shop small, think big

This past week or so has been a blur of activity for me, and now coming home from five days spent in North Carolina to see family I’m getting back to a laundry list of chores and things to take care of before another work week starts. Whew! I’m so glad I got out and went to the Renegade Craft Fair yesterday (happening today until 6 PM as well: it’s not too late!) I ran into some friends and found some great gifts for upcoming special occasions to boot. If you’re in Austin and haven’t ventured out to this one before, today is the last day to peruse the goods and score some amazing small-shop finds.

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Shopping small is something that I’ve become more conscientious about in recent years, particularly when it comes to what I wear. It’s an interesting phenomenon: when I buy and wear/use something from a local (or small shop) maker, I tend to have a deeper connection with that thing, where it came from, and who made it. I may have had a conversation with the maker about how they got started and the story behind what I’m purchasing. Incidentally, I also tend to get more compliments on pieces that have come from a small shop: just think, when you shop small, whatever you’re getting comes from a much more limited run than something you buy at a large retailer, so it’s going to be that much more rare and unique!

My favorite local/small shop finds? esby apparel, hai clothing, Hatton Henry, Twelve and Olive. Every time I wear one of the pieces I’ve bought from one of these makers/local owners, I strike up a conversation with someone about fashion, style and great local design talent: it becomes a conversation piece! You never know who you’re going to meet when you’re proudly rocking something that has a good story behind it.

Supporting one another’s hopes and dreams is important, especially as women. When we shop small and think big, we lift each other up through putting our money where our mouths are: we’re helping a local maker, doer and business owner keep her dream alive, and we’re fostering a community of local creatives who support and champion one another. This is something that I believe strongly in, and it’s something I want to get out and be more vocal about in 2016.

What about you? Who’s your favorite local maker?

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