as hard of a year as this has been – i’ve been immensely grateful on many fronts. one of which is the support of my friends and random strangers of my talents and pursuits. whether my writing or my event planning – people have put more stock into me, than i sometimes put into myself.
like with many of us, money is tight around these parts. i always feel guilty when people do things for me that i can’t do in return.
2014 was the year i decided to make an effort to do it. it’s not always about the amount most times, it’s about the effort. a RT on Twitter, a like and share on Facebook – those can go a long way. you never know who is going to going to see it, who just so happened to be looking for an ___ vendor, or happens to have a lil extra in their pocket they want to spend.
so tis the season for sharing, caring and all that jazz – i’ve made a list of small or not-quite-fully-formed businesses that i’ve used this year. they are here because they are my friends, or because the customer service is so above and beyond (because we all know that’s really important these days).
and because i don’t have eyes and ears anywhere – i want you to add to the list! let’s make this a who’s who of who to shop from and support.
so in NO particular order:
10. Black Girls Are Magic Teespring campaign. before people were mad about #blacklivesmatter, people were getting in a huff over black girls re-claiming their magical powers and proudly rocking it. created by the fearless auntie PBG, and available for every black girl in your life – nothing wrong with a little magic on your chest.
9. Blavity swag gear. this may be slightly cheating since i’m a team blavity member – but i am proud to support a site that digs for and promotes underground talent around the world. including little ole me. (#shamelessplug). when they open up shop.. it’s gonna be fire!!! hint: socks. SOCKS!
8. Lauren Michelle Photography. you know that friend who is always talking about something. like somewhat obsessively? they don’t do it for a living or know their worth or their talent? but then they do, and start a website and a facebook business page. and do professional things? that’s her. if you live in the austin area and have a baby, need a professional headshot, are getting married, are fly and want it captured outside a selfie…
7. Cinema Bun. this is not a product or service per say..but it’s my blog and i’ll do what i want to. created by future oscar winner for screenwriting and directing Tonja and the gif-god and future curer of diseases Berook, it’s movies and pop culture. what’s not to love?
6. Scribed by Tere. so i used to love sending out cards. birthday. christmas. even throwback to our grade school days valentines cards. but.. life..and the price of stamps threw that to the bottom of my to-do list. and over time my hand writing has deteriorated (which is a shame). enter..the homie with awesome handwriting and wants to do it for you! im glad im using her in her infancy of her business.. because with the amount that i made her write.. my bill shoulda been 3 times higher! nothing beats a handwritten note in this electronic era, so am happy to encourage more of it! (oh and tell her to re-open an etsy page or something).
5. Kill Pink. Miss Jia is an awesome twitter follow, but is also a talented person! I don’t know her personally beyond the twitters, but she’s added to this list for her high level of professionalism, her awesome website and her GREAT customer service. my custom bracelet is in the mail and im SO excited. it’s rare that i treat myself to something ‘frivolous’ – but i know this will be well worth it.
4. Shelley’s Catering. i came to know Shelley via a client and now they are both friends of mine. i remember looking at her quote to the client, thinking there is no way all this can be done for this price. or the food isn’t that good. i was wrong on both fronts.
3. Dayna Lee Collection. i always try to remember how i even came to know a person/vendor. i want to say i saw a framed creation via WE network and knew i needed to have something. (i clearly have a thing for handwritten-ness). her IG makes me want to buy a house, and have an office with a wall devoted just to her stuff. in the mean time.. i just ordered Christmas gifts and they come wrapped like this! cmon!!!
2. Cocoa Cheeks. remember when #8 on this list? exchange photography for makeup and you got another L in Texas who is passionate and talented and needs to take them to south beach and beyond!
1. Lawrence Kerr Photography. i know he’s the second photog on the list, but the fact that somehow he’s become the official (and in his words only) photographer allowed to capture my son on his birthdays…well…that should say it all.
that’s it! (well not really). i know lots of talented people who haven’t YET supported financially – but am more than happy to spread the word on hard-working people who will do good with your dollars. this may just end up being something i do twice a year. i like it. #motioncarried.
while we are here – did you know i’m an event planner? and i travel? my business website is under construction but you can sign up for new of the release here or follow my business twitter account here (i’ve never shared this before…this is a pretty big deal). i’ve gotten a lot from these vendors – giving to them brings me more joy than from what i get.
that’s the real reason for the season. (well that and Jesus’ birthday and all).
what’s your word? any small businesses you want to link or shout out in the comments? even if it’s yours!! be sure to include social media links or websites!