Have you ever had a dream?
• To hike to the top of Kilimanjaro?
• To indulge on a crusty baguette and a wedge of soft brie in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower?
• To compete in the Olympics as a platform diver?
• To have lots of babies and revel in the chaos of a large family?
• To open a small shop selling goods made by HAND in the USA?
Many of us have a dream that quietly nudges us in the back of our mind. Some of us ignore these nudges and continue on our existing paths; others act on these nudges by taking a giant leap. At Laughing Frog Studio our dream was to make things with our hands and to sell to people who loved our work. In 2011 we took a giant leap and started a small shop selling handmade ucpcycled silverware jewelry, accessories, including spoon rings, silverware keychains, knife bell necklaces, etc.
We are absolutely elated when we make a sale. Literally each sale is like a shot of adrenaline, dopamine or serotonin (there may actually be some science here) that just makes us so happy. We do a little happy dance from the thrill and excitement of our dream being validated and supported: that is absolutely amazing.
We are not alone in our desire to have our dreams validated. Each new small business is started with a dream in mind. So much time, energy, money, physicality and passion goes into starting a small business; if it weren’t about fulfilling a dream, the endeavor would simply be a total time (and resource) suck. So, as small business owners, when we start making sales and see that our dream is supported, that is EVERYTHING! Megan DeCicco of Solutions on 2nd, the company that started the #Buysmallsavesmall Instagram mission, is spot on when she says “For a small business owner getting a new order for your shop is great; but knowing your dreams are supported is priceless.” At Laughing Frog Studio, we couldn’t agree more.
Megan DeCicco is passionate about small businesses and is the brainchild behind the Buy Small Save Small mission. The purpose of the mission to help small businesses thrive and survive in one (or more!) of three ways:
- Spreading the word
- Exploring new businesses
As part of the Buy Small Save Small mission, Megan has taken the #shopall50 pledge to shop all 50 states while utilizing social media to get the word out about all the small businesses she is discovering. At Laughing Frog Studio, we have also taken the #shopall50 pledge – you can follow our progress on our website.
Now are you ready to get started validating small business owner’s dreams? It’s super easy!
1. You can simply interact with and share their social media posts (as that is usually small business’s only means of advertising).
2. And you can start shopping with small businesses across the USA. In case you don’t know where to start, we gotcha covered with 5 Small Businesses to Support Right Now.
Here are 5 Small Businesses to Support Right Now
Follow these businesses on social media, interact with and share their social media posts, and, if you have the means, shop their online stores.
1. The Paper Hug Factory, Tulsa, OK
We discovered the Paper Hug Factory well before the #buysmallsavesmall movement. In fact, I think we discovered her before COVID. Anyhow, we have been a huge fan for awhile.
Tyff Johnson is the artist/owner of Paper Hug Factory, and she is amazing with a capital “A”. Tyff creates handmade greeting cards that “exude thoughtfulness and impact the heart.” In fact Tyff calls what she does her “heart hustle”. How cute is that?
Tyff makes greeting cards that are truly one-of-a-kind and custom to you. You send her a photo and she will create a custom, stylized, layered paper, piece of art based on your photo! Her creations are just so unique; her work is just amazing. You gotta see it to understand it, so rush over to her Instagram and take a look!
Here is the photo I sent to her alongside the custom card she made for me.
I am actually going to frame the card and hang it in our studio.
We purchased from The Paper Hug Factory as part of our pledge to #buysmallsavesmall. To view our unboxing video for the Paper Hug Factory click here.
2. One Love Candle & Bath, Loves Park, IL
One Love Candle & Bath is the heart and soul of Stephanie Franchini. We met as vendors at Nellie’s Barn Sale in Roscoe, Illinois in 2014. After Nellie's, I reached out to Stephanie about her Monarch Butterfly conservation blog post, read more here. Since then we have kept in contact off and on over the years.
One Love Candle and bath specializes in handcrafted personal and home scented products. They have a line of soaps, lotions, body butters, bath bombs, shower steamers, soy candles, home products and more. One Love’s goal is to offer luxury products while maintaining environmental awareness, sustainability, and fair-trade practices. It really is all about one love!
We bought the Buzz Kill All Natural Insect Repelling Pure Soy Candle as part of our #shopall50 pledge. Since we live in a warm climate and spend loads of time on the porch, this super effective candle has been very useful!
You can view our unboxing here.
