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Taking time to support small businesses on Instagram may help one discover a new favorite brand. 

Times of crisis often breeds innovation. A new set of challenges for small businesses around the world have brought about creativity and clever thinking. 

Instagram shops are blowing up at the moment because of the ever-changing climate. Brands are taking to their phones and, with the power of social media, are either starting businesses from the comfort of their homes or using already large followings to sell to a virtual audience. Here are some smaller brands to support during this challenging time –– and a chance to refresh one’s summer wardrobe.

KillaDyes

KillaDyes is a fairly new Instagram account, as its first post dates back in mid-April. Tie-dye has become a major trend during this spring-to-summer season and has been an inspiration for many Instagram shops. Since the tie-dye look is a simple at-home DIY to complete, small business accounts specializing in just that have blown up. KillaDyes takes custom orders through direct messages on Instagram. All one has to do is browse the account for what they’d like, or come up with a custom order, message the account, pay through Venmo or PayPal and the order is in the works. 

Drip Creationz 

Drip Creationz is a brand with a much larger following. However, its products are so creative that they've caught the attention of many, especially with the current conditions making online shopping more popular. Drip Creationz essentially takes Nike AirForce 1s and creates custom handmade designs to spice them up. Some examples include animal prints, butterfly designs and celebrity portraits. It’s the perfect way to amp up one’s favorite go-to white sneaker. 

Raw & Rebellious

Raw & Rebellious sells accessories of all kinds, from jewelry to prints and collages. Everything is handmade in Atlanta and follows a unique aesthetic. Its products are perfect for adding details to one’s wardrobe or bringing in some new room decor, all while supporting an incredible small business. 

437

437, previously known as 437 SWIMWEAR, was started by two best friends, Hyla and Adrien. The two met during their years at Queens University in Canada. The brand has an amazing story behind it: the two founders came up with the business idea after traveling to the Amalfi Coast one summer, when they realized there was a lack in women’s swimwear that accommodated all body types. The brand has since expanded to clothing as well. 437 is a story of empowerment and is bound to have a summer swimsuit that’s tailored to fit one’s taste and style.

Frankie Collective

Frankie Collective is another brand adding a special twist to fan favorites when it comes to fashion. The brand upcycles vintage clothing, making it sustainable and eco-friendly. Frankie Collective reuses items from Nike and Supreme to Champion and Fila. It reworks its pieces in creative ways, such as Nike shorts and pants reworked into bags and tracksuits reworked into swimwear. This brand is a go-to for one-of-a-kind pieces that one may get many questions about. 

Taking the time to support smaller businesses when adding to one’s summer wardrobe is a great way to also discover new favorite brands that are different than just the everyday mainstream items on the market.

Contact Brianne Petrone at petronbd@dukes.jmu.edu For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Instagram and Twitter @Breeze_Culture.