Do I get my Christmas gifts on time?

You’ve probably heard something about what’s been going on with the supply chain industry and how, with the impending holiday season, companies are worried their products might not arrive on time from overseas manufacturers. If you haven’t, we’re here to explain a little bit about what’s happening, and how we can combat these issues together. 

In October 2021, ABC News reported, “supply chain disruptions,” in America, which come as a direct result of the economic struggles the U.S. has faced since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, have led to price increases and looming supply shortages. Since March 2020, production levels have dropped significantly, and in this era of recovery, global corporations continue to struggle returning to pre-pandemic levels due to a decrease in available staff, and now, large corporations like Target, Walmart, even Amazon are scrounging for anyone to work in their warehouses. 

So now the question becomes, how can we ensure we have what we need for this holiday season? Although there is no singular definition of “local,” Nasbie offers a consumer market central to the greater Philadelphia area; most everything bought and sold through Nasbie is made in Pennsylvania. Because Nasbie promotes local small business, problems with supply chain are of no concern for consumers looking to purchase those unique holiday gifts. Nasbie also offers fast delivery options as well as easy pick-up arrangements to adhere to your convenience. Besides supporting local economies and combating the climate crisis, shopping locally can ensure a fruitful holiday season.

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Product Photography Tips for Selling More Online

Selling products online (and at all) can be a daunting task. From beginning to end there are countless decisions to be made about your product. What will the product be? What materials or ingredients will you use? How big will it be? How will you package it? What will you name the product? 

Once you move into the online world there can seem to be even more decisions to be made. One that can be the scariest for some is product photography. Selling through an online medium like Nasbie means convincing consumers of your product’s quality without being able to hand it to them to physically prove it. This is where product presentation comes in. 

If you’re new to Nasbie here’s a quick rundown. We are the online marketplace that eats, sleeps and breathes local. Our priority from day one has been to make shopping local online so easy it becomes a consumer’s first choice. When our partners sign up to sell their products on Nasbie they create their own personal shop where they can upload whatever products they want, whenever they want.

Uploading product photos can be stressful. These few images have to represent your product and all of the love and effort that went into creating them. That’s a lot of pressure. Here are a few tips for beginner photographers (or business owners with an iphone) to jump start your product photography and give you a leg up in the online selling world. 

  1. Your iPhone can do a lot!

Just because you don’t have a fancy camera worth hundreds of dollars doesn’t mean you can’t successfully take photos that wow! Also- let’s be real- that camera on your cell phone technically did cost hundreds of dollars. Let’s use it to our advantage. 

From regular photo settings to portrait mode, there are a lot of opportunities for success using a cellphone camera. 

Experiment with different settings on your phone. IPhones have the portrait mode setting, which can be really effective in studio shots in reducing backgrounds that might distract from your products. Test out different focuses, up close or zoomed out. Your iPhone can really be your best friend. 

Extra tip: This might sound silly but… wipe off your camera lens. Every. Single. Time. As much as it might look just fine, our phones are in our hands all day. You can’t always see the buildup on your lens and screen. You’ll thank yourself when it comes to the editing process. 

  1. Lighting, lighting, lighting!

The flash on your camera nine times out of ten won’t highlight your product the way you want it to. Lighting is everything. Like Tyra Banks said on America’s Next Top Model, follow your light!

Whether it be overhead kitchen lights, brighter lights in your bathroom or just the natural light outside, go to it. The more light you have, the clearer your products will look. If you’re really banking on a specific spot for your background and the light isn’t giving you what you need, steal a phone or two from your family and friends. Have them turn their flashlights on and experiment with holding them from different angles. Ideally you would have two sources of light coming from the left and the right side of the camera lens to create a softer setting. Hold one slightly higher and the other slightly lower than center to help eliminate unwanted shadows. 

  1. Background choices.

Say you do move to a location with better lighting, how do you choose a background? A minimalist background is an easy and effective way to achieve professional looking photos at home. Whether it be a blank wall, a granite countertop or an extra slap of wood you have lying around, the key is to work with your product, not against it. Experiment with what works best for your product. Does your product need to shine on it’s own? Use some spare white cloth or white paper as a background prop outside. Think a natural background might compliment your work? Use the world around you! 

Here’s an example from one of our newest partners, Blushing Wren. This is one of their uploaded product photos highlighting their breakfast blend tea. The use of the cloth behind the photo adds some texture without distracting from the product itself. 

This photo from It’s Seasoned was actually taken by a Nasbie photographer during one of our very first free photoshoot sessions. This picture was taken in an apartment kitchen with only a few small windows in the area. By creating light and reflecting it off the white background, the image has a soft glow. One of the keys to this is the fact that the background of the image is completely unfocused. The only focused part of the image is the main product. 

