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        The holiday season is fast approaching, here are 5 reasons to shop small. These are some of the most important reasons for me, as a small business owner and a conscious consumer. I hope it helps you make the decision to shop small, too. If you scroll all the way down, I’ve also written a love letter to thank you.

        1. To be a conscious consumer

        When you shop small, you are directly supporting a human being, an artist, a family. One person working with their hands for hours at a time to make something custom designed for you. Unlike a mass-produced product, made by a machine, created in a factory somewhere in the middle of what is most likely an impoverished community, small businesses create their art with their hands, for hours, probably in their homes, knit-picking every imperfect spot to ensure the consumer, you, gets something made completely with love. Before the final product ends up in your hands, or on your screen, it has been worked continuously to ensure that what you are receiving is something the creator is 100% proud of.

        2. To receive something with love

        Every little thing a small business creates is different. It’s unique. It cannot be mass-produced. It cannot be replicated. Every piece of art made is special, and no one on earth will have the same thing as you. The beauty of doing something by hand is that no matter how much a human tries, there will always be the slightest imperfections that makes that product extra special. That’s just beautiful.

        3. You pay the bills

        Reason number 3 of the 5 reasons to shop small: A small businesses’ income comes directly from you, the consumer. You pay the electricity that allows for the artist to continue to do her art. The gas in her car for her to get her supplies, and the actual supplies. You are putting food on the table, clothes on the back, and gas in the car. You pay the student loans and car insurance, and phone bills. You are directly helping me live. There is no other source of income, you are the income. And that is more powerful than words can describe.

        4. You are supporting ethical and environmental practices

        A small business is not using mass-production efforts, it is not cutting corners to go faster and be more efficient. Its sole purpose is to make something special, to create an experience, to give you something unique. Small business owners are a breed of people who understand the importance of doing things in small batches that last and can endure ages. There is a bigger impact on their lives that is happening and a much smaller impact on the environment and our planet simultaneously.

        5. You keep the small business going

        When I get paid, a lot of the money goes back into my business in the forms of gas in my car to go to sessions, the monthly bills for the softwares I use to edit my images, to send you the gallery, to keep my site live. You also allow me to keep the cycle going by also shopping small and helping other business by supporting them and their art. And at its core, without your support, a small business will in fact disintegrate. The consumer has a big hand in keeping the small business alive. This is why if you love an artist, the best compliment you can give is to support her art, AND refer it to your friends. Without you, the consumers, the small business is no more. Those are the 5 reasons to shop small this holiday season, overall, you are so important.

        A love letter to you

        Dear past client, future client, and forever friend,

        Thank you for keeping my life going, for making my dream come true and for continuing to keep it a reality. Thank you for supporting my small business, and for supporting me. I hope that the 5 reasons to shop small that I wrote above resonated with you.

        You keep my life going, in the most literal sense. And I can’t express how grateful I am for you. I spend hours upon hours and weeks and months on my computer ensuring that you are getting the best experience I can possibly offer. And in return, you are giving me my best life to live. There is no such thing as “office hours.” Nothing like “yay the weekend is here and I have no work.” This business is also my life. There are no real “breaks.” 

        In addition to allowing me give you something from my heart, your support pays my bills, and keeps my business going and allows me to also support other small businesses. You make my student loan payments on time, my phone bill monthly, allow me to eat the sushi I love, the car insurance that aches, you pay for the “check engine” light issue that won’t quit on my 22 yr old car. Your support pays the credit cards and also helps me save for a younger car. You pay for the ridiculously high weekly (I drive A LOT for this career) gas bill that my car gives me. Aside from this, it also pays for my website, the editing software applications I use, the clothes I wear on wedding days, and every day, my camera gear and SD Cards, my batteries, the external hard drives that cost a ton to keep your photos forever and ever. The list goes on.

        My point is, your support keeps this business, and my every day life, afloat. You are my income. Your support means the whole world to me. It is my world. And I can’t describe it as whole heartedly as I want to with words. So, I’ll just keep showing you by giving you the most incredible experience I can possibly offer. Thank you so much.

        Yours truly. 

        I am truly grateful and thankful for you.

        To book a session with me, fill out the form on my contact page by clicking here!

        If you’re interested in checking out some of my absolute favorite small businesses and shopping from them this holiday season, go to my 2019 Small Business Gift Guide blog post here!