A couple of years ago, the outdoor sporting company REI made a big splash when they announced all of their stores would be closed on Black Friday, one of the biggest corporate shopping days of the year. Around the same time, Small Business Saturday was launched with a sponsorship from American Express. Both of these campaigns were aimed to get people away from big corporations, whether that was through supporting small, local independent businesses or spending the day outside.
Now with Black Friday right around the corner, people have the same choice to make. While the offers and discounts may seem tempting, there are plenty of alternatives to Black Friday, including supporting small businesses in your town or online.
Why Shop Small?
Whether you’re shopping local from people who live in your own city, or shopping from small brands online, there are big benefits. One of our favorite things about being small business is that we can truly connect with our consumers and vendors. In our case, we want all of our customers to know what’s in our skin care and we want to know our customers, too. On the other hand, shopping from big corporate stores might offer a more impersonal experience in most cases. Shopping small brings a special connection to shopping, one where both sides become invested in the well-being of the other.
Another reason is that having a wealth of small shops increases the variety and creativity of products. Product creators and small business owners allow their individuality to shine—think of your favorite Etsy dealer who makes those fun and quirky earrings you always get compliments on. Big brands focus on selling the most amount of goods as they possibly can, and therefore need to appeal to the most amount of people. But small shops can find their niche and provide one-of-a-kind experiences.
One of the best reasons to shop small with your skin care is that it’s where the clean beauty industry started. Clean beauty began as a grassroots movement from a few small vendors who were extremely passionate about making plant-based skin care that’s good for people and the environment. As this movement became more popular, larger brands started hopping on the trend because that’s what consumers wanted most. Now, smaller brands are sadly being forced out. However, they remain more personally invested, passionate, and are at the forefront of innovation in the clean beauty world.
Finally, small businesses just feel more authentic. Behind the counter or screen, there are real people. When you shop from a small business, you can know that there’s a dedicated team behind the product that loves what they do and work tirelessly to be the best for their customers.
Black Friday Alternatives
So what should you do on the day after Thanksgiving? We’ve already talked about Small Business Saturday, which despite being started by American Express, is officially recognized by the United States government. Check your local watering holes to see if your town is holding a special event that day. And despite their size, small businesses still often participate in traditional Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals.
However, the best way to support small and local businesses is shopping with them all-year long! Whenever you shop at your favorite small business, you can know that your purchase is making a difference in the lives of others. You’re supporting local economy and growth in your community. You don’t have to wait until the annual holiday shopping season to get started!
Instead of shopping on Black Friday, we recommend taking the REI approach and doing something else entirely. Like REI says, consider spending time outside, especially with your family. Go to a park, on a hike, or even skiing! The pressure of finding deals on Black Friday can cut precious family time short and turn what’s supposed to be a festive holiday into a day of stress.
If the outdoors aren’t your thing, or it’s just freezing out, stay in a get cozy! Light some natural soy candles, cuddle up in front of the fireplace with your loved ones (and maybe some furry companions), and focus on getting quality time in. This is the perfect opportunity to brush up on your board game skills or discover a new favorite show. Or even participate in some hygge, the Danish art of cozy companionship.
Thanksgiving can be a stressful enough time as it is, between hosting, cleaning, cooking, and family parties. Take the next day off for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. If your skin needs a little boost after everything, you can always resource to our Facial Recovery Elixir, too.