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Buying in the Age of Amazon: Why It's More Important Than Ever to Shop Small

Buying in the Age of Amazon: Why It's More Important Than Ever to Shop Small

Think of the last thing you bought on Amazon. Do you remember who the seller was? And, if so, do you know anything about their company and its values? I’ll be honest—much of the time, I sure don’t! But that’s something I’m working to change.

Amazon can be a double-edged sword for small shop owners. On the plus side, as an Amazon seller you don’t have to worry about creating your own online store or attracting traffic—Amazon brings that all to you. But it’s this same feature that can hurt independent designers in the long run: while they might get money from buyers like you and me, they likely won’t garner much name recognition or a dedicated customer base from the platform. All too often, Amazon robs small shops of the opportunity to make a name for themselves beyond the retail giant’s hulking shadow.

With all this in mind, I’m trying to skip Amazon and go straight to the source whenever possible, seeking out ethical fashion and striving to be more intentional with my money. Every dollar I give to an independent designer doesn’t just go toward the product, but also toward the growth of that designer’s personal brand. If supporting an emerging designer means I have to spend a little bit more than I would on Amazon, I can justify that to myself by thinking of the purchase as an investment in an artist’s future—my money is getting me a product, but it’s also going toward ensuring that more unique products I’ll love will be created down the line.

Relatedly, I think one of the coolest things about Covet + Lou is that the names of the designers behind its thoughtfully curated fashion and objects are kept at the forefront. Not only is Covet + Lou itself an independent business, but its multi-brand boutique setup inherently helps other emerging brands to build their reputations and increase their name recognition too. It’s a symbiosis that returns a face-to-face ethos to the act of purchasing in this ever-more digital era.