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!
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!
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