I remember the first small shop purchase I made; it was a Rag from a local pop up. I loved the Rag, but I struggled with the price. I didn’t know much about small shops at the time. I just saw them on Instagram.
Out of curiosity I started to look into the story behind Rags. During my search I found other small shops with handmade items that were amazing. The prices however, blew my mind! I could not understand how customers could spend that type of money.
I was a proud Children’s Place Monster sale shopper. Ha! I would get so excited when I could dress my kids in a full outfit for under $10. So taking the leap to purchase higher priced items from small shops was not easy. But it is one that I am now completely ok with. I see the difference in the quality of the products I purchase from small shops.
I also love the fact that my kids are dressed in unique styles. Completely different from other children around them. My friends joke that they can always pick my kids out of a crowd because of their clothing. It’s custom. It’s special. It is not Children’s Place/Target style.
I believe all moms can appreciate these small shop items for their children, despite the higher prices. The value is in seeing that their daughter doesn’t show up to church in the same dress as 4 other girls, or that their son can wear what he loves and it shows his personality through a custom graphic.
My oldest boy loves showing his personality with some of his favorite graphic tees from shops like Wire & Honey or Neverland Crew Clothing.
My oldest daughter loves rompers and twirly dresses. I would say her favorite dress would be her Vintage Cherry striped twirl from Revel Threads. She loves a dress with amazing “twirlability”-yes I invented that word. Ha! She also loves her swan romper from Woodmouse and Thistle.
My younger daughter LOVES her maxi from Revel Threads and wears it as soon as its clean. Ha! Its so soft- I wouldn’t argue with her! She loves rompers. She pretty much grew up in Rags.
My youngest is all over the place with his clothes. He will change his clothes an average of 5 times a day. No joke! We have a custom outfit from Deniah Kids that’s a Toy Story print hooded tank with matching shorts. It is probably his favorite, followed closely by his camo tee from Childhoods Clothing and his rust pants from June & January.
The most important thing about shopping small is supporting the people behind the shops. It makes me happy to think that when I order from their shop, the owner is literally doing a little happy dance. It makes me happy to know I am supporting someone responsible for working their butts off.
I’ve gotten to know small shop owners and found some who have been going through horrible situations and struggling to pay their bills. I was happy to hear that each item I bought from them helped their situation. It helped to keep the lights on. It helped to put food on their table. Who would I be if I didn’t support these shop owners and could?
Shop owners put their heart and soul into designing a piece of clothing. I want to my kids to learn from their passion and work ethic. That if they work hard enough they can accomplish amazing things.
Comparing the customer service of a small shop with that of a large brand is crazy! For me, the experience I have when needing help from a small shop, is one of the biggest reasons I shop small. They are proud of their work and are willing to do their best to fix a problem. They want their work to be loved.
I have shopped from countless small shops. Countless! And there has only ever been one shop whose quality I was disappointed by. When I contacted the shop owner, she refunded me, and was very nice. Then I just moved on. I haven’t purchased from them since, and that’s ok.
The handmade quality from small shop verses that of big brands, is big! I would much rather spend $35 on a dress from Revel Threads and expect hand made quality with the care that goes into each dress, than $35 at Children’s Place for a dress of lower quality. That doesn’t have the blood sweat and tears stitches into it.
You can follow Heather’s journey of supporting small shops on her Instagram page @heathershopssmall