3. Kae Apothecary, Mt. Vernon, IA
Kae Apothecary is located in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Home of @cornellcollege which is where Matt and I met, so Mt. Vernon is very special place for us. I asked my college friend Stephanie Parish West, whom lives in Mt. Vernon, for suggestions for small businesses in Mt. Vernon that she loved. One of several shops she suggested was Kae Apothecary.
Kae Apothecary is an extremely unique shop in that it “provides self-care for the modern mystic by offering intentionally prepared products for your personal rituals.” To be honest, I don’t think you will find too many stores with this mission. Additionally, the array of products and services they offer is broad and stellar! From Numerology Readings (via zoom) to herbal teas to ritual supplies (Bits and Bobbles for Personal Ritual and Spell Casting to Focus, Cast, Cleanse, Bless) to general self-care and more!
As part of our pledge to the #buysmallsavesmall mission, we ordered a charcoal and bamboo toothbrush, a shower aromatherapy tablet and a Mt. Vernon coffee mug. The mug and toothbrush get used all the time.
You can view our unboxing here.
4. Good & Well Boutique, Houston, TX
We met Trissa Rosette in 2019 shortly after having moved to Texas. We were doing our first Texas market (@fleaatsilverstreet) and the Good & Well was parked across from our booth…yes I said “Parked”. Good & Well is a mobile boutique housed in a gorgeous 1968 Airstream named Happy. To be honest it is a genius idea! If you’ve ever done a show/event, you know how exhausting it can be setting up and breaking down.
The Good & Well Boutique is also online and offers handmade and small-batch goods made by women makers from all over the country. The goods are exclusively American from over 15 American makers. Even better, Good & Well gives back! They give a percentage of their sales to different causes. Right now they are supporting Kids Lives Matter International, INROADS, Just College Students Project, and Susan G. Koman Foundation.
At Good & Well you will find the cutest curated collection of goods in apparel, gifts, accessories, self-care and housewares. We love the Old Whaling Co. body butter and while we personally have not tried Soberdough Bread (we’re gluten free), we have heard the Soberdough Bread kits are to die for!
Furthermore, Trissa is just such a sweetheart and a joy to work with, she will take good care of you. I mean, it's what you would expect from a boutique named Good & Well, right?
5. The Roan Cow Soap Company, Twin Falls, ID
Last, but certainly not least is The Roan Cow Soap Company - they make super gorgeous soaps and body products. All their products are handmade in small batches without chemicals using their own fragrance blends. Plus, the names of their products are downright hysterical and will make you smile as you shop their website.
I found The Roan Cow whilst perusing get Product Powerhouse Podcast website. This website is a phenomenal resource for small business tips for businesses that sell products online. Check them out @product.powerhouse, they have loads and loads of very specific and easy to understand tips. Hey lookey there, you get a bonus small business recommendation today!
As part of our pledge to the #buysmallsavesmall mission, we ordered Charred Mint Body Butter and The Boss Cow wire cut soap. We’re saving the bar of soap as a gift. I use the body butter EVERY morning and EVERY night on my feet, it’s amazing! In fact, I need to order more and will do so after I post this blog! You can view our unboxing here.
By the way, we have shopped several of our recommended shops more than once and this one of those shops. My daughter worked as a wrangler in Wyoming this summer. This was her first time ever doing a job like this and she called me and begged “SEND LOTION my hands are trashed!” Naturally, I sent her some body butter since I knew it was so effective.
C'mon, let's do all we can to help small businesses survive and thrive! Remember, while shopping their websites is wonderful, buying from them is not the ONLY way to support small businesses. Helping businesses spread the word about their shop is a great way to help them as well! It super easy! Share their social media posts, comment on the posts, tag friends, save the posts, email/text friends when you receive a promotion!
At Laughing Frog Studio, we have taken the pledge to #buysmallsavesmall and #shopall50 with a $20 purchase at small businesses throughout the USA. As always, we try to share and promote small businesses on social media whenever we can.
Laughing Frog Studio
Every creation you purchase from Laughing Frog Studio is made by me or Matt -that’s it! There are only two of us and we employ all of the imperfectly perfect, painstakingly glorious handmade methods of creating. You will receive an authentically unique, beautiful truly handmade, upcycled silverware creation from the two of us that is made with love.
Laughing Frog Studio’s mission is to create high-quality, handmade, unique and one-of-a-kind upcycled vintage silverware jewelry, accessories and housewares that enchant the creative spirit, honor the eco-friendly lifestyle, and spread kindness and a sprinkle of humor as often as possible.
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