Running a small business, while trying to also “shop small” presents a certain paradox. Because as a new small business, I need to be incredibly mindful of every dollar we spend, and supporting a local business generally costs more than buying from a larger one. There are many reasons for this and as an owner, I understand them well. We are making things by hand instead of by machine. We do not have the financial resources of larger competitors. We do not take shortcuts. We source from other small businesses. This all makes perfect sense to me, now more than ever. But when our stack of bills come due, there is a definite pull to save money. A voice asks if we should buy more cheaply this round so we can live to see another day and says that we can support other small businesses then.
In the end though, I’ve learned that the choice is actually a very easy one. The support and the value that Good Stock has received from our small business purveyors far exceeds any dollar amount we would have saved buying elsewhere. It’s Joel from Cut Brooklyn repairing my knife for nothing after I dropped it and chipped the point. It’s Christophe from Fleishers saying “No problem” when I ask him to hold off running the company credit card because sales were lower than expected the last two weeks. It’s Alex and Jenny fromTilit doing us a favor and taking a custom order below their minimum. It’s Tom and Anthony giving us a break on the tab when we threw a party at Givers & Takers. It’s Rick from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm introducing me to the other farmers at Union Square Greenmarket and showing me the lay of the land. It’s Gerry from Ottomanelli & Sons giving us wholesale pricing when Good Stock was only an idea and our order size was never more than $20 a week. It’s Peter from Runner & Stone being patient with me and giving me many different loaves of bread to sample while trying to build the perfect tomato sandwich. It’s many of these same purveyors tweeting about us or sharing great pictures on Instagram and helping to get the word out. (Really, it’s shocking how much a new follower or a “Like” means when you’re wondering if what you’re doing is working at all). It is these examples and so much more.
So in this season of giving thanks, and on this Small Business Saturday, I would like to say thanks to all the small businesses that have helped Good Stock on our way. And to our customers who have made the decision to shop small. We wouldn't be here without any of you.
Finally, I would like to encourage you to support your local businesses today and everyday. Your support means more than you may ever know.
Here’s insight into one of our favorite techniques.