Today on the blog, small business owner, Brittany Raji,is giving you an exclusive look into her experiences as a small business owner. Take look into what goes into the magic of entrepreneurship:
Hey, SlayBaes, Hey:
This year has been a huge stretch for me, with relocating across the country and expanding my worldview.
Moving to California and the Bay Area itself has truly been an eye-opening and life-
changing experience. I’m in one of the world’s fashion hubs and tech-industry capital. It totally shifted things in my business. Both for the good and bad.
Once a mind has been expanded it can never go back to its original size.
The Bay Area is such a fast paced life compared to my hometown St. Louis. The rat-race is real. Everything and everyone is in a hurry and things are constantly changing. Fashion is evolving faster than can it be produced or replicated by consumers.
My first visit to the Goodwill here I was in complete Heaven. Many of the items there were barely worn and it better shape than I had ever seen. A lot of items brand new. Everything was unbelievably cheap!
See, people here don’t spend much on clothing because they buy so much of it very often. In fact, since I’ve move here in the short 9 months there have been at least three Ross department stores opened not far from one another.
I’ve learned that big business has figured out and capitalized on Walmart model. When things are cheaper people buy more and come back faster. They buy more because they feel it is “affordable,” but in reality they are spending more because the quality is not the same.
Many big name retailers have followed this same model. Making massive quantities in third world countries, where they can pay the workers less than fair wages to cut costs of production and increase profit margins. The result of this massive fast fashion industry is overflow of goods in thrift stores, fair-wage artisans and indie designers suffer trying to compete with big box retailers.
Recently, I watched a documentary on Netlflix called “The True Cost.” It confirmed this reality and exposed many large companies who exploit countries like India. People are literally dying for people to wear cheap clothes.
As a designer, who partners with African manufacturers, I’ve struggled to compete with china replicas of modern African Ankara Style. My teams in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya are fair-trade co-op who make very good income producing my accessories for Beauty Impact Accessories.
I’m very proud to join the social entrepreneurial world with sustainable fashions. This journey is not easy because our materials cost more and production of quality take more time. However, we rarely have customers complain about something falling apart. The truth is you get what you pay for and great things take time.
The next time you’re out shopping think about the true cost of what you are buying. If someone had to work in sweatshop for 12 hours for $11 a day. Then, after you wear it once or twice it falls apart. Make your selections wisely.
Learn more about Beauty Impact Accessories at www.shopbeautyimpact.com