Buy Small Businesses on Instagram
Online shopping has officially become the norm. With more physical stores turning to online retailing and the pandemic shrinking in-person opportunities, there is no doubt that e-commerce is booming. And we’re not here to complain – there’s nothing we love more than scrolling through our favorite shopping sites (albeit dangerous when your credit card is on autofill). But the general availability of the same collections increases the likelihood of showing up to a group dinner all wearing the same top. Worse, if you’re not wearing the same top, you can almost guarantee that at least one friend has thought about adding yours to their own cart while browsing the same site. So how do you differentiate yourself?
We reveal our secret shopping sauce: Instagram. The platform’s growing buying efforts and access to billions of users have given small brands a way to not only showcase their products, but better yet, sell them. With increased exposure via social media, new designers have unprecedented opportunities to start a business. In the design world, likes, shares, and savings mean more than a social impact – they often lead to rapid growth and access to an entirely new, global consumer base. Instagram took out the middleman and allowed designers to deliver their products and collections directly to their followers (well, a DM slide we can get).
Instagram has given designers easy access to a direct-to-consumer template that limits the amount of overhead needed to launch a brand. This means that more independent designers have the ability to create and sell products, without the cost of physical logistics centers or e-commerce. Small designers can take orders directly from the platform and ship small batch orders themselves. By lowering the cost of entry into the industry, Instagram has opened the doors for everyone to a chance to succeed.
In addition to creating a must-have platform for small designers, Instagram has also fostered a sense of community among brands. Through Instagram’s discovery features, many designers are weaving friendships and partnerships that create a sense of camaraderie in the industry like never before. The platform has also created a stronger bond between designers and consumers, easily making communication between the two easier and allowing designers to receive feedback on what consumers actually want to see from them.
This season, we’ve made a commitment to buy small businesses, and Instagram is a great way to find and support small businesses. Below, find a list of accounts that we look forward to buying from.
Taryn Liberman started designing as a hobby, using unique napkins to create designs reminiscent of the 1970s. Her unique pieces are all handmade and she sells only by direct message on Instagram.
Room Shop creator Shelly Horst first made a name for herself on Instagram selling vintage, but soon realized that small batches of the same product would be easier to manage from an inventory standpoint. . She set out to design the biggest darling possible, and the rest is history.
Bakar Store sells hand-printed pieces designed in Spain and produced in India, all through Instagram direct messaging. Bright prints and airy silhouettes make them the perfect addition to your holiday gift list.
The series creates unique pieces using pre-existing materials. All pieces are made in New York City and are seasonless, genderless, and suitable for all body types.
Designer Halima doesn’t have a website, so sneak into her DMs to shop for one of her handmade crochet pieces. She also takes orders for custom models.
Hotel Elma creates fun housewares that sell out almost instantly, so turn on your Instagram post notifications to find out more about restocking. Pieces are an instant mood booster and add the perfect energy to any dinner party.
Lot28 is a sister-founded jewelry brand that is responsibly made in New York City. Their pieces are quirky and fun, and you can drop them a direct message on Instagram for personalized commissions.