Here at Pretty Handy, we are huge supporters of small businesses, crafters, and makers. And here is why!
I previously worked at a small home textiles importing company for 7+ years, and there have been great experiences and terrible ones. I'm sure you'll hear about both in future posts.
Pro: You do everything.
It was great working at a small company because I really had the opportunity to wear a lot of hats. I had my hands in everything and, for the most part, didn't have a specific task I had to do every single work day of the year. I learned a lot, from product design, package design, b2b sales, home fashion, trends, b2c sales, showroom design, working with China, working with clients, working with a team, hiring and firing, and so much more. Everything I thought I could do, became my project.
Con: You learn a lot.
You learn a lot being part of a small team! But learning too much is not always a good thing. I learned that business people are sneaky, untrustworthy, and all about money. Of course we all love money - but to what ends are we willing to go for it? Harm hundreds and thousands of people? For some, the answer is 'yes'.
Here's an example:
We had this super trendy, great selling style that included metallic detail. Metallic is all the rage in home decor, so naturally, we made hundreds of thousands of units in different patterns and colors. One of the retailers we worked with at the time required testing (which is great! I want to feel comfortable with items that I am purchasing, knowing that it won't burn my house down or poison my family).
The test results came in, and we learned that the toxicity level in the item was almost 11 times the legal limit! With hundreds of thousands of units already made, what do we do? The CEO decides that we would produce 15,000 units (the first batch to ship), that would pass testing. Random units would be selected from that batch, and would naturally pass testing. Afterwards, the already produced units that did not pass, would ship out accordingly under the radar.
Super shady business - and not okay in my book! We are endangering the lives of how many hundreds and thousands people in all these households? Ouch! But okay, I work for you - and that is your decision. Carry on.
A little bit of time passes, and metallic is still all the rage. What is the CEO's new, innovative idea to make more money? Combine 3 great trends - Metallic. Kids. Bedding. Well, well, well - isn't that a wonderful, but horrific idea. Yes, I am your designer, and I can make that absolutely adorable, salable, and cute. But wait - isn't the quality of our metallic detail poisonous? I bring it up my concern and what is the CEO's reply? "We have good insurance."
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Now, this is just one example of why we created Pretty Handy. We are turning our focus to locally owned businesses. Why? They care! They care about the details, and they care about you. And not to mention, there are tons of benefits for buying local goods!
We hope that that you subscribe to this blog, and join us in our journey - exploring everything from the food you eat, and the sheets that you sleep on. Can you grow it yourself? Make it yourself? Where are you purchasing things from? Do they have good intentions? We will be reconsidering everything that we interact with in an effort to create a healthier, happier, more beautiful lifestyle.
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As always, we'd love to hear what you think - even if you disagree with us! Share with us your experiences, ideas, products, thoughts, etc.
Joyce & Rob