It’s #smallbusinesssaturday and that calls for showing my face (with a professional photo taken by another small business, no less!) and introducing myself. I’m Dana, the owner/designer and everything-elser behind the brand. When people email me, many expect that I have a “team,” but it’s literally just this pair of hands. They do everything. “Everything” turns out to be more than you can imagine, before you start out running a small business. There are 24 million+ small businesses in the US with no employees—which means there are a whole heck of a lot of us wearing the owner/designer/customer service rep/photographer/stylist/shipping manager/bookkeeper (my least favorite part)/webmaster/marketing manager/data analyst/inventory tracker/materials source-r/event coordinator hats all at the same time. Some days I feel like I manage it all well; but most days I’m just figuring it out as I go!

Third & Co. Studio handmade semiprecious stone jewelry, made in Grand Rapids Michigan

It’s been an interesting year for everyone; small businesses and makers especially, and I hope you give your favorites (whoever they may be) an outpouring of love this season. While it’s hard to have the general public expect that small businesses compete with big box stores and majorly discount their products on this day, I also am incredibly grateful to have built a customer base who’s patronage I can honor by running a sale this weekend. Part of supporting small businesses involves understanding that the reason big stores can massively discount products and give you free shipping is because they’re marking up prices that much to begin with. It’s too much of a blanket statement to say all, but many big-box products ARE extremely cheap to produce when they’re made with low-wage labor, no environmental considerations, and disposable components.

As a maker of (ultimately) unnecessary but joyful things, it is probably a poor business plan to tell you to buy less, but I truly hope we all do... and when we DO buy, to do so thoughtfully and with the folks behind those made-by-hand things in mind. I am sincerely grateful for those who choose to invest in Third & Co. Studio. Please take advantage of the 20% off Etsy sale which includes all ready to ship one-of-a-kinds and teardrop necklaces. The sale runs now through #cybermonday so everyone can take time and gift thoughtfully-made things to themselves and their loved ones this year. And thank you a thousand times over for shopping small business this holiday season!

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