Thursday, June 2, 2011

Why Buy from Work at Home Moms (WAHMs) or SmallCorp

Today CC Bums (run by Cami Court) posted on Facebook “Reasons to buy from WAHMs” and it got me thinking. While not all readers may cloth diaper, it’s still something to think about. Historically, humans produced what they could (i.e., farmed, raised animals, sewed clothing, etc.) and bartered with others who produced what they could not. People taught what they knew to others who paid the teachers in food or shelter (how the whole “apple for the teacher” got started) – still bartering. Now, producing what you’re good at and selling it to others who produce other things has become mostly a thing of the past sadly. Now we go to the grocery store and we’re confronted with multiple options for the same item that we feel that we need (although we probably want it rather than need it, but that’s for another discussion).

Overwhelming options don’t make our lives easier; they actually make them harder. We have so many things to choose from now that we feel post-purchase anxiety about whether we chose the “right” item. “Does Dawn really get my dishes cleaner or will I be ok with this no-name brand that I bought because it was cheaper?” In our current way consumerism, we’re making ourselves more anxious and making ourselves feel inadequate because we don’t have the “newest” or “greatest” gadget or product out there. So let’s get back to Cami’s question and expand on it a little bit.

Many stay at home parents have started businesses where they produce what they can (probably when the kiddos are napping!) and sell them to others via the Internet (which is a helpful invention for this area) and sometimes in specialty shops. Things created by WAH parents (usually Moms, let’s be honest, thus WAHMs) typically are good quality because they’re made by someone who loves what they’re doing and is usually doing it by hand. I’m not necessarily saying that making something by hand is “better” than machine made, but usually there’s more care put into it when it’s made by hand. Buying from these parents supports their family and it gives your family what they want and/or need. A great example is a company called FluffyRumps run by Rhonda ( Rhonda makes amazing stuff – diaper soakers, fleece longies to go over cloth diapers, washable fleece tissues (FluffyNoses), and tons of other family-type stuff. Asking her to make Silas’s fleece soakers/longies makes me feel like I’m helping out another Momma and getting what we need (something to cover the diaper at night). WAHM buying supports a non-commericalized economy where people are helping each other out rather than padding the pockets of companies that over-price their materials and shipping, and may not pay their workers the best wage.

If you’re a good WAHM or an amazing WAHM, your products sell and they sell well. You end up hiring helpers to produce your product, do your shipping, etc. At this point I would consider that a SmallCorp, meaning a group of people who create the product and may produce more than a lone WAHM, but still create an awesome product. Rockin’ Green soap (used for cloth diapers or anything else you can think of really) is one example of what I’d think of as a SmallCorp. Buying their soap and products you’re still supporting your local economy and small business, but these guys have gotten bigger than working out of their garage (RnG used to be housed in a small strip storefront miles from my house and now they’re further out of town in a larger space – good for them but sad for me because I can’t go visit as often anymore). But the light of excitement that you see with a WAHM is still there. They’re still fantastic at customer service (which is usually way better with work at home families).

What’s the answer to Cami’s question then? Support. Support your local economy rather than “Global Corp.” Support individuals rather than a company that’s stock supports them more than your purchase does. Find someone around you who can fill a need (and enjoys doing it) and give your business (and money or bartered product) to THEM and not to larger groups who seem to have difficulties managing their money ethically. Yes, sure, farmer’s market, go there. But hey, what about starting a neighborhood garden – you grow X, your neighbor grows Y, and then you exchange? Crazy idea. It may just work.


  1. wow girl.. you actually made me feel like crying. that's exactly how it should be. it's sad that we've fallen so "far" from where we should be. thanks SO MUCH for writing this.

    that said.. i LOVE buying from other WAHM's and will til the day i die!! i love supporting families.. as i would hope other people would think of supporting mine! :D

    God bless you.