You’ve probably noticed that I’ve started to feature some companies on this little space of mine.
I wrote about the importance of shopping small, but that post was geared more towards clothing and the idea of ethical shopping in general.
If you noticed, I have a few businesses on here that have nothing to do with clothing, but they’re still about shopping small because, well, they’re small.
So I thought I’d take some time to clarify how I choose companies or businesses that I feature on here.
Let me start by saying that anyone I choose to feature on here is either a business I have actually purchased through or would consider purchasing from. I am not interested in having Google ads or little things that you can click to shop on. I find those annoying. If I choose to share about companies and businesses on this space, then I realize my name and stamp of approval is on them. I can’t endorse companies that I don’t believe in just to make a small commission.
That being said, there will be some companies I feature that I will be considered to be an affiliate for. That means if you purchase through my affiliate link, I will make a small commission or product credit on your purchase. If you ever decide to purchase through my affiliate links, I humbly say thank you. You can find the full list of companies I am affiliated with on my affiliate tab at the top of my blog. Each post will have an affiliate disclosure if any of the links are affiliated.
I will also feature companies here that I’m not affiliated with. So just because a business is on here doesn’t mean I’m earning commission. There are plenty of mamas I’m looking forward to welcoming to my space that I don’t earn anything for other than the satisfaction of building community and making connections.
This idea of shopping small is really important to me. My eyes are constantly being opened to big business and the practices used by companies in the creation of goods, particularly factory made goods. It’s a lot like not wanting to buy meat that’s raised on a Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) because the practice of raising meat that way sickens me. I’m learning what my convictions are when shopping and doing my best to stick with them.
Someone asked me recently why it even matters to buy from little companies because their one little purchase doesn’t make a dent in the pockets of big companies.
That doesn’t matter, really. Sometimes I think we try to think “too big.”
So rather than worry about whether you’re hurting the profits of big companies, think about how your purchase is helping the smaller business. Because your purchase matters to them. Your purchase directly impacts their family. Plus, shopping within a set of convictions allows you the freedom to say no to certain kinds of purchases. It empowers you to use the money you spend to make a difference. To say what matters to you.
For me, shopping small is living small. It’s the small things that do big things.
These are my three main criteria for choosing a company to feature. Each company might not fit every criteria, but I consider all three when looking for places to shop.
While I don’t have any specific numbers for what makes a small business “small,” I look at this as a company that isn’t featured in a mainstream store. It will likely be a company you haven’t heard of. It might be someone who makes products out of their home or a small facility. It might be someone with an Etsy shop, a small storefront, a fellow blogger, or just another mama like me. Likely there are more employees than just the owner, but sometimes not. Sometimes it might just be the mama who’s trying to send her kids to dance class by earning a little extra money.
While there are different ways to define this, I look at an ethical company as one who is considering the people and the planet in their practices. Their workers are paid fair and living wages and have positive working conditions. Companies are trying to support men and women by teaching them trades or skills to help elevate them out of poverty or difficult circumstances. Also, a company should consider the planet as part of their practice and look for ways to minimize their impact on our environment.
I am always looking for companies whose products are made in our own country, supporting local economy and fellow countrymen and women. It’s tough to find quality products where companies haven’t sold out and shipped their business abroad where labor is cheaper and inspections are looser. Some of the companies you see here will be proudly made in the USA. Those that are made abroad will have ethically produced products.
While not every company here will fit in this category as some companies are just mamas making products out of their home, one of my goals is to feature companies that I’ll label as “community minded.” These would be companies who are giving a portion of their sales to support big issues such as advocating for women freed from the sex trade. It could also be a company who donates a portion of sales to specific organizations that are working around the world to assist families in poverty or difficult situations. That way if I share a company who supports an issue you are concerned about, you’ll know your money is being used to uphold those issues.
Let me also say that there’s no way I can possibly know about every company out there that fits these criteria. As I learn about these businesses and make connections with them and feel like they would be a good fit for helping you “shop small,” then I will consider adding them. I’m not looking to share hundreds of companies with you. Shopping small for me means keeping my choices small as well.
I said this in my other post and I’ll say it again. We can’t shop small for everything. Sometimes, you just have to buy from a mainstream store. BUT, when we do make the choice to shop small, it makes a difference. For the small companies you support and their families.
And so, even if my little bit of shopping small here and there doesn’t make a pin prick in the overall big picture, I’m taking a stand. It’s my act of rebellion. Are you willing to make it yours?