Thank you for taking the time to read this, it’s a subject that is very near and dear to me. I’ve worked in products for 15 years, and it is not an easy industry. We schlep our goods to show after show, feeling like carnies. We spend hours building our booths, just to tear them down a few hours or days later. I’m talking about small businesses that rely on creativity instead of large budgets to present ourselves. It’s a labor of love. We are compelled to spend our days and time away from our families doing this work because we want to bring beauty to the world. If we are extremely lucky, and our products become popular, then the most we can hope for is that we are able to make enough money to keep going. It’s just a matter of time until a larger company comes and copies our products. I worked for one such company that consistently looked at Etsy for “ideas.” Even larger companies copy them (I’m sure you can imagine.) Small brand owners are never short on creativity, so the cycle keeps going.
A world without small business would be very uninspired. Yet, we find ourselves in danger. The global pandemic forced many small stores to close, and some were not able to re-open. These stores are the lifeblood of small brands. The small store owners know us as makers, they support us and they are struggling. We are all struggling. One of my friends recently told me that she spent hours helping curate a baby registry for a couple. They met on Zoom and when her store was closed for a private showing. They took many of the items she picked and put them on their Amazon registry. Keep in mind that she has an online store too. I’m sure they weren’t intentional about this, it just didn’t occur to them. This is why I am trying to vocalize the problem.
At Floramye, I choose not to sell on Amazon. We are exclusively found in stores and select online retailers. This is because we care about small business. Please support your local stores, they need you right now. If you find something you like, purchase it from them if you can. Don’t go home and think about it and buy it later online. Please attend maker markets like Head West (the picture is of Jimmy, the founder, taken by Sarah Montano. That’s my booth in the background, it was 102 degrees that day.) We love West Coast Craft, Unique Markets, Renegade and more. They are working tirelessly to keep small business safe and alive. Let’s all commit to supporting each other, it’s worth it.