7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small

It took me working for small businesses and starting my own to really understand and appreciate the work that goes behind running a small business. It is not easy to motivate yourself every day, to believe in yourself and in what you are doing, in addition, to actually doing everything and working through the layers of bureaucracy.

7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small - byLiiL

1. THEY ARE MORE SUSTAINABLE

It, of course, is not a given that all small businesses are sustainable, but the chances are they are more likely to be sustainable. Small businesses often source locally, use less packaging, use fewer air miles through their production cycle and produce in small batches. In addition, with the growing concern for the environment, many businesses start off with the idea of being more sustainable and helping to make the world a better place.

2. HAVE UNIQUE AND CREATIVE PRODUCTS

Small businesses are either making their own creative products/services or curating a selection for their customers from other businesses. In any case, their offering differs from the mass market that mostly looks the same. When it comes to fashion I’ve noticed that the every shop on the high street seems to be selling the same things over and over and there is no individuality. When shopping from small fashion businesses you will stand out of the crowd. Other small shops are great for individualistic gifts that nobody else might have found.

3. I KNOW WHERE MY MONEY IS GOING

Unlike that of with big brands, small brands do not have several layers of supply chains, management levels, stakeholders groups and all the other additional stuff that you do not see but are paying for with your money. When you are shopping from a small brand you can quite easily see what their values are and know that the money you are giving them will pay for their living and them keeping up the business.

4. THEY GROW THE ECONOMY

Small businesses grow their local economy. The money that you are putting into the business will either support the owner of the business or the business itself. In most cases this means the money goes back into the local community through living costs, employing local people or sourcing from local other businesses. In addition, they are a competition to the big companies and the ways they do business.

5. I’M SUPPORTING DREAMS

Running a small business or any size of a business is hard work and there aren’t many people who are prepared to do the work unless it is their dream and something they enjoy doing. So when you are spending your money on that business you are essentially helping to support the business owners dream. Later on, other young entrepreneurial spirits will look at that business owner and get the motivation to start their own business and the dream.

7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small - byLiiL

6. IT DRIVES INNOVATION

Small businesses drive innovation and push the economy and the market forward. We’ve seen the rise of small tech companies that drive the innovation in apps and products. It is funny, as it is the big companies that have the funds for this.

7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small - byLiiL

7. I GET BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE

Small businesses know that to get customers they have to treat every customer excellently. It is the loyal customers and their word of mouth that will support their business. Small business owners are thankful when you spend your money with them and will do their best to give you the best experience. They listen to feedback and respond and it is much easier to communicate with them.

I don’t always shop at small businesses, but I do try my best. Last Christmas I got most of the presents from small businesses and they were the best and most unique presents that I gave. And although I am spending more money when I shop at a small business, I get more joy of knowing that I supported somebody with their dream.

7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small - byLiiL

Pictures are from this pinterest board.

Do you shop at small businesses?

With love,

Lii

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15 things I am dreaming about just now – February edition

Warm and light spring days with long walks outside!

To get rid of the cactus in my throat.

Quick reading abilities. I have so many books to read and I am anxious to get through them.

Going to a sauna. The hot moist air that purifies the skin and the body of all toxins! (one of the only things I miss from Finland)

15 things I am dreaming about - byLiiL

A comfier couch. Ours is a poor resemblance of a couch which makes my back ache and it’s not actually comfy to sit on.

To not have to read any more upsetting news, at the same time I am so thankful to be able to know what is going around the world.

Uncorrupt media and world governments…

A really good tiramisu. I rarely want one, but for the past couple of weeks I’ve been looking out for the one, I would like to have.

15 things I am dreaming about - byLiiL

 

A holiday. Warm, with clear waters and good food, that is all I need.. and maybe some adventure 😀 With friends, with my family and with my loved ones!

Having more energy!

Pizza!

Some clarity in my mind.

15 things I am dreaming about - byLiiL

 

Understanding hashtags.

My own garden to plant herbs, fruits, veggies and flowers in it!

Being confident to speak out all of my opinions, not only here but in general.

 

What are you dreaming about just now?

With love,

Lii

Dreams of a Dining space

In our flat, we do not have a dining table. I eat breakfast and lunch at my desk and when we are eating dinner it is done on the couch watching tv or on occasion (when we have guests or it’s Christmas) we pull out my other work desk that we set for the dinner. Often, after work, I do enjoy watching a tv-show which distracts me from what has been going on during the day, however, often I also find it paralyses me on to the couch and I get frustrated easily.

