If you took a look at my monthly expenses, you’d see a majority of my purchases are from independent retailers and small businesses. While I certainly shop at big-box marketplaces like Whole Foods and Zara, I spend a significant chunk with small businesses because I believe in giving back to those companies who are supplying my industry with innovation and craftsmanship. I’ve always been fascinated by ingenious and creative so many businesses are out there when they’re starting fresh from the ground up… and that is something I’m keen to support.
I was thrilled when FedEx invited me (along with a handful of influentials from various media categories) to participate in their #BigBoxofSmallGoods activation. Essentially – as a company with strong ties to the small business community by offering actionable tips and solutions for small business success – FedEx wanted to showcase some of the businesses making a splash across the U.S. From sweet backyard-inspired pickles and hand-crafted headphones to customizable phone cases and a protective carrying solution for pies, I got to see some of the success stories up close and personal.
One of my absolute favorites though has to be my custom pair of Grado Labs headphones. As a New Yorker, I’m particularly passionate about local businesses and Grado Labs has been crafting wares by hand in Brooklyn since 1953 – family-owned and family-operated. I love hearing stories like that! The quality and craftsmanship is spectacular, as you can imagine in something that is literally built by human hands.
I’m not sure how invested you are in independent retailers in your area, but I do hope this encourages you to explore. There are hundreds of thousands of companies out there just waiting to be the next big thing and – as a group of millennial customers – we can make that happen!
Scout Sixteen is a lifestyle blog from Justin Livingston. Justin grew up in Mississippi but relocated to New York City in 2008. On Scout Sixteen, Justin shares his passion in fashion, travel, food and drink, and mental wellness.