This season, we’re shopping small.
Online shopping has officially become the norm. With more and more brick-and-mortar stores shifting to online retail and the pandemic curbing in-person opportunities, there’s no doubt that e-commerce is booming. And we’re not here to complain—there’s nothing we love more than scrolling through our favorite shopping sites (though dangerous when your credit card is on auto-fill). But widespread accessibility to the same collections increases the likelihood of showing up to a group dinner all wearing the same top by tenfold. Even worse, if you’re not wearing the same top, you can almost guarantee that at least one friend has thought about adding yours to their own cart while perusing the same site. So how to differentiate?
We’re letting you in on our secret shopping sauce: Instagram. The platform’s increasing shopping efforts and access to billions of users has given smaller brands a way to not only showcase their goods, but better yet, sell them. With increased exposure via social media, new designers have unprecedented opportunities to launch a business. In the design world, likes, shares, and saves mean a lot more than social clout—oftentimes, they lead to rapid growth and access to an entirely new and global consumer base. Instagram has cut out the middleman and allowed designers to deliver their products and collections directly to their followers (finally, a DM slide we can get behind).
Instagram has given designers easy access to a direct-to-consumer model that limits the amount of overhead needed to launch a brand. This means more independent designers have an ability to create and sell products, without the cost of brick-and-mortar or e-commerce logistics centers. Smaller designers can take orders on the platform directly and ship small batch orders out themselves. By cutting the cost of entering the industry, Instagram has opened the doors for anyone and everyone for a shot at success.er
In addition to Instagram creating a much-needed platform for small designers, it has also fostered a sense of community amongst brands. Through Instagram’s discovery features, many designers are forging friendships and partnerships that provide a sense of comradery in the industry like never before. The platform has also created a stronger bond between designers and consumers, easily facilitating communication between the two and allowing designers to receive feedback on what consumers actually want to see from them.
This season, we’ve made a commitment to shopping small, and Instagram is a great way to find and support small businesses. Below, find a list of accounts we can’t wait to purchase from.
Discover Our Favorites:
Taryn Liberman began designing as a hobby, using unique towels to create designs reminiscent of the 1970s. Her one-of-a-kind pieces are all hand-made, and she sells solely via direct message on Instagram.
Room Shop designer Shelly Horst initially built a following on Instagram through selling vintage, but quickly realized that small batches of the same product would be easier to manage from an inventory standpoint. She set out to design the largest scrunchie she possibly could, and the rest is history.
Bakar Store sells hand printed pieces that are designed in Spain and produced in India, all via Instagram direct messaging. The bright prints and breezy silhouettes make for the perfect addition to your vacation packing list.
The Series creates unique pieces using preexisting materials. All pieces are made in New York and are seasonless, genderless, and for all body types.
Designer Halima doesn’t have a website, so slide into her DMs to purchase one of her hand-made crochet pieces. She’s also taking orders for custom designs.
Hotel Elma creates playful homeware that sells out almost instantly, so turn on your Instagram post notifications to find out about restocks. Pieces are an instant-mood booster and add the perfect energy to any dinner party.
Lot28 is a sister-founded jewelry brand that is responsibly made in NYC. Their pieces are quirky and fun, and you can direct message them on Instagram for custom commissions.
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