A few days ago, a post by @Soultanicals was circulating on Instagram about how big, name-brand beauty products (hair products) are undercutting smaller, black-owned businesses (B.O.B.) and essentially forcing them off the shelves.
The post talked about hair care brands, but if we're being honest, this probably happens across all types of industries not just the beauty industry.
But it made me think... I found myself feeling bad, because there are about 5 brands on this photo, that I thought were black-owned and aren't. I take pride in supporting black business owners, especially small business owners. Why? Because they work hard and 9 times out of 10, their products are better than major brands anyway.🤷 I said, what I said!
But like most people, I can't always afford it. The main reason I'm not a product junkie is because I simply can't afford to be, but I try to support whenever I can, however I can.
I want to make sure that I'm doing my part, so, I asked a small business owner.
I'm sure most people know Ty, she's the founder of Naturally United Curls @NaturallyUnitedCurls, and Cake Batter extraordinaire! I wanted to know what I could do to support her, and small businesses in general, when I don't have the money to actually buy their products.
Here is her list, and honestly, it's simple and we can all do these things!
Sharing their posts on your social media platforms- This! EVERY SINGLE product that I use on my hair, I found out about via word of mouth (including Cake Batter.) I joined this community because I needed the help and was starting from scratch. I continue to meet awesome ladies and men who offer that help without hesitation. They share products they love, and I know I can trust them to give me honest feedback. If you love a product/ company, SHARE IT!
Forward their emails- And I'll add to this, subscribe to their email lists. I get it, we all get a ton of emails. If you don't want to have emails that aren't a high priority, coming into your inbox, you can filter them into another folder and check them when you have time. If you need help setting up a filter, I GOT YOU! And as a side note, if you’re low on money, you should really subscribe to email lists because many brands announce sales and giveaways via email FIRST, and sometimes, exclusively-don't miss out on a good deal because you aren't on their email list!
Share the links to their website- I usually share the actual Instagram page so that they can follow as well as check out the website. <3
Share your feedback and testimony- If you're on Instagram it takes two seconds to post a quick story and give a shout out to the brand, not everyone wants to do full-on review videos and not every has to. A quick shout out with a tag for the company, will get the job done! And be honest. Not everything will work for everyone and that's OK.
Smaller brands typically don't have millions of dollars to spend on a marketing budget, or trials to see if people like their products, they know because people tell them-so tell them.
5. Share samples of what you ordered with others- Now I don't know about all that, Ty! Bae can barely get me to share my Cake Batter with him lol! But this makes sense. I actually won a giveaway once (shout out to @ChrissyCurls_) where I received a sample of Curl Mix gel. BOOM! Now I know what Curl Mix is, and yes it is now on my list of brands to try. I've also seen this done with products that didn't necessarily work out for the person who is providing the sample, but they still want someone else to have the opportunity to try it. Again, not everything will work for everyone.
6. Do someone’s hair using your stash- This is really a combination of word of mouth and sharing your samples with an added bonus of actually giving someone a demo on how to use the products. Doesn't get any better than that!
7.Use their hashtags and tag them on posts- You're going to use tags anyway. So try to make sure that you use the # that the brand uses. I'm guilty of forgetting to do this, but I do always remember to tag the actual page even if I forget the hashtag.
These are just a few things we can all do to help support small, black-owned business, when we don't have the $$$ to support financially . It's so so so important that we support each other and and guess what, fam? You can start right now!
Trymyfab @Trymyfab is participating in the FedEx Small Business Grant Context to help get their app the funding it needs!
Take literally less than 30 seconds (I timed it) out of your day, and go vote for them via the FedEx website, linked HERE you can vote once PER DAY through April 1st, that's Monday!
I get it, most of us are not balling, but we can help in so many other ways. The next time you're thinking "I wish I could support but I just don't have the money right now," remember that you have other, non-monetary ways of supporting small, black-owned businesses.