Social Media is the Mecca of friends and strangers selling stuff. We all know it, and see it every time we open up a post, tweet, or insta story. Social media is also a place where reality and “quasi-reality” co-exists…
We all have friends (Jeez, how do I even KNOW that many people?!), and then we have FRIENDS. These are the people we went to school with, work (ed) with, and of course, our family members. From my own experience, my friends and family have always been there for me, and have supported me, especially through my theater experiences and my home baking business. I’ve tried to do the same through the years, because a) we’re all trying to make it work, people and b) We’re all here to help each other out, and if I can buy a pack of loose tea from my friend in Chicago to help her business out, then dammit, I’m going to!
I’m not here to say that you should just blindly buy random shit from everyone who posts on Facebook or ask you to like their page, but hear me out:
Today, I thought I use the “bra” analogy to help you see how you can support your friends (see what I did there?). It’s fun, and you’ll find that being a support is easier than you think.
At the end, I’m including a collage of business cards from a public call for friends to share info for this purpose, as well as a typed list of the people/companies.
Levels of supporting your friends’ small businesses
Bralette or Training Bra: “I’m not really interested or I can’t really offer any financial support at this time, but I got you covered!”
So, your friend Mary-Sue has invited you to her “luscious lips in a tube” party on Facebook. You don’t wear makeup and your lips already look like Kylie K’s. OR- you’d really love to try this product, but you’re a little low on cash right now. Whatever the reason, you can still show support by: liking her info., joining the party just to look, inviting others to the party if you’re able to, and by sharing the info on your own timeline, so it reaches out to more people. See? It’s as easy as that.
Medium Support Sports Bra: “I’m intrigued and want to support your business. I’ll try the product you’re selling, maybe even two things, but I can’t guarantee that I’ll order in the future.
You see that another friend has started a wellness business. There’s a protein powder that interests you, and right now you’re able to buy a bottle of it to try it out. If you don’t like it, you probably won’t order again, or maybe not order regularly, even if you do like it. You don’t always have the spare change lying around to buy extra stuff. But hey, instead of going to GNC and laying out the money for the protein powder there, I’ll help my friend to make their numbers.
Firm Support, Six Hook in the Back, Wide Strapped Long-Line Bra: “I am in LOVE with the products/art work/skin care/ etc. that my friend has for sale/is creating/ has formulated/etc., and I am going to try my best to be a regular customer.”
You’ve tried out your friend’s “super-under-eye-makes you look like you’re a teenager again cream”. Your eyes have never looked so good! Then you try the moisturizer…You’re hooked. It’s all great, and so you go for everything that you can comfortably afford, and use it on the regular. Your friend thanks you.
Realistically though, this type of support is not forever. I mean, the support of the six hook in the back, long line, wide strapped bra is some SERIOUS UPLIFT! But this type of support is consistent, and works with the others in a way that you can always help support and grow your friends’ businesses. You can be a regular by gradually adding to the collection of what your friend has (like that lipsense gloss? Try another variety. Can’t afford the eye cream and the firming gel? Choose one for now. Love the blush, but can’t afford to buy anything else at this time? Keep liking and sharing posts until you can and want to try something else).
It’s overwhelming sometimes, when you open your Facebook app and see notifications of invitations to this party, or that private group for another party, etc., but as overwhelming as it is, think of the person on the other end of the invite, who’s just trying to get you to look at the inventory they have for sale, or the art pieces they’ve created, or you name it… They just want you to SEE what they’re working hard at, and it’s so easy to acknowledge and support it, even if you can’t or don’t wish to purchase anything.
Now, here is a photo collage of business cards that I’ve collected from friends, and below it, a typed list of businesses for you to explore (in no particular order). Let’s all be the best supporting bras to our friends that we can be! Love to each of you.
Studio 69 (914) 960-9753, firstname.lastname@example.org, 69 Maple Ave, Rye, NY, 10580:
It’s a cooperative space which features several different services and designers. Here, you’ll find: Fine Art, home decor, furniture restoration or re-creation, Commission paintings, design consultation, Holiday design and install, Hand-painted custom ornaments and so much more! There is also a custom baker, custom basket designer and a florist. Whether you’re looking for some unique gifts, holiday decorations or mural installation, give Studio 69 a call or stop by- they do it all!
Madison Lynn Foundation (914) 490-8093: Madison started making string bracelets 3 years ago, and donated the money to the JDRF. Since then, she’s created her own foundation, in which she makes and sells beaded jewelry. The money made from creating this jewelry goes in to the foundation and is used to help offset the costs for other kids with Type 1 Diabetes in Westchester County. Hit her up- Madison makes some cute jewelry!
