Lately, I've been feeling the crunch as a small business, whether it's struggling to get good engagement on Instagram because I can't simply afford to "pay for play on every post or because recently a big shoe brand decide to make one of the retail brands under its banner entirely vegan. I don't have the budget that the big brands do. Now, don't get me wrong, having a big brand make the switch is a big deal and a big win for the vegan community. And I'm not suggesting that people shouldn't shop there but I am struck by how much attention this announcement is getting on various vegan community pages on Facebook. It's leaps and bounds more chatter and excitement than when I've introduced myself, my brand, and my values to the same community. I'm trying to figure out why and I suppose it largely comes down to aggressive pricing for mass-produced products (largely in China) that are low-price and often of lesser quality. Then there's also the marketing heft that these brands can afford. All's fair in the capitalist world, I suppose. But here's a few reasons why I think you should stick with us lil guys:1. SOULiers Studio's values: At the core of my business is my personal values: vegan, ethically-made, eco-conscious. I'm all-in with offering products and brands that are carefully selected to embody these values. 2. Curated slow fashion: I hand-select beautiful styles that are made of quality materials and quality craftsmanship. The upfront price is higher but our shoes and accessories are classic styles and statement pieces that are designed to last in the long run. 3. A personal touch: Despite being an online store, I have personal and direct contact with almost every customer and prospective customer. Why? Because we can and because customer service is EVERYTHING for SOULiers Studio. I'm always there, ready to provide sizing consultation or any other help needed!