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How to support independent designers

A poster displaying a photo of a post-it with the word "SUPPORT" written in black ink. The post-it is attached to a black quilted fabric and there's a round button to the right. Underneath the image there's text that reads: "Our Stories. How to support independent designers. www.mauda.co.uk."

After the weirdest of times we’ve been through, nothing screams “we’re ready to move on” more than the Met Gala this week. Political & social messages, men’s flamboyant fashion (Louis XIII step aside), and an array of the most extravagant interpretations of what it’s like “In America”. We’ve survived a pandemic. It’s time to resume life and live it to the fullest! Starting today! And since the Met Gala is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute annual fundraising, what better opportunity to write about how to support independent designers? Keep reading if you want to find out more.

Help them get noticed

Do you have a relative or friend who owns a business? If you do, you will have known how difficult it is to get the “name out there”. Mainly when a pandemic strikes… Supporting independent designers doesn’t just mean buying from them (although that’s a crucial way to help – we’ll get there shortly). Helping spread the word, sharing their social media and social media updates or even commenting on their posts can do wonders for their online presence. It’s especially important when starting out and trying to build a community, so your help is highly appreciated.

Buy from them

OK, this is an obvious one. Buying from independent designers will definitely help keep their businesses going. Yes, it will be more expensive, but with that item you’re paying quality, craftsmanship and fair wages. Even if you go for the cheapest items in their store, you’re already contributing to keeping them in business. And above all – you’re guaranteed a very unique item!

Say hello

Even if you’re not intending to buy anything, if you happen to pass by a new local independent boutique, a pop-up or even a stall in a local fair, go say hello. Designers and business owners put so much time an effort on their creations, displays and event organisation that acknowledging their presence is in itself rewarding. So, go say hello and ask about their designs and brand. Most people are curious about the origins of a brand. This is in essence getting the brand’s “About” page first-hand in a spoken format!

Find them

So, you’re planning to invest on something from an independent designer, but don’t know any. It’s not like you can just go to a department store and find them lined up just like other major brands, so how would you find someone to get your purchase from? Social media is a great way to find brands and designers by location. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest all have Business suites, so you’re more likely to find local businesses on these platforms.

Alternatively, Etsy is the most popular marketplace for independent designers, but there are others like Numonday specific to the UK. If instead of browsing online, you’re up to explore your physical surroundings, then step outside and walk along streets you don’t normally visit. So much has changed over the past months that you’re likely to find new shops and exciting new businesses. Remember to go in and say hello!

And with that said, I’d like to thank you for supporting us so far. Mauda launched during this year’s lockdown and had it not been for you, your support spreading the word and buying from us, we’d probably no longer be here. Thanks for making it all worthwhile. Enjoy the rest of your week.

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