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Supporting Small Businesses

The global pandemic has hit and caused destruction worldwide, and though it may not be seen through structural damage, communities have lost so much. Many have lost their loved ones (may they rest in peace), lost their jobs/ way of supporting their family and businesses have continued to close left and right due to lack of income operating through their doors. It has been a nightmare to live through and we all are praying for peace and normality, although this seems like it’ll be the new normal for a while. And although we may no longer be able to embrace each other how we used to, people have found new ways to show their love and support to one another. What we have seen throughout quarantine is the huge love and support that has come together for small businesses and if you aren’t supporting yet, then what are you waiting for?

It seems that as time goes on all these well-known businesses have continued to file for bankruptcy due to COVID-19, such as Neiman Marcus, JCPenney, Lord and Taylor, to name a few. It’s heartbreaking to see how stores we grew up loving are now forced to close down because of the amount of loss the businesses have suffered. Times are definitely different, to say the least, which is why we should change our shopping habits and begin or continue to support small businesses who make their living off their sales. For starters, small business owners are completely invested in their business and are always looking out for their customers’ best interests. They take feedback from their customers so that they can learn to improve their business whether they’re negative or positive. Small business owners are also part of the process from start to finish, meaning that they’re responsible for finding inspiration, collecting materials for products, making products, packaging products and so much more. It's a much more rewarding experience for both the entrepreneur and customer. This a great way to spread love through your community, I’ve listed down below some amazing startups that are worth the watch.

Velvet Lush Boutique, Located in Montclair, NJ

“Velvet Lush, a premier lifestyle brand, was founded by Tiffany Montesino. Located in Montclair, NJ the brand’s flagship location hosts a contemporary ambiance with a collection of curated pieces. All items are hand-selected and styled for the exclusive clientele, trendsetters, and fashionistas alike.” (Velvet Lush Boutique)

PriddNewYork/ Priddkids, Located in NJ

“Inspired and filled with determination as well as frustration, I made a list of what I thought an ideal brand for myself and my kids would be that is when my fourth baby, Pridd New York, was born!  A brand dedicated to making staple chic separates that are simplistic and can be mixed and matched for woman children & maternity, all while being transparent from start to finish using top quality fabrics from 100% cotton to sustainable fabrics. In addition to using the best quality fabrics, PNY is also a NYC-made brand that is manufactured in a family-owned factory. In addition, we are conscious about our impact on the earth and want to decrease our carbon footprint by recycling any pieces our customers may not want or fit anymore. PNY is family-inspired, family-made and family-owned.” (PriddNewYork)

Baciami Lips, Located in USA (found on Tiktok)

“Handmade, and cruelty-free beauty. Our products are made with natural ingredients, and a touch of whimsical design. We believe in beauty without cruelty; all products are tested on ourselves and our friends, never on animals.” The packaging is super cute and who doesn’t love lip gloss?

Nayely Hernandez is a fashion studies major student at Montclair State University. She has been passionately obsessed with fashion since the age of 7 and is excited for her future in the industry. She is currently running her start up face mask business, trying to keep everyone safe yet stylish one mask at a time. Aside from fashion, she enjoys watching telenovelas with her mom with a side of chips and guac. Check out some of her content on Instagram: @jelly_4_life
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