A Few Thoughts on Small Business Saturday

Today is Small Business Saturday, the day when everyone is encouraged to #ShopSmall and support their favorite small business. For many people, this means shopping for holiday gifts at the local “Mom and Pop Shops” in their community but I want to urge you to not forget all the wonderful small businesses that can be found on online marketplaces like Etsy. Although we do not have a “brick and mortar” storefront, my own shop, C. S. Literary Jewelry, is a two-person (and one cat) operation. My husband and I handle every aspect of the business, from designing and hand-crafting each piece of literary jewelry we sell to marketing, shipping, customer service, and more. And I can personally tell you that the on-going support we receive from our friends and customers is essential to our ability to keep doing what we love.  So I would like to take this moment to say:

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And I would also like to encourage you to continue your support of small businesses and indie artists and craftspeople throughout the year. Of course, making a purchase from a small business is always wonderful. Not only do you get one-of-a-kind items and one-on-one, personal attention from talented craftsmen and artists, but you also make it possible for artists to continue making art while still keeping a roof overhead, food on the table, and the lights in their studios shining bright. And this weekend is a great time to shop small at C. S. Literary Jewelry as I celebrate Black Friday / Small Biz Saturday / Cyber Monday with Free U.S. Shipping, Free Holiday Gift Wrap, and a 20% discount everything in my shop.

But even if you can’t make a purchase right away, I would like to suggest a few other ways you can support your favorite small businesses, including:

Visit Our Shops –  If you love an Etsy shop, pop in occasionally and check out what’s new. If you see a link on a blog or social media site, click on it and actually view the listing page. Love what you see? Click the little heart icon to mark it as a favorite. Not only do views and favorites move our items up in the search results (making it easier for customers to find us) but marking the items you love as favorites makes it easier to find them again when you are ready to make a purchase.

Show Us Some Love On Social Media – Every view, like, share / retweet / repin, and comment helps raise our visibility on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and helps new customers and fans discover our work. Plus, sharing something you love from our sites makes it more likely that a friend, spouse, or family member might take the hint when it comes time to shop for holiday gifts.

Let The World Know How Much You Love Your Purchases – If you made a purchase from a small business or indie artist, be sure to leave a review letting them, and everyone else, know how much you love your purchase. glowing reviews helps let other, potential customers know that they are going to find something wonderful in this shop and as a jewelry designer, I cannot tell you how much hearing my customer’s wonderful comments about my work means to me. (Really love your item? Why not go the extra mile and share a photo of you wearing it, using it, or displaying it in your home. For many craftspeople, our creations are like our babies and we love to see them being loved in their new homes!)

Keep in Touch – One of my favorite things about supporting small businesses is the opportunity to get to know the artist. Unlike big, faceless corporations, small businesses are personable and accessible and offer wonderful insights into their creative process and inspirations that you just can’t find anywhere else. I also love how many small businesses have a great sense of community that springs up on their blogs, Facebook pages, etc.  If you would like to stay in touch with C. S. Literary Jewelry, I would like to invite you to:

Word of Mouth Is Always Appreciated – Small businesses, who don’t have all the marketing and advertising resources that big companies have, depend on word of mouth referrals. If you love a small business, be sure to help spread the word. We really appreciate it. Having said that, I strongly recommend you check out and #ShopSmall at some of my favorite small businesses, including:

And all the wonderful artists / small business owners from #HandmadeHourUSA on Twitter (Every Wednesday, from 7:00 to 8:00pm EST)

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