Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Why should you #shopsmall this Christmas? - Abi Copley, Scribed by Abi

Why should you #shopsmall this Christmas? 

I’ve been waiting to craft this piece until after I visited my first Christmas market of the year. I wanted to see if what I thought about shopping small, shopping local, was true. 

For a long time, I've had the intention of moving away from the ‘Big’ shops at Christmas. Until now, being on the other side of the world to my family, I’ve been guilty of using the postage and time excuse! 

So there we were, my friend and I with our kids in tow as we set out yesterday morning on our #shopsmall adventure. I was not disappointed. Everything I presumed when I began to map out this article was easy to see as we wandered and marveled from stall to stall. you a first-timer or a seasoned small shopper, here are my top five reasons to #shopsmall this festive season. 

1/Thriving Community-
The first thing to hit me was the wave of noise and excitable energy in the room. Some had come with friends, others had made it a family affair, and some were enjoying the experience alone. The one thing we all shared? The joy of celebrating and reveling in the, albeit temporary, community feel. 

I can’t say I’ve ever had that feeling racing around department stores or battling the hoards in the mall! It isn’t just, ‘In Real Life’ as they say, where this sense of community warms our hearts and gets the festive feeling flowing. When I joined Liked by Becky, I hadn’t just discovered a brilliant guide to shopping small. but happily stumbled into a thriving digital community. Markets are now a regular feature online. The ease of sites like this one you’re on right now means you can indulge in that festive shop small community from the comfort of your sofa; eggnog in hand. 

2/“When you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance.”
I’ve seen this quote a lot lately, and it is so true! Every time someone asks me to write a piece, no matter how big or small, it makes my heart soar. It was the same in my previous life with MammaKnows. Anytime an order was placed, it meant so much more to me than it would to any CEO of a giant High Street store. 

Sales and figures are not just numbers to us small business owners. They are a reflection of our hopes and dreams. They are validation that the brave steps we took to launch ourselves from the ground were the right ones. 

Anytime you click ‘add to basket’, you are paying it forward. Not only do you get a gorgeous gift, a service that will make your life easier or a special treat for yourself. You are supporting another person or family. Maybe your sale was the first one that person had wished for; the one for which confirmation for is printed out and hung with pride on the office wall. Each time I've bought from a business through this directory. I've received a beautiful thank you, and every purchase yesterday was met with a beaming smile. This isn’t just fake flattery to get you to return. It’s raw, honest gratitude. 

3/Global footprint
Last year, Kiwis spent $6 billion in card transactions in December alone (NZ Herald). That averaged out, according to, at 178 transactions per second! That is an unimaginable amount of money in a time frame that makes my head spin. We are all becoming more aware of our Global Footprint when it comes to food, travel and the content of our goods. However, how much do we really consider the effect of Christmas shopping on our resources and poor old Mother Earth? 

The enormous amount of plastic that we order from goodness knows where comes in a laughable amount of packaging! It's already travelled more miles than we could count before it comes to rest under our trees. When you shop small, you become truly accountable for the impact that your festive buying makes. You can talk to the creator and learn about the provenance of their items. More importantly, often these owners are making ethically conscious choices that can only be of benefit to our rapidly depleting resources. 

4/Discovering Creativity
Now we are engaging with each other on issues such as our footprints and making ethical choices, we are seeing an inspiring diversity in what’s being created. The rise in organic fabrics or reusable items has shed new light on products that would once have been passed over as gifts. 

However, it isn’t just new items that are coming through the #shopsmall movement. I come across so many spins on the old favourites that the choice is like nothing before. The creative talent I see in the online small business community and at markets is stunning. By shopping small, you are actively fostering these discoveries and helping to create the space for other fledging ideas to take shape. 

5/Bringing back the essence of Christmas
Reason number five is a bit of a squish of all the points above with a little bit of extra festive love thrown in for good measure! 

Christmas is a crazy time of year, and it seems to be becoming more extreme year on year. Alongside writing I teach in a Primary School. Santa lists are a hot topic from October, with more and more extravagant things asked for. I also hear in the new term that the once longed for toys are now broken or lying unused in the bedroom. It’s not hard to find a harried, frantic parent in the mall. You have to ask yourself, 'what’s it all for?' 

What is Christmas really all about? 

Is it about buying the most expensive gift or having the largest pile under the tree? Don’t get me wrong, I love gift giving and I love receiving. For people like me, it’s my Love Language apparently, and that’s not going to change. In saying that, a well-chosen gift with a personal touch means more to me than anything grabbed off a department shelf store. 

That’s what you get when you shop small. 

You find those unique pieces. You find gifts with a story behind them, the people behind them. Christmas shopping, as I said, becomes about the whole festive experience; not simply something to endure on a crazy Saturday. 

Whether you browse a boutique online or make your way to a market, you are making a step towards bringing Christmas back to what it’s all about; people, community, family. 

So there you have it. My five reasons to #shopsmall this Christmas. 
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a mince pie and the hundredth rewatch of ‘Elf’ coming on! 

Before you do, head over to the Directory page here at Liked by Becky and see what gems you uncover for your loved ones. 

Merry Christmas! 

Abi x

Scribed by Abi
Instagram @scribedbyabi

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