearing the dark sandalwood Fieldcrest style, currently available for less than $100! Philomena + Ruth (Waterloo, IL): Handcrafted, socially conscious, and independently produced children’s and adult unisex clothing to size XXL, jewelry, accessories, and home decor – Range of in-store discounts Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, from 15% off total purchase to 50% off one item, with snacks, drinks, and free gifts. Coincides with the Waterloo Downtown Christmas Walk, so lots of holiday fun to be had! On Cyber Monday, save $25 off of a $100 purchase online. Also, stay tuned…Philomena + Ruth will be featured on the blog very soon!
Vauje Jewelry (St. Louis): Gorgeous crowns, necklaces, earrings, and more featured on numerous celebrities, magazines, and television shows.
North American Independent Businesses
Ashley Nell Tipton (San Diego): After her win on Project Runway and line with JCPenney, Ashley is well-known as a plus size designer and NOW she has her own site, selling affordable, chic and sexy plus size fashion and jewelry – 20% off all jewelry through 11/29 – no code needed.
Myrda J Designer Apparel (Las Vegas): Sexy and Functional Plus Size Fashion with petite plus sizing available!
Premme: Uber-stylish and fun plus size fashion by bloggers extraordinaire Gabi Gregg and Nicolette Mason – Up to 40% off on select items and free shipping using code HURRYBABE. Their Feminist AF jacket is currently 30% off!Proud Mary Fashion (Los Angeles): Vintage, new, and custom plus size fashion – 30% off online with discount code BLACKFRIDAY2017; Surprise Discounts in store (10-40% off at counter); Instagram giveaway; Facebook Live sale on CyberMonday
Ready to Stare (Cleveland): Funky, edgy, and socially-conscious fashion and jewelry ranging in sizes from XS to 5X depending on the piece and availability – 50% all items, including sale!
Smart Glamour (New York): Customizable fashion for sizes XXS-6XL and beyond, all made personally by designer – Spend More, Save More, automatically applied in cart – Spend $50, save $5, spend $75, save $10, spend $100, save $15, spend $150, save $20, save $200 + up, save $40. The dress I’m wearing is the Joan Sheath dress customized with sleeves. It’s available in a variety of fabrications. The skirt I’m wearing in the second pic is no longer available, but a very similar option, the Florence Pleated Chiffon skirt, is, and both are included in the sale!
The Tiny Closet Shop (Los Angeles): Handmade-by-designer minimalist and artsy fashion in sizes XXS to XL (fits up to size 18, maybe even a 20 for more oversized pieces), with some pieces also available in Petites – 30% off all Mud cloth ponchos and Indigo coats with code CODEBLACK. Both dresses that I’m wearing – The Weekender and The Painter – are still available, now in a couple different fabric options!
Your Big Sister’s Closet (Toronto): Trendy and affordable plus size fashion for literally every occasion, sizes 12 and up – 30% off on-line and in stores; On-line, use code BLACKFRIDAY
Zelie for She (Los Angeles): Dreamy, cool girl plus size fashion for the streets and the beach – 30% off with code SMALLBIZ
Hope you enjoyed this small business round-up! Keep in mind that Small Business Saturday isn’t just about buying fashion, of course! Local restaurants, book stores, specialty food shops and bakeries, novelty gift shops, and so many more small businesses benefit from this important shopping day.
Have you have browsed or shopped any of these businesses? Are there small businesses you love? Please share them below so that the rest of us can discover them as well!!
**This post contains an affiliate link. Purchasing items through this link may result in a small commission for me which allows me to continue to offer blog content.