Katy Mascall, founder of St Davids-based handmade knitwear business, Big Mommas Knits, says her family's livelihood has been saved by a Facebook group that only launched 10 months ago: Not On Amazon.
Before Covid struck, Katy, a stay-at-home mum to five children, would sell her knitwear at St Davids market, Christmas fayres, in shops and at other local events.
But when the country went into lockdown her income took a massive hit. It didn't help that her husband was furloughed and then lost his job, which created anxiety around the ability to cover the mortgage payments.
Not on Amazon
Like many others, Katy quickly pivoted to move her business online and, with the help of her brother, created her own website. But sales were slow until she discovered Not On Amazon, a Facebook group with 142k members helping small, independently owned creative businesses reach a wider customer base.
Crucially, members of the group, which only launched in December of last year, can promote their businesses and creations at no cost. They are then free to complete their deals however they choose to, which means more money in their pockets. Katy says:
Within days of my first post on Not On Amazon, the orders started to come thick and fast. You have this amazing community where you can sell your products without having to pay commission to giants like Amazon, and better still have some fun doing it as the sense of humour of the members is great. It helped me advertise and get repeat customers and, most importantly, pay for everything my children needed. I feel so grateful to Not On Amazon founder, Jamie Rackham, and all his team for their hard work: they quite literally saved my business from unravelling. My advice to other small independents is join the group and watch the sales come in."