It’s often said that it takes a village to raise a child, at my company, AMCONYC, we consider independent local businesses as the child and ourselves as the village helping raise it up! Unless you’ve got a miracle or it’s just dumb luck, success doesn’t happen overnight, so in order for a company to succeed, it needs support in it’s emerging days. Think about it, Coco Chanel didn’t just become a household name on her own. If it weren’t for Parisians supporting a small local hat shop in the early 1900s, the fashion empire that Chanel created wouldn’t be what we know it to be today. She became a legendary designer, not solely on talent, but because people supported her dream. For centuries, small businesses have been the backbones of communities, so it’s imperative we keep our dollars in our communities so that small businesses and designers can see longevity.
1. Local Teaches Lessons
Many local businesses and designers are inspired by what’s around them. They are inspired by their communal surroundings, something that may be cherished by the people around it, but unknown to outsiders. Local businesses have the ability to teach other communities about what makes their community and it's resources unique. Local businesses are also able to share a deep message with the people of their communities about the crafts that they are surrounded by but didn't know about. It opens the door for individuals to learn about their own neighborhood and the wealth of it.
2. More Opportunity
Supporting small makes a big impact! The more you support local businesses, it allows success not only for the company but for the community. When local businesses grow, it not only directly keeps money in the community, it also makes it possible for more opportunities to be created, such as jobs, events, and growth. When a small business is successful, it makes it easier for the success of other small businesses. It's like when a small business can be successful, it radiates the success to everyone else in the community!
3. It Tells A Story
When you see a garment tag that says “Made in [insert city]", it tells a story about the city and what kind of lives people live there. It's why American-based designers typically show in New York for fashion week because the collection of shows is supposed to portray the current design style of that area and the people that come from it. When you buy a pair of shoes from Veerah or a backpack from Hero New York, it doesn't only tell you where these items are from, but what many people from those places value. It makes people wonder about the inspiration behind each item and how it was made.
4. Being Unique is Maintained
Keeping the support within the community is key. In half the time it takes emerging designers to create a line, a large corporation can copy the ideas and produce the pieces, which can hinder long term success, but supporting the originators helps promote uniqueness. One thing that small brands have that large brands don’t is exclusivity. Independent designers will always have something special and different for their customers to buy that they can’t buy in the mall. When you buy from an independent designer, you know you've got something truly special.
5. It Feels Good
It’s always a good feeling knowing exactly where your money went and where the items you got came from. It’s an even better feeling knowing that you helped make someone’s dream come true with a little neighborly support. Supporting just a tiny bit in your community can go a long way for everyone involved.
If you want to find more local businesses in your area, you can download apps like Foursquare, Urbanspoon, Loopt to discover what treasures your neighborhood has to offer.
So, get out there and support your local businesses and designers!