5 Qualities That Made Us Fall In Love with Our Favorite Small Businesses

Running a small business can be overwhelming. For most people, it's a one (wo)man show. You usually have to do everything yourself and if you're lucky, may have a significant other or friend to help you on occasion.

While the following things may seem simple, I can say from experience of being part of a start up and small team that all the little things add up. It takes courage, consistency, and heart to maintain all the little things. This is our way of saying thank you to all of our favorite small businesses.

We see the hard work you put in, and we are grateful for you.

Etsu feat. Litto Howler Leash
Etsu feat. Litto Howler Collar and Leash

Below are the 5 things that made us fall in love with our favorite small businesses.

Honest & Authentic

It's refreshing when small businesses show the behind the scenes, the inner work, or even the unexpected roadblocks, online. Vulnerability and transparency are difficult and these are the things that's required to remain honest and authentic with others so we can truly develop community. Although it is difficult to share the behind the scenes, I do believe that it's what encourages consumers to see the person behind the business and connect with them on a more human level. @LittoHowler is an amazing example of honesty and authenticity.


Life doesn't stop when you run into unexpected obstacles, even if it's not your fault. One current example is the delay with USPS. While a lot may be tempted to release their frustration and annoyance from the questions of 'impatient' customers, I'm amazed at the ability of small business owners to remain tactful in the midst of feeling overwhelmed. Boundaries are needed and the biggest fans will want to understand and remain respectful. But it is a skill to kindly communicate boundaries while addressing the consumer's concerns tactfully. @Sage.Designs graciously communicates her status with her customers.

Quality Over Quantity

When you're running a business, it can be easy to want to appeal to the masses. Whether for financial reasons or something else. Sometimes, it can even be with good intentions. Ie: you want to get all the orders out to everyone ASAP, but then something might suffer. You want to satisfy all the clients and sway in your approach or belief system. We all appreciate it when small businesses say no to these temptations. After all, we first fell in love with them for making quality products or services. An example of quality products, service or content is @okami_canine.

Customer Focused

I think the most successful businesses are those that listen to their audience. True listening is shown through the product design process. When customers have a voice that is heard while choosing what products to make, customers feel valued. This creates a positive cycle between consumers and the business. One of my favorite experiences is with @starlightbandanasco who exemplifies listening skills and true collaboration.

*use ETSUSTAR15 to save on Etsu's Bandana Line

Genuinely Engage

One of the reasons we love supporting small businesses is the relationship you can build that you just can't develop with larger companies. For me, this is the main differentiator. Their ability to engage helps me see the person behind the 'brand'. It helps me understand their vision, their purpose, and their mission. I'm therefore able to engage with their heart as opposed to only the online image. @Lambwolfco has been a gem at revealing her heart through her engagement with us from the moment she started, before her website went live.

What are some of the qualities you look for when supporting a small business?


Etsu & Me

Creating clarity, confidence and developing effective communication with the dog in front of you, one day at a time. Eat, train and play with Etsu & Me. 

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