Introducing The Holiday Shop

Why You Should Shop Small Businesses This Holiday Season

Shopping internet-local has never been more important, says Instagram’s Leigh Belz Ray.

The 2021 holiday season will be huge for small businesses the world over. As Meta reports, 20% of surveyed businesses expect to earn more than half their annual revenue in the last three months of the year. With 57% of people planning to do their holiday gifting online, it makes more sense than ever to put your hard earned cash back into the small, local, and independent brands helping digital and IRL communities thrive.

To help you do that, Bustle is excited to partner with Instagram and @shop to spotlight some exciting small businesses in The Holiday Shop. Over the next four weeks, we will be sharing Reels, Instagram Stories, and Guides across @bustle and @bustleuk, all geared towards helping you shop internet-local. “People want to know who they are buying something from — whether it’s sustainable, whether they’re supporting a minority owned brand,” says Instagram’s @shop lead Leigh Belz Ray. “ Instagram is a great place for that discovery to take place.”

Since Jan. 1 2021, the hashtag #shopsmall has grown more than 20% in followers, and of the 800+ global brands that @shop features, a high percentage are woman-owned, minority-owned, and/or sustainable. To kick off the partnership, we sat down with Belz Ray to learn more about the importance of shopping small, her favorite independent businesses, and how to get started.

How To Find Small Businesses On Instagram

Our @shop team helps curate product collections on the Instagram Shop tab. Just tap on the shopping bag icon at the bottom of the screen and you'll see the "Holiday Picks" sub destination from our team of editors, personalized recommendations, new exclusive products, and more that you can shop right in the app using checkout.

How To Support Small Businesses If You Can’t Buy

It might sound obvious but if you love a business, share it with your friends and family on Instagram! The power of word of mouth is still so vital for small businesses.

Plus you should spend time talking to your favourite brands. If you love a product, let them know too or take the time to give your favourite brands feedback on what you want to see more of. It can go a long way.

The Impact Of Supporting Small Businesses

Every purchase really impacts small business – especially right now, when so many are dealing with added stress around supply chain issues, shipping challenges and more. Repeat business to a brand you love can have such an impact.

Small Businesses To Check Out On Instagram

I love @mirandabennettstudio’s dresses and wrap tops, especially for festive moments. All of Miranda’s pieces are designed, dyed, cut and sewn in Austin, TX — we went down and filmed a video of how they use plant dyes to get their amazing tones a few years back and it was so amazing to see a piece be created from start to finish in such a sustainable, ethical way.

I have purchased amazing ceramic bowls, dishes and more from @eastforkpottery for two different occasions in the past month — the pieces are so special that they make really amazing gifts.

Like the @shop audience, I’ve been really excited about jewelry recently and love the pieces I’ve gotten from @bingbangnyc -- between the two you’re covered in terms of really special earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets.

Stay tuned on @bustle, @bustleuk, and @shop for more festive shopping recommendations.