I recently saw an article circulating that discussed kids fashion. The author of that article had a very clear opinion that children’s clothing should be exclusively bought from Walmart, Target, Old Navy, etc. She, like me, is a mom. Her premise was simple - why waste money on expensive clothing that children will: a) ruin; b) grow out of; and/or c) not appreciate. She then took it a step further and exclaimed that strangers would judge a child based on their clothing.
I am proud to share that my children wear 80% handmade/small shop clothes. I fully recognize that I am fortunate, because shopping small IS expensive. However, to me, the trade off is invaluable. Here’s why.
I set an example for my children. I am teaching them a very important lifelong lesson. No, the lesson is not “buy expensive clothing at all costs.” I am teaching them to support the makers, the small shop owners, the little guy. Heck, I own a small shop myself (Hip Kid Apparel).
I carefully plan each outfit, each purchase, each item and accessory. I do look for a deal, when I can. However, most often I save up my funds and splurge on items that I love, from shops (and shop owners) that I love. I do this because I know that I am helping a shop survive.
Will my child ruin the clothes that I painstakingly chose for them and spent hard earned money on? Maybe. Maybe, not. I own and use a wonderful stain remover. Will my child grow out of their clothing? I certainly hope so. Will my child appreciate the clothing I buy him or her? I don't know. I doubt it. I don't think appreciate even 1/4 of the toys that they own either, for the record. To me, none of these points matter. What matters is making an impact on someone else's life and livelihood.
This year, we are going to see a lot of small businesses close. Business is slowing down. ALL shops are feeling it. Instagram has instituted changes that is causing a mass exodus of potential customers. Everyone has felt a blow to their bottom line.
When someone assumes that I dress my child in small shop clothing because I am seeking attention, being impractical or fulfilling my own personal desires over my children’s needs, I try to educate them. I try to make them understand my true motivation so that they can see what their seemingly harmless Walmart purchase does to a family. I hope that these people my children and I encounter DO judge me. But, I hope that they judge me on the merits. I care. I shop small because I can. I shop small because I care.
Next time you go to feed the giant, think of all of the starving little people, and throw them the bone instead. I guarantee you’ll feel immediate satisfaction.
As a sign of solidarity, all of those who also shop small and support the little guy, feel free to capture the photo below and SHARE it on every and any social media platform, with the hashtag #ishopsmallbecauseican.
Please do leave a comment below and let me know where you shop, so that I can support even more wonderful small shops!!!