If you have been reading my blog for long you know I own a little craft store called American Clutter LLC and I love every second of it! My business partner Mary Beth and I opened in September of 2013. It has been such a blessing and so much fun making products for our shop, doing custom orders, and upcycling finds from the side of the road or thrift shops.
Small Business Saturday is a great day for our shop and we have a ton of loyal customers who will stop out and visit us and its so heartwarming seeing their cars pull in. They did not forget about us..YAY! But what about the rest of the year? When small business Saturday is over do you still shop small? I know our loyal and well loved customers do not forget about us, but I have always wondered about the rest of our little town? Where are they? Why do they not stop? Why is our parking lot not so packed that cars have to line the road and customers are not fighting over that one of a kind Snowflake by the front door of the shop?
In all reality we will be pretty busy on Small Business Saturday, but maybe I am greedy when I say not busy enough haha. We always have new folks stopping in saying “my friend told me I should stop here!” and we LOVE word of mouth because it is the best thing we can hear when someone loves us so much they refer their friends. Wahoo, we secretly say in our heads when we hear those magic words “my friend told me” because it tells us that we rock and people love us. At least that is what my brain is screaming in my ear lol.
Mary Beth and I are both stay at home moms. We wanted to raise our children and figure out a way to make money to help support our families and take some of the stress off of our husbands backs. In this past year our income has steadily grown and it may not be Wal-Mart style funds yet, but its more than we thought we would be doing in just 1 short year.
We stay up all night making products, we skip events to work, we drain ourselves somedays but we do it because we love it. We want our customers to walk into our shop and know that we made everything with love and passion and we stand behind our products. I think it shows and I know if a customer has been in our shop they leaving feeling like they made a new friend and a place they can find the most awesome unique gifts and home decor around. Many of them get excited when we tell them a piece they just purchased was an upcycled good found on the side of a road, or a thrift shop or maybe it was a auction…either way it is a one of a kind now and its exciting to them to have a back story on their new find.
Here are some of the products in our Etsy Shop that we have made! The Coasters are recycled pallet wood, doves are handmade with burlap and the slates..well those gems came off of my Great Grams 1800’s farm house!
Our goal is to make everyone shop small before the big box chains because every small business owner pours their heart and soul into making their business special for their customers and we dont want you to forget about us the other 355 days of the year. So before you head to Wal-mart ask yourself if you can find it at a small business first. I bet you can, and it could be worth your time!
Small businesses are what keep your economy running, so don’t forget about the little guy this holiday season when you are out shopping for those awesome one of a kind Christmas presents. Will you start shopping small businesses more? I hope so!