There are endless benefits to supporting small businesses. From improving the local economy, or that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you know you're helping someone achieve their dreams. I have always gotten a certain thrill out of finding unique and one of a kind items. These days I try to make sure my hard earned pesos go to small businesses instead of corporate giants. Here are a few small Chilean businesses I've stumbled across and I hope you stumble across too!
The other day I went to a small business fair by El Golf with a close friend of mine. My initial plan was to be her personal shopper and pick out items that she would like. I overestimated my patience for long lines and ended up abandoning my duties to peruse the fair while she waited in the endless line to try on clothes. What a great personal shopper I am!! Something good came out of my perusing and that something was MQM. MQM stands for Mas Que Massa, and after quickly chatting with girl at the booth I learned she has been making these funky earrings for a year and is self taught. Pretty impressive for such out of the box and eye-catching designs! I walked away with the red snake pair below.
The discovery of María La Biyux follows a similar story to MQM but this time I was intentionally on the hunt for something unique. The bright colored necklaces immediately drew me in and I knew I had found what I was looking for. After a good hour chatting with the lovely saleswoman I learned that María La Biyux is more than just a beautiful line of statement necklaces. María La Biyux works with incarcerated women to not only create a great product but also use color and jewelry making as a form of therapy. Hats off to María La Biyux for creating a quality product while uplifiting and inspiring women at the same time!
I found Minka through a google search over a year and a half ago. I was actually looking for a natural & local beauty company and in the process stumbled across Minka. I was instantly impressed with the ambitious young owners, and their mission to empower women. Minka, similar to María La Biyux also works with incarcerated women and the women receive between 30% & 50% of the profits gained. Minka has a cute mix of necklaces, headbands, scrunchies & galore all made out of a lightweight cloth material.
I learned about Vuelvo al Sur through my work, and fell in love with their mission & products. Their bright & colorful products use the chilean Flora & Fauna and Mapuche (local indigenous culture) as their muse. A couple of my favorites are the Mapuche patterned gloves and the penguin scarf. Both are perfect for adding a special touch to any look. If you're not in the market for a new scarf or gloves, they have other household items such as coasters, serving plates or mugs all with their unique sense of style.
Green Glass is the perfect example of how business can be used to creatively solve real problems. Green Glass recycles glass (you can donate your recycled glass to the address listed on their website) to create beautiful and funky glasses that are sure to stand out and get loads of compliments. Stumped on how to effectively recycle? They also have a handy downloadable recycle guide . Pretty neat!