As we survive our first year and excitedly begin the second, I’ve been thinking a lot about American small businesses. They are more important than many realize and not just because they represent 48% of American jobs and 44% of GDP.
As I sit down to make a list of partners and vendors to thank, I can see clearly how important small businesses are — it’s because we all support each other and our communities in a way that multinational corporations cannot. When the first concept of Masala My Life was formed, I knew I did not want to simply re-sell mass-manufactured products from China or elsewhere. I did not want to ship my products in boxes made overseas and then shipped here.
And that’s exactly what we have built at Masala My Life. I don’t think I truly grasped then some of the amazing things I have since learned about my fellow small businesses. I can see so clearly now how we and our vendors:
- Pour money and time into the products themselves rather than just the machinery of marketing
- Live by their values
- Support each other
- Support local communities
- Launch their businesses out of love, passion, or the genuine belief that their businesses can solve a problem or a need
You can see the results directly in product quality and in how the small businesses interact with each other and the community.
When customers shop with us, they are in turn supporting so many other small businesses. This year has hit everyone very hard, and it has been pure pleasure when we have been able to place orders with our vendors.
We know our partners. We know Sonya makes candles because she just loves them so much. We know Harshit and Elliott missed their trip to India because of Covid. We know Nalini started making accessories on her 50th birthday. We know them, we appreciate them, we support them, and we know they support us.
So here’s our shout out and sincere thanks to all the small businesses we’ve worked with this year. This is a long list for just one small business ending our first year. Multiple this list and you can truly see the value of small businesses in the United States.
- Madhu Chocolate
- Scrumptious Wicks
- Elements Truffles
- The Chai Box
- Anju Jewelry
- Matr Boomie
- Greenwich Bay Trading Co.
- Maharajah Coffee
- Nectar Republic
- Twisted Tomboy
- Tea Drops
- Julkee Fashions
- GreenValues US
- Carolina Packaging and Supply
- [16 of these are POC-owned, 11 are female-owned]
And, in our second year, we’re looking forward to adding in, among many others:
- Moji Masala
- Mishti Chocolate
- My Spice Fix
- Chai Wala
- [all POC-owned, two female-owned]
We also appreciate the wonderful work/products from these small businesses that are behind the scenes and seven of which are female-owned/led:
- Mick Schulte Photography
- Jack+Mo Designs
- Expressions of Love Florist
- Old School Graphics
- Season Moore Photography
- Metro Graphics
We’re thrilled to have supported these non-profit entities:
- The South Asian American Digital Archive, which is doing incredible work in preserving stories from the South Asian American community
- Barakat Bundle, which is dedicated to infant and maternal health
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which has worked tirelessly for equality and voting rights
We’ve also been involved in local community events/fund-raisers with:
- Cary Academy Holiday Shoppe
- The Raleigh School auction
- Carolina Inn market
- Nuv Yug
The U.S. Small Business Administration puts it best: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy: They create two-thirds of net new jobs and drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness.”