For Women’s History Month,
Support Your Local GirlBoss (Even on a Budget)
If you’ve seen the news at all lately, you may have noticed that major stores, like Barnes and Noble, Sears, Toys’R’Us, and at least 16 other MAJOR chains are closing across the US. With Amazon and free returns, especially, there’s almost no reason to even set foot in a big box retailer. Many of these stores may be failing because they do not offer products Millennials and Gen Z-ers want: unique, local products, with an experience or meaning attached, from ethical companies.
BUT, nearly HALF of all new businesses close within five years, and only one-third will survive for 10 years, so this isn’t a problem that *just* big businesses face.
Hrm. That’s a little scary, even for major corporations.
You may also know that women- particularly black women– are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs. Female entrepreneurs have pushed the limits of what’s possible. You may know and love some amazing female entrepreneurs: shop/boutique owners, authors, directors, makers, crafters, DIYers, that make your community awesome.
How can YOU help these people keep doing great things, even if you’re on a budget?
- Buy their stuff.
This is obvious, but it’s the big one! If you like someone’s product, buy it directly from them if possible. Amazon is great- it offers tons of variety and can get someone’s product to a huge audience, but they also take a large percentage of each sale.
Buying things directly from the creator, or a local intermediate (like, ordering from a local bookstore), gives the most money to the creator, and can help other local businesses as well. Plus, less shipping = less cost to you and less cost to the Earth.
So, if you have the money, buy the CD, see the movie, buy the book, eat at the local diner, buy the t-shirt, take the yoga class. If not, that’s OK too, there are lots more ways to support your favorite girlboss or woman-owned enterprise.
2. Write a review.
You are an influencer! Your friends are more likely to buy something if YOU tell them you love it, so use your powers to boost your faves. If you buy/read/watch/do something and love it, leave a review on a site like Google, Facebook, GoodReads, Amazon, or even a blog. You’ll help a business owner boost her profile!
3. Get on social media.
Use your influencer powers on social media to reach your circle of friends. If you loved a library book, Tweet about it. If you took a great yoga class, scored something awesome at a local store, or ate the world’s best cookie at a local bakery, post about it on social media so your friends know where to go. Like, comment on, and share your fave boss lady’s posts so their message can reach your friends.
4. Get stuff for free (from the library).
If your fave books, movies, CDs, or even games are at your local or school library, check them out. Libraries track which books are checked out, and use that to decide what to buy next. If your faves are NOT at the library, request them! You can also ask your local library to host an author as part of her book tour- many libraries do this- and you and your friends can meet the next NYT best seller for free.
5. Send a thank you.
If you adore someone’s work, TELL THEM! Send them an email or a DM to let them know how much you enjoy their music, book, product or service. While Demi Lovato may receive thousands of fan mails a day, a smaller artist may not, and might really appreciate your message.
Even on a tight budget, you can support the girlbosses you love so that their businesses can continue to thrive!
Who’s your favorite girlboss and how do you support her and her business?