Dreaming of a dining space - byLiiL

This is why when researching about healthy eating habits, I was not surprised to learn, that sitting at a table with your family or friends, without distractions such as TV, can be beneficial for your health. When you concentrate on what you eat you are more mindful about it and when you converse with somebody it makes you eat slower and you feel full quicker, thus you will not overeat. In addition, to me, sitting at a table and having to get up from it after dinner gives new energy to work on something else, rather than be stuck with a TV-show. Funnily enough, we often want to go out for a meal, because then we know that we will have a meaningful conversation.

Dreaming of a dining space - byLiiL

So recently I started dreaming of a dining area. I know there is no room in our current flat, but the more reason I can dream of one for our future flat and meanwhile try to dine without the TV on (wish me luck). I collected here some ideas of the dining area that I would enjoy eating at. Obviously, I would like to make the area sustainable, so a lot of items from recycled or otherwise sustainable sources. First things that come to mind are; foliage, thick repurposed wooden tables, comfy chairs, beautiful place mats and coasters to protect the table and copperware, which is supposed to have antibacterial properties (read more about it here).

Dreaming of a dining space - byLiiL

  • The ball lamps in picture 2 are just wonderful and made out of upcycled capiz shells, which are in abundance in Indonesia. I absolutely adore them. You can read more about the recycling method and find the lamp here.
  • The beautiful geometric acrylic lamp in picture 6 is made from recycled materials and I love the shading it gives on the walls. You can find the lamp here with the information about how it was made.
  • The copper table in picture 7 is so interesting. I know I said I would love a repurposed wood table, but that would be my option two. Don’t you just love the colours? The table is made by Arhaus and recycled as well. You can find more similar tables here.
  • Pictures 8 and 13 are visual of other items from Arhaus. I love that such a big company has built their success on making sustainable furniture (read more about it here). More companies should do that!
  • The lamp in picture 12 is made out of recycled plastic bottles. Only on closer inspection did I notice that and thought how cool the idea was! Check it out here.
  • Picture 15, although, over saturated, is close to the ideal dining space. Maybe a bit too much foliage, but everybody needs a lot of oxygen!
  • If you want to see more recycled furniture ideas check these four small shops 1, 2, 3 and 4, or if you liked the Arhaus check their dining room set here.
  • The rest of the pictures are from Pinterest and can be found on this board.

Do you dine at a family table or do you watch tv on the couch instead?

With love,

Lii

15 things I am dreaming about just now

A Skype talk with my mum – it’s been ages and talking to her really makes me grounded and happy!

Getting back to my healthy sleeping rhythm!

Some positive news about women’s rights and girl’s education!

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Superb cleaning abilities or a cleaning lady! Dumbledore or Sheldon might do as well..

Fresh peonies into my flat…

…In addition to a green corner with lots of potted plants!

Spacious workroom!

Long walk in a peaceful nature with beautifully blue sky!

A house next to a beach and mountains wouldn’t hurt either.

Extra time in a day to have time to do all I want and have to, procrastinate and relax!

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Mindful neighbours!

A holiday to see my family and friends in Finland!

A holiday to see my sister in her new flat, with the new cat in the new country!

A printer to ease my days.

The ability to be super creative and super organised and efficient at all times!

 

What are you dreaming about right now?

With love,

Lii

Pursuing your Dreams

 

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I am a strong believer in dreaming and pursuing your dreams. When I was only 7 years old I wished for a particular Barbie doll for a Christmas gift, and remember dreaming about it every day for about a month. Imagine my relief when I finally got it on Christmas eve! When I was in my teens I wished to move abroad to study, although I never believed my English to be strong enough for it, however, when the opportunity presented itself I went for it full heartedly and studied my way into University.

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In my life I’ve had many dreams, some which I would cry to the whole Universe, other which I like to keep to myself. But I was always dreaming and planning how to make those dreams come true.

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Dreaming gives me imagination and joy, but it also inspires me and powers me for when I am faced with problems or sadness. I remember a period in school, when I wasn’t particularly happy and I tended to dream through the classes without engaging to any of the teaching. This of course was not ideal, but when my mood was better I got back on track. Dreaming keeps me sane when I am depressed and helps me find my way to attain my goals.

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For long now, I have dreamt of making a job out of my hobby and I finally have. I opened my very own shop on Etsy selling my illustrations! This is really scary and at the same time very exciting for me, however, I determine to stay excited as I have such big plans for my shop! I do not want reveal them all just now, but I promise to keep you the loop of what is happening. If you wish to see any more of my illustrations check the “shop” page of my website or go to my Etsy shop. Please also bear in mind that the colours do vary depending on the screen resolution.

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Do you like dreaming? Do you have attained some big dream of yours?

With love,

Lii