Black Friday amongst the handmade and small business community is a very taboo subject.  Margins are tight so they can compete with the big corporations (although we really shouldn’t be), marketing is a scary word that eats all your money, and everyone seems to want something for nothing.

But many small businesses are embracing Black Friday, using it as an opportunity to get their name out there, show what they can do and offering handmade to the masses as a cost-effective alternative to the Internet Giants.

We all see in the news that many large businesses such as Amazon, John Lewis and Currys PC World increase the prices of popular products in the weeks before Black Friday to offer you a “bargain” on the day itself1.

Whilst this is totally legal, is it really ethical?

When you see a Black Friday offer from a handmade business you are getting a genuine deal.  We’ve not increased our prices in the last few months only to reduce them back to where they normally are, we are still offering you the same quality items and in many cases the discount is our way of saying Thank You.  Thank you for supporting us through the year, for commenting on our posts on Facebook, re-tweeting our tweets on Twitter and liking our pictures on Instagram.

It is also a way that we can make our products a little more affordable to those on lower budgets, we know that Christmas is a tough time of year and we know that it can get expensive.  We ourselves usually set up business in the first place to pay with bills and treat our kids.  Offering our loyal followers a chance to save a few pennies at this time of year is something we embrace and makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

We will still spend the same amount of time and effort creating your most wonderful item and worry incessantly that it might not quite be right.  We lovingly package it up and pop it in the post to you, ever aware of the approaching last posting dates or the whispers of a postal strike.  These pieces are usually handmade with your specific requirements, perhaps you’ve asked to change the fabric or amend the text slightly or ask for it a bit bigger or smaller.  We will always try and accommodate your request and create something that you are proud to gift to someone else and hope that they will forever look fondly on it.

“That’s the thing with handmade items. They still have the person’s mark on them, and when you hold them, you feel less alone.” ― Aimee Bender

Handmade items are a lovely way of creating a unique and personal gift that you just can’t find anywhere else, a chance to really capture your receiver’s enthusiasm for this lovely time of year.  And it is not only an opportunity to buy something completely bespoke, but you are also able to support a small handmade business along the way.

Handmade gifts can be found on a variety of websites including Etsy, The British Craft House and Folksy, these websites are a fabulous collection of individual artisans.  It’s like walking down a cobbled back alley and finding an absolute gem of a shop but then stepping outside and finding that the next shop is equally as gorgeous, and the next, and the next…  The owners of these small businesses are people like you and me, they have a family at home, bills to pay and children to entertain.  They offer Black Friday deals because, from the bottom of their heart, they want to offer something back to you, whether you have bought from them since they started or you have just stumbled upon them.

This Black Friday we ask that you support the Little Kittens and not the Fat Cats

Author: Emma Hannay, owner of Stamped With Love

Emma creates beautiful hand stamped jewellery, keyrings and keepsakes from her home in Havant, Hampshire.  They are all lovingly personalised with your own text and her gifts are available at www.stampedwithlove.uk or on Etsy at www.emmastampedwithlove.etsy.com

1. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50551415