Table and Co.: All the elegant details

We are living in a strange world where we would rather connect through our phones than with the people who are physically beside us. In a world where social media is being accused of isolating us, I find that it is also opening up relationships that I otherwise would not have found.

Meet Kristine, founder of Table and Co. She reached me through Instagram one random day and before I knew it, my introverted self was chatting with her in a coffee shop like I had known her forever.

She shared her business story and how she juggles life with a toddler.  But more importantly, she reminded me why I love meeting small shop moms. I was delighted to find that she has balloon garlands and massive backdrop displays in the living room of her one bedroom apartment. (As for me, my living room is filled with boxes of letterboards so I can relate!) She has secretly covered half her parking stall with tarp and snuck some more props in there. As long as strata doesn’t find out, she’s good! 

As I was eating my bacon brunch, she told me all about how she had a pet pig until the age of 9. One day, her grandpa said that the pet pig had to go home to his family and took it away. She never saw him again.

Continue reading “Table and Co.: All the elegant details”

Q&A with Mint & Birch

Last month we were honoured to do a live Instagram Q&A with Jessica from Mint & Birch. She is a mama of four, an entrepreneur, a small shop supporter and has built a wildly successful jewelry business. She has been running her business since 2012 and has a wealth of information. If you missed our Instagram live, no fret! This blog will recap some of the knowledge that Jessica shared with us.

Are Instagram pods worth the time?
Jess: I might come under fire for this one. I don’t know if I would say that they are or are not worth it. They’re just very time consuming for un-proven results. The best way to grow your account is to create content that people will love and share. Pods are great for supporting one another and interaction, but don’t forget to spend time on content creation. I used to be in pods, but it was starting to become stressful to keep up, so I decided to switch my focus.

Should I pay for followers?
Jess: Do not do it. There was a study done on Facebook by a very well known marketer regarding “like farms,” and the result was that true engagement and reach was down. The idea is that fake followers will not engage in your posts. So say, there are two accounts: One with 500k followers but only 5000 real followers. And the second account has only 5000 followers, but all genuine, engaging followers. The algorithm will give preference to the one with 100% real followers.

What is a tip for working with influencers?
Jess: Ask for a media kit. Unless you have a specific plan in mind, ask the influencer to spell out what they have in mind for collaborations. When an influencer pitches to you, it is up to them to pitch to you, not the other way around. Find people who are going to genuinely love your product.

How long were you in operation before business really began to boom?
Jess: I opened up in 2012 and I didn’t see an obvious growth until 2015. This will vary for everyone and depends on how fast you grow in the beginning, and how much time you put into your business. In 2016, my business exploded (so 4 years after I first started ) and today I have trouble keeping it scaled.

My advice is, “Don’t focus on “growth,” and numbers.” These numbers tell so many different stories, and if we get fixated on the numbers, it can distract us from enjoying our work.

Thank you Jess for sharing your thoughts with us!! One of Jessica’s goals this year is to help small business grow. Her mission aligned perfectly with ours which is why For The Small collaborated with her to host this Instagram live. I hope you found it as fruitful as I did! To find more information about this powerhouse mompreneur, check out her Instagram at or visit her website here.


Our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide is NOW LIVE!!!

Featuring only small shops, this gift guide will help you shop small while making a big impact this holiday season. When you purchase from a small shop, you are helping pay for music lessons or for a parent to stay home with their children. You are directly helping the community and it is an amazing thing!! We are so blessed to have your support.

Now enjoy! And if you love what these small shops have to offer, please spread the love by tapping one of the share buttons down below!


Want to be in a future gift guide? Sign-up for updates here. 

What does it mean to shop local? Shop small? Shop handmade?

Copy of Copy of Copy of 5 (1).png

Running a small business exposes us to many public opinions. Many are supportive but unfortunately, there are a handful of unnecessarily critical ones. We’ve all heard of them. The woodworker being questioned on whether her products are “handmade” because she uses a laser cutter.  The t-shirt designer being accused of not sewing her own t-shirts from fabric and thread.  The teether maker being confronted because her silicone beads are not made in North America.

As business owners, we often graciously address these concerns in a politically correct manner and try to move on. But it’s not easy. We won’t ever make a public ordeal of it, but these accusations do hurt. We work our butts off for our businesses. The definition of “shop local”, “shop small”, “shop homemade” is very broad. While we may not be 100% handmade or “local”, we are small businesses who are doing our best to maintain ethical standards while still making sure that it makes economical sense. That in itself is not easy because small businesses are scrappy! Seriously!!! We pack orders on our dining room table while our kids are sitting in our laps. I get excited when I find bubble wrap behind Ikea because it saves me a small fortune! Go tell your favourite small shop, “Hey!! You’re doing great things and I support you!” Trust me – it’ll make their week.

Thank you to Alyssa from Munchie Mug Canada for sharing the following piece and prompting these thoughts. YES, YES, YES!


Repost from Munchie Mug Canada

Shop LOCAL – we’re so grateful to all of our customers and supporters and wanted to let you know that Munchie Mug truly is a small, family run business! Just a word on what it means to be “local”. I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I’m really a local business because the Mugs are manufactured in California. I can see where they’re coming from, but did you know that many local shops and businesses outsource their supplies from other countries? But I AM a local mama, (Steveston born and raised, now living in South Surrey), I run Munchie Mug Canada completely on my own (with Hubby’s support), between naps, preschool drop-offs and after my kiddos go to sleep. I pick up all the mug components myself over the border, and I PERSONALLY assemble each Mug myself for every single order you receive or see in store. I’ve carefully selected the packaging to fit your order, stuffed every box with thank-you cards, printed off all the shipping labels, and then dragged my kids to the Post Office to send your orders out (sometimes I make several trips in one day to make sure they get to you on time!). Between packing orders, I’m hustling on emails and phone calls to recruit retailers that many customers have asked me to contact, and this doesn’t even include social media marketing! Ooh Instagram. If you only knew what the small shop community does to market their products and increase their following and ensure their posts are seen. Believe me when I say, we really do do a happy dance when you place an order from our stores and support the crazy moms sitting behind each of these accounts. The amount of time, thought, stress and love – YES LOVE! – that goes into our businesses is unheard of. But it’s because we love our products and love the idea of getting to spend more time home with the ones we love that drives us to keep at it. So when you ask me if I’m really a local small shop, I have no qualms saying, YES! There’s a local family from YOUR community behind Munchie Mug Canada and when you buy from us, you’re supporting US! So, YES, we ARE local, and we LOVE being a small shop and LOVE being a part of this community. So THANK YOU for supporting us!


Love this? Have something to share? Drop it in the comments below or in our Facebook group.