While most little girls like to play house and dress up, I liked to play “Keri’s Flower Shop.” That’s right – at age eight, I had a pretend flower shop under my parents’ deck, where my best friend Brandi and I would play shop. We planted, nurtured and “sold” our flowers to our neighborhood friends (complete with a fake cash register and handmade sign painted on an old piece of wood).

From a very young age, I always thought I’d have my own business. But after college, I took a corporate job and, until a couple of years ago when I started Moonlight + Sage, thought starting a small business was not in the cards for me. But here I am – working a full-time job while trying to run and grow my business. Some days, it feels like the best and most exciting decision I ever made. Many days, however, I wonder how other small business owners do it all!  

But there is something very rewarding about having your own business and it really comes down to the connections you create with clients, as well as with other small business owners. Hearing feedback from clients on how you’ve impacted their life is incredibly rewarding and is what keeps me motivated!

So, as you prepare for the holiday season – whether you’re shopping for gifts, picking up specialty groceries for a family gathering, or getting your skin and hair ready for your office holiday party, here are a few reasons to support small businesses: 

YOU Matter to Small Business Owners

Small businesses strive to survive and one of the biggest advantages we have over large companies is the ability to connect with our customers and provide a more personal, hands-on and memorable experience. I love getting to know my clients, as well as other small business owners and their staff. It creates a wonderful sense of community, which helps to make living in a city have more of a small town, community feel.

Your Dollars Support the Local Economy

Speaking of community, supporting small businesses keeps money within the community and enhances the local economy. On average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses gets recirculated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores (source: Civic Economics).

Your Business Excites Us 

You’ve probably seen the Instagram post that says, “When you buy handmade instead of from a large corporation, an actual person does a happy dance.” It’s so true! Whether it’s selling product or getting booked for a salon service, your business makes a positive impact on our day! 

We Support Other Small Businesses

We know what a grind it is to be a small business owner. At Bow & Arrow, Kellyn and Jill stock a number of products from local makers and other small shops, including Vessel Candle Co. candles and handmade cards by a local North End resident (and client!) jhcards. At Moonlight + Sage, we’ve created the Karma Collective section of our site where we sell products from other makers that are complementary to our own. 

We Strive to Create a Better Experience for YOU

Small businesses often can’t compete on price or free overnight shipping, so we have to differentiate on quality and experience. You’ll notice the difference when doing business with small shops versus large chains. Just take a step into the salon and you’ll feel the different vibe!

When you’re visiting Bow & Arrow for your holiday appointments this month, we encourage you to check out the other great small businesses in our neighborhood. Pick up unique gifts and décor at Loft & Vine, Shake the Tree and Ensemble. Get dressed for your holiday parties at Lit and in-jean-ius. Stop in Salumeria Italiana for delicious meats and cheeses to bring to your family party (don’t forget to swing by Boston Bottle for a great bottle of wine!). Grab a coffee at Thinking Cup or recharge at The Juicery. This neighborhood has so much to offer thanks to small business owners!

Happy holidays!