Why Shopping Small Matters•
Posted on May 19 2019
I’ve been playing around with this blog topic for a while. If I’m completely honest, the jump into just writing it stemmed from the final straw of reading yet another recommendation for our store ending with “but it is EXPENSIVE so I only go there for special occasions.”
Unfortunately, it’s a review we get all too often. But have you ever wondered why they are more expensive or how shopping small matters?! I’m going to break it down in to bullet points with support from excerpts!
1: We’re real people
When you call into our store, you will hear “Sweet Tea and Caviar this is _____” It’s generally either Leslie, Katie or Jami. We are just three people behind this store currently so you know when you call you are going to be answered by real people and not a prompt. I can’t speak for the other girls, although I know they LOVE their jobs, this business is my baby. Every call, question, concern is highly thought after and taken care of with much consideration. Every last detail is a well thought out machine, from how we package to how we display and everything in between. All of us put a lot of thought and attention to how we want things to look and feel for you.
We also absolutely LOVE to help put together outfits for you. You won’t find that with Amazon or Ali Express. Not only do we love helping you find items for your little ones, we generally remember your names, your children’s names, what you bought, what you like, etc. We all want you to have the experience we would love having in a store. Whether we are feeling you out to see if you want help or want to be left alone, everything is thought out. One of my favorite tag lines that I thought of a year into us being open and still fully stand behind today is “We love seeing your kids grow alongside our brand. Welcome to the STC family.” Because that’s exactly what we are. We aren’t just a store. We are a family. STC VIP is our “family” page on Facebook. If you haven’t joined, we’d love for you to so you can be a part of this little community that has formed behind baby clothing and gear. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/265276713920263)
2: Textile Industry and Pricing
This will be the longest portion of this blog post with the most information. What we hear the most complaints about is that we’re expensive. While yes, we do have expensive items, we also have LOTS of items that can fit in any budget. We have items ranging from $5-125 and everywhere in between. We are also a boutique, which by definition is: "a small store that sells stylish clothing, jewelry, or other usually luxury goods ". I want to talk about and break down the costs of our items.
First off, there’s the fabric that is used. MOST of our lines use organic fabrics. What are the benefits of using organic fabrics? Well, our skin is the largest organ on the body. Baby’s skin is much thinner than our skin. Using organic textiles to clothe a baby reduces the number of harmful chemicals that can be absorbed through their thin skin. With that means there’s also less irritation to their skin as they aren’t coming in to contact with those harmful chemicals. We love this article by Cotton Creations which explains the benefits of organic clothing. (https://cottoncreations.com/2016/11/28/benefits-of-organic-baby-products/).
We also do a lot of research with our brands and how they treat their workers and their policies with how they handle excess fabrics. We produce nearly 15 MILLION TONS of clothing waste a year. 15 Million TONS. That’s a lot of waste. We contribute the waste to what we call “fast fashion”. So, basically fast fashion is when a line comes out with a product that people go crazy over, and high-powered stores or knock off shops recreate this product for a much lower cost. The problem is the lower cost is attributed to them not doing things the correct way. They’re using synthetic fabrics full of chemicals which can take upwards of 20 years to decompose in our landfills. They are not paying workers a fair living wage. This is contributing to a global issue of trafficking for forced labor. They also produce a lot of waste with no regard to how it affects our environment. The textile and footwear industry make up 8% of our total global greenhouse emissions, nearly as much as the entire European Union. (https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-04-03/fashion-environmental-impact-of-your-favourite-textiles/9382382)
Not only that, but “ The WRI reports that “about 20 percent of industrial water pollution is due to garment manufacturing, while the world uses 1.3 trillion gallons of water each year for fabric dyeing alone.” (https://www.entitymag.com/fast-fashion-effects-on-environment/)
Here is another article that we love discussing the effects of fast fashion on our environment:
With all of this being said, shopping small and buying quality over quantity is so important for our environment. We work on bringing you the best lines with conscious minds to these issues as well as amazing quality. A lot of our lines are even made right here in the USA! All of these factors contribute to higher prices, but when you shop with us, you can feel good about the fact that we did the back work and research to make sure each item in our store is something you can rest assured is not harmful or damaging to your babe!
Here’s what you can do though. Come in and tell us you’re looking for a capsule wardrobe to get your kiddo through a season. Let us help you pick out quality pieces that can be worn all season and be mixed and matched together. Then, when you’re done, go list them on the BST boards and make most of your money back to put towards your next capsule wardrobe! Having 10 pieces you can mix and match for a season but will LAST and retain their value is becoming the new thing, and we LOVE it! We love helping you find quality pieces that can be sold for almost as much as you paid or even handed down to the next kiddo!
3: Shopping small supports you, too
Shopping small and local is so beneficial to your communities. We pay taxes to our county and state which in turn comes back to YOU, the taxpayer, for your children’s education, your local community being well taken care of, etc.
Did you know that “on average almost 2/3 of every dollar ($.67) stays within the local community?” (https://www.uschamber.com/series/above-the-fold/support-your-local-community-shopping-small)
Also, “for every $10 million spent locally, 57 new local jobs are created”?! Isn’t that amazing! More local jobs means better economic growth for your community. We want our communities to THRIVE. Did you know it was also found that nearly 91% of small businesses gave back to their local community?( https://www.permarsecurity.com/our-company/blog/2018/11/how-shopping-small-local-benefits-your-community) Last year, STC gave back to our local hospital in honor of my mom and mother-in-law who both battled breast cancer. This year we plan on finding another organization to support! We find giving back to our community is so important.
Here is another article about shopping small with quotes that we LOVE!!! (https://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2016/12/01/43-reasons-you-should-support-small-and-independent-businesses/amp/) One of my favorite quotes from this is #5. “Support each other. Why do you need a reason to do that besides that it’s the right thing to do?” As a business owner myself, I love supporting our local small shops and try to do so whenever I can!
4: You’re Supporting Real People
I know this is SO CLICHÉ, but it wouldn’t be circulated around so much if it wasn’t true. When you shop small- you’re supporting a dream. You’re supporting a family. (or multiple families). When you shop with STC, you are supporting me and my husband as well as our two kids. You will be helping put our children into the camps and activities they choose to do. You will be putting food on our table. You will be supporting Jami and her husband. You will be supporting them landing on their feet in a town away from “home”. You will be supporting them trying to grow their family. You will be supporting Katie. You will be supporting her finishing up her Architecture degree and then getting married. You will be supporting her new little family. (and her cats and dogs…. Yes she has cats) You aren’t supporting shareholders that don’t care as long as they’re getting money. You aren’t supporting a CEO make another million on top of his millions. You’re supporting REAL LIVE families just like yours. This is why I spend SO MUCH TIME researching our brands. Because I wouldn’t put something on our shelves I didn’t FULLY believe in. I also pull things off of our shelves when their values don’t align with ours. I hope you know that yes, while cliché, it’s so true. You are just supporting regular people who truly CARE.
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