. . . in one sense, I haven’t been doing enough of this. Actually, later this month I’ll be renewing my ID number with a great line of personal care products because I miss buying them at a heavily discounted price =D
But that’s a network marketing company, which makes it different from what I want to talk about here. I set (and blogged) myself a goal in January 2018 to spend more of my money with small-time, individual or family-owned businesses; black ones in particular. Since I did actually remember to keep notes on my first-time small-business purchases throughout the rest of 2018, I thought I’d give a quick report on that . . . and you may want to go back and peruse that post, because it’s one where I wasn’t quite satisfied with my “resolution” of the topic. I found it really interesting to read again 13 months later.
Anyway! Here are my first-time purchases from small business for the year 2018 (not counting random suppliers on sites like AliExpress).
1. Very soon after that blog I purchased a lovely black mermaid pin set from Oh Plesiosaur, and was extra happy to do so because of what that business and its owners represent (they’re definitely allies). They’ve changed their name to Shoal, but you’ll see the same great items if you want to check out their new site.
2. My dad’s birthday is early in the year, and I decided to incorporate some punny Dad jokes into his gift by carefully perusing the socks available at YoSox, then buying 4 pairs.
3. My boyfriend celebrated a milestone birthday, and I started buying his gifts early – beginning with this dope pin which any hip hop head would love (there are different ones for East Coast and West Coast albums, so everybody wins). I also scooped a birthday present for one of my best friends, and in both cases the giftees absolutely loved them. Good lookin out, Good Dope Supply Co!
4. While in Haïti, I visited the Ogier-Fombrun Museum, formerly a plantation. One of the things that struck me in their gift shop was a selection of locally handmade cards, with designs which were created from banana leaves . . . so naturally I bought a bunch (ha ha).
5. Remember that milestone birthday from #3? I decided we needed some big numeric helium balloons. I received great service from TO Balloons (and their location was perfect for me), so . . . check!
6. I’m pretty sure that non-franchised vintage or thrift stores count as “small businesses,” since they’re essentially ongoing garage sales. This year I discovered Public Butter and I’ll probably take a third trip over there pretty soon, as my first time there I was just a spectator and my second time I only bought a couple of bandannas.
7. Festivals like Afrofest are great places to shop small and local – this year I ended up seeing one of my high school friends and she was selling the most delicious-smelling body butter I have ever encountered, so of course I bought some from her Diva Creations booth. Give their Mango Burst Body Butter a try and see if I’m exaggerating!
8. Speaking of festivals (we’re almost done speaking about butter), my mom helped to organize a music festival in Windsor, so in July I spent some time there and was extremely disciplined, buying only one thing. It was this pretty reversible ring which I can’t describe very well except that due to a clever hinge construction, you can choose which of two stones to showcase each time you wear it. Here’s the thing though . . . I don’t remember their name. So I hope Google is somehow able to help you out if you want one of your own. Sorry!
9. Probably the first purchase on this list that I’ve already repurchased: Curl Quench Hair Butter from EarthTones Naturals. My girlfriend invited me to a demo at her home where Dr Susan Walker came and spoke with us about our hair textures and needs. I bought a tub of the Curl Quench that night and then ordered two big ones on Black Friday weekend. Absolutely love it – still!
10. My hair was a topic of concern for sure, because I noticed it thinning over the summer. Eden Kingdom Essential sells a few products to help with this, and I’ve definitely seen a positive change with consistent use of their Formula D hair regrowth serum and shampoo. (Good thing I typed this up today, because I’m reminded now that I need to re-up on both.)
11. One of my faves! For years now I’ve been wanting to support a particular acquaintance of mine who sells beautiful things – formerly it was clothing which I wasn’t able to justify because it was basically so gorgeous I didn’t have enough places to wear it, and now it’s jewellery with a message. So I prowled the Omi Woods website, saved up and bought myself the Queen of Sheba coin necklace in October, and every time I wear it feels like a special occasion.
12. The One of a Kind Show is another great chance to support local and/or small business owners, and back in 2017 I’d watched my friend buy a glass straw from Glass Sipper, then gone home and thought, Huh. I kinda wished I’d grabbed one for myself. So this year I did =) I admit I don’t use it super-often, but every little bit helps when you’re concerned about the environment.
13. Also at the OOAK Show, I met Lana of Lana Betty Geometric Contemporary Jewellery and she did a fantastic job making me a birthstone ring. I wanted to go back and visit her booth again before the show closed – maybe I’ll be able to reconnect with her at the spring 2019 edition =D
14. I attended the Black-Owned Holiday Market in December, and while my first purchase there doesn’t count (I bought a necklace from a vendor who is both black and Afrocentric, but it’s not my first time purchasing from her), this tignon I bought from My Tignon sure does! It was cool that they even sat me down and showed me a couple of different ways to wrap it.
Is there a Small Business Challenge that could be woven into this? Will I hit 20 in 2019, even with my caveat that they have to be people/business I haven’t purchased from before? Guess we’ll have to stay tuned to find out . . .
. . . but the answer is probably No, because we’re halfway through February and I haven’t been keeping track the way I did last year. Lol, sorry!