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2511 East 6th St, Bldg 4 Unit A
Austin, TX 78702

Austin's favorite stationery shop and workshop studio.

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The Paper + Craft Pantry blog is home to our latest DIY projects, current inspiration sources, and small business advice. 

How-To: Shop Small + Local Year Round

Pei Sim


 The Paper + Craft Pantry Small Business School Blog: Shopping Small + Local

Can you believe 2017 is coming to a close?

We hosted our last Small Business School #IRL panel in the studio at the end of November, focusing on the small business lifestyle and what it means to support small businesses. We had an amazing line-up of panelists who all owned their own businesses right here in Austin- April Onebane with Pieceology Vintage, Ashely Chinni with Ash Grove Studio and Celeste King with Catapult Creative Logistics, moderated by Chelsea Francis with Chelsea Laine Francis. It was the perfect mix of product based + service based businesses. 

Although the holiday season is important for most businesses, we wanted to really dive into the conversation of how to truly shop small and local year round. How many times have you heard of someone saying that their favorite local coffee shop, or mom & pop bakery closed? It's more important now than ever to really put your money where it can have the biggest impact right here in your community.

With the ease and immediate turn around of free, even same day deliveries, it's difficult for a small local business to compete. Mass production allows big box shops to offer much lower priced items than artisans who hand make all their wares. Shopping small doesn't need to just be for the holidays or for special occasions either. Small businesses depend on folks who intentionally shop local and loyal customers all year long! Check out what our panelists had to say below.

I love a good Amazon Prime deal, but I make a conscious effort to shop small knowing how much small businesses depend on the holiday season!
— Celeste King, Catapult Creative Logistics
I shop small as often as possible, even with day to day life stuff. Shopping at local pet shops in Austin, so not just things or material objects. There’s a lot of pressure out there to buy and own certain things that look good online/on Instagram, but I try to stay true to thoughtful items that mean more to me.
— Ashley Chinni, Ash Grove Studio

When you shop small, your dollar goes much farther. It goes into supporting the business owner's livelihood, it goes towards them growing their business, reinvesting in their business, adding value into this community. It trickles down from the actual product or service you purchased and makes such a huge impact!

Buying something from someone in person, makes you think about that person overtime you use it. There’s an investment into not only the product but the person.
— Celeste King, Catapult Creative Logistics

Shopping small and local definitely costs more, and perhaps you're not able to gift presents in large quantities but it can be more meaningful and personal.

Investing more into things that are sustainable is really important to me. I have a lot of friends who own businesses, so I support them as much as possible.
— April Onebane, Pieceology Vintage
You have to be okay with not getting “as much” because you can probably find something cheaper online. But it is a trickle effect on our economy when you purchase from a small business, and when you gift something that’s form a local business- the person who receives it is then exposed to this small business.
— Celeste King, Catapult Creative Logistics
It pushes me to be more thoughtful on what I choose to buy- there are people in your life you want to really get meaningful goods for. Being able to connect with the person behind the business means a lot to me.
— Ashley Chinni, Ash Grove Studio

Will you be shopping small and local this holiday season? What about throughout the year? Have any great local businesses you think we should know about! Let us know in the comments below!