Hudson Valley Sandwich (845) 554-5404, www.hudsonvalleysandwich.com: Chef Anthony Rubeo creates mouth-watering, mind-boggling deliciously amazing creations out of his excellent food truck. The truck is a regular fixture on most days at 533 NY-52, Carmel, NY, but Chef Rubeo also does private events…Check it out – get the fries…
Apple of Your Eyes Optical (914) 381-1159, www.appleofyoureyesopticals.com, 1600 Harrison Avenue, Suite G-106, Mamaroneck, NY 10543. At Apple of Your Eyes Optical of Mamaroneck, NY we strive to provide friendly and convenient service for all our patients to give them healthy eyes and quality vision. Cathy DiFalco, Optician, and owner of this business is ready to take care of all of your vision needs- and had been doing it (well) for years!
Anthony J. Valbiro (914) 960-9753, email@example.com: Pet portraits? Done! Need the interior AND exterior of your home decorated for the holiday, or for a party? Done! Anthony is a Performer, Director, Choreographer, and hands-down an extraordinary singer, but wow- can he handle ALL of your other artistic needs, also! His fine art is exquisite, he customizes furniture, and can help you completely re-design your space. Give him a call! Incidentally, Anthony also runs the cooperative Studio 69…
Dannique Skin Care 1-833-944-2682, www.danniqueskincare.com, firstname.lastname@example.org: Christine Dannic has always known what she wanted to do, acting and creating beautiful skin- and she’s been succeeded at both! Her formulas include natural ingredients, some from the state where she currently lives (Montana)! Browse her website, or call and ask questions- she’s always happy to talk about her products, and how your skin can benefit from using them! As she says: When you look better you feel better…
Knotty By Nature @knottybynature_loc303, Erica Ritchey: Erica is the CROCHET QUEEEN! She makes the best and coziest winter hats (we have some!), but she also crochets festival tops and so many other things! Check her out on Instagram and Facebook.
True Beauty by Mari senesite.senegence.com/trubeautybymari, @truebeautybymari (Facebook), @truebeuty1971 (Instagram): Mari sells all things Senegence, and if you look at her pics, you can see why! She looks amazing, and she’d like you to test out the products for yourself! Message her and find out how you can look and feel your best.
Dina Roselli, Independent Consultant for Arbonne International (845) 494-3791, email@example.com: There are many skin care options out there, and of course, Arbonne is one of them- BUT- they don’t stop at just that. Arbonne is a complete wellness company, where you can get skin care, but you can also get all of your well-being needs met. Contact Dina and see what this company has to offer you. She’s great to work with, and you won’t be disappointed.
Room to Create (914) 645-2738, firstname.lastname@example.org, 245 Halstead Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528: Doreen runs a gallery/studio/gift shop- and it houses some of the coolest stuff EVER! There is really something for everyone there. Also, Room to Create offers Summer Art Camps for students on a weekly basis, as well as art workshops for adults. I’ve been to a few workshops, and always leave waiting for the next one to be announced! You can call and ask about classes, and pieces in the shop, or stop by and experience the beautiful, calm, yet cool and eclectic atmosphere for yourself.
E.T.A. Travel Planning (772) 360-2579, (914) 381-6070, email@example.com: Kathy Ansbro is an Independent Travel Consultant for Four Seasons Travel, Inc. Kathy knows how to have a great time, so let her help you to do the same!
Jennifer Lucas, Independent Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay (914) 835-7912, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.marykay.com/jdabrusky: Jennifer Lucas knows what it’s like to value good skin products. She works long hours as a Respiratory Therapist, as well as taking care of her family, and still looks like a spring flower! Check her site out, or contact her and see how Mary Kay products can help you fell your best!
Lisa Bernich, Paparazzi Jewelry & Accessories (845)705-8517, email@example.com, www.paparazziaccessories.com/258079, also find her on Facebook at Lisa’s $5 Dress & Dazzle VIP Paparazzi Group: Lisa has quite the following, selling the coolest and most on-trend jewelry and accessories- and the best part? Everything’s $5! Check it out- get some cool bling! Lisa’s the best!
Jennifer Angarano Ricci is a wife, mother & creative soul-searcher. She is a musician, artist, and baker, and runs her home business Baked By Jen, in addition to running her local community theater group. She loves to sing, create and help others and tries to connect all three passions whenever possible.