In the world marketplace, Scissors and Things is a tiny speck of a shop. We don't offer a wide range of products, our overhead is minimal, and our carbon footprint is low. We are quite the the opposite of a mega brand or superstore.
There are millions of tiny shops out there. Etsy is an incredible marketplace that connects customers to tiny shops all over the world that they might never have known about otherwise.
Tiny shops do not mass produce a wide assortment of products. A typical minimum order for mass manufactured products might start at 3000 pieces per product, an order might consist of a dozen or more products, and orders might be placed several times a year. Raw materials ship to factories, people and fast machines make products, products ship to warehouses then stores, and eventually make its way to consumers.
Mass manufacturing is a necessity. Mass manufactured products keep prices accessible and provide jobs for workers all over the world.
But not every product in a person's life needs to mass manufactured. Products that best reflects a person's unique style or aesthetic might be easier to find in a tiny shop than in a super store. Style in this case does not only refer to a person's fashion choices, it refers to all things in their home, and in their lives.
Uniqueness from major brands is typically compromised as those products need to sell to a whole lotta customers to support the brands' corporate business structures. The safer bet will usually outweigh a more creative, but more esoteric product. Tiny shop owners can make and sell whatever the f they want. For this reason, a person with a unique and creative style is more likely to find a product that appeals to their aesthetic from a tiny shop.
Not all things in tiny shops are handmade. For sure, in order for any business to grow, production needs to be scalable. They can be produced by local factories, whose skill and capacity match the shop's business needs. The difference is tiny shops focus on producing their specialized items, not a broad range of products that need to be made in multiple combinations of sizes and colors, so that every possible product specification is available for a consumer to purchase immediately, in the event that they want it.
Tiny shops focus on their specialty. They become experts in their specialty, and become known for it. Factories are closely monitored by tiny shop owners to ensure that the creative integrity of the original concept stays with the product throughout process.
Tiny shops’ customers care about the details. And every tiny shop has a customer.