Those that have been following Braw Wee posts for a while will know that we are passionate about issues that affect our community, industry and society as a whole. You'll also know that we stock products that highlight various movements we support or make a statement against things we are unhappy with in the world, such as the range of feminist pins, t-shirts and mugs or more recently our new popular Protest Range which includes 'Fuck Boris' products.
However, our new 'Fuck Boris' t-shirt upset one of our followers so much it prompted them to send us a private message which said that as a small business we should be politically neutral and that we could lose custom due to us promoting the products.
Now we absolutely understand and respect that not all of our followers or customers will have the same viewpoints as us and will disagree with our political views. But as a small business one of the real advantages is that we can be vocal about injustices and policies that we feel have a direct impact on our community and business.
We are seeing and feeling the damage that the current Westminster government's actions are having on our community and local, small businesses on a daily basis.
Brexit has without a doubt affected so many of our customers, suppliers and us. From people being unsure if they can stay in the country post-Brexit, small businesses outside of the UK, getting supplies from Europe not available in the UK or our customers having less money to spend due to the economic downturn!
We are based in an area of Glasgow that rates pretty high on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation - we have a high percentage of our local community live in 'Working Poverty'. A recent report showed that the Calton had child poverty rates of 49%. The changes to the benefits system that have been put in by this Government have absolutely contributed to this.
The reason we started Braw Wee Emporium wasn't because we wanted to have a wee shop with pretty things to sell to lovely people (although we do love that). It was because we wanted to be part of the regeneration of the area, to encourage local people, visitors and others to spend their money in this area so that there is an increase in local jobs available, that people have affordable places to shop locally and have the opportunity to support other small local businesses. We absolutely believe this quote -
"Many small people who in many small places do many small things that can alter the face of the world."
This is the reason why we think it is important for small businesses to use their platforms to speak up on issues that directly affect them and their communities. We will continue to do so and from the conversations we have in the shop it does in fact brings us custom rather than loses it, even if the customer has a different view of the world to us.
We also try to make sure when we are selling products with a political message that we do something to support the people who are on the ground helping people directly affected - so a portion of all sales from our Fuck Boris Range are currently going to the amazing Refuweegee!
You can shop the range here http://bit.ly/protestbraw