Another important thing to notice here is the angles! While the It’s Seasoned products are shot from a head on angle to highlight the label, the Blushing Wren product uses a bird eye shot to highlight texture and space. Play around with your angle’s to see what highlights your product best. 

We know product photography can be a scary task to conquer. The sheer pressure of it all can be enough to make you want to throw in the towel. When you break it down and start from the basics, hopefully it can become a more manageable task. You already have your amazing product. Now you just have to help your customers see how great it really is. 

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The first ever Nasbie Partner

Once upon a time there was a potter who believed in a crazy ecommerce site dream… and her name was Susan! 

Susan O’Hanlon was Nasbie’s first ever official partner. Susan became part of Nasbie before our Instagram even had 100 followers! She’s believed in the beauty of shopping local since the beginning. So, here’s a little Susan-Spotlight for ya. 

On her Nasbie page you’ll find her signature product, the Bandit Bowl. Named after her family dog, the Bandit Bowl is a slow feeder ceramic bowl that comes in all different sizes. The bowl helps your pup slow down when it’s food time, making sure they don’t eat themselves silly during every dinner time. Part of Susan’s inspiration for the Bandit Bowl was alleviating her own dog’s obsession with food while also realizing how limited the options were on the market. Susan even said, if she wouldn’t want to eat out of plastic, why let her pup? As a potter she saw an opportunity to create a sustainable and safe way to fix a problem in her home and many other people’s. This is a perfect example of how shopping local and small businesses can provide you with better quality items that were created with care. 

While the Bandit Bowl is one of her most popular items, it’s not the only thing Susan specializes in. More recently Susan listed pottery classes on her Nasbie page. You can book these lessons to learn more about the art of pottery in her at-home studio. Susan has told us since we met her that she loves teaching and couldn’t wait to get back to it post-zoom life. P.S. She’s offering 10% off if you purchase two or more lessons! Sounds like a perfect group activity to me!

Since day one we’ve been the luckiest ecommerce site in the world at finding amazing small businesses owners and artists to become a part of our community. Each and every partner- just like Susan- have believed in our mission to make shopping local easy since the beginning. When you shop on Nasbie you’re shopping in a community of creators and people that truly care about the products they sell. Every nook and cranny of every painting and candle gets looked over and handled personally. There’s no better way to shop other than local! Check out any of our partners and you’ll understand that #GoBuyWhereYouGoBy mentality.

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Introducing: Nasbie Neighbors!

Virtual drum roll please… We have some exciting news to share with you! Introducing Nasbie Neighbors, our new community outreach program. 

Since day one, Nasbie’s goal has been to support our local community through helping small businesses. We’ve been lucky enough to meet so many great people along the way, business owners and customers alike, so we’ve decided to expand our community goals. 

What is a Nasbie Neighbor?

Nasbie Neighbors is an opportunity for other organizations within the community to join in on the action. When an organization signs up as a Nasbie Neighbor, they receive a personalized code to share with the members of their group. When this code is applied at checkout, Nasbie sends 5% of the sale right back to the organization. It’s a win for the small businesses and a win for the members of the community! While our goal of supporting small businesses hasn’t changed, we’ve learned a lot in the past few months. A small business can only be as successful as their customers! Why not create a program that can support both? 

Who can sign up?

A Nasbie Neighbor can be anyone in the community- whether you’re an organization or an activist- who truly cares about our area. If you think you might be a good Neighbor, check out the application page here

Why create the Neighbors Program now? 

Small businesses donate 250% more than their larger counterparts. From non-profits to community causes, local business owners are way more likely to get involved. As much as we love that sentiment, it’s a grim fact. It goes to show that those with the most to give just don’t give at all. The Nasbie Neighbors program is another way we’re trying to be better than the ecommerce site’s that have come before us. Nasbie is here to serve the community; we can’t do that if the community is struggling! 
By creating the Nasbie Neighbors program, we’re showing some social responsibility. We have to support our community in every way possible while we can. We all know a billionaire won’t come down in a spaceship to do it…

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Farmers Markets Don’t Last Forever

We know the simple joy that is a farmers market better than anyone. We found a lot of our amazing partners through attending farmers markets! Sometimes we wonder how many great creators we might have found sooner if it hadn’t rained… 

As awesome as they are, farmers markets are quite literally fair weather friends. We’re in the peak of farmers market season right now and every event is filled with excited artisans. What about when the weather turns? First it will get rainy, then it will get just a little chilly and then BAM! Our Greater Philadelphia area weather will completely turn it’s back on our favorite farmers markets and crafters. So, where does that leave us?

Local farmers markets are beneficial for everyone involved. The creator, the consumer and the community. When an artisan sells at a farmers market, instead of receiving only a portion of the revenue like they might through another marketplace (or certain online shops that start with the letter E and ends with a -tsy) they get 100% of the value of their product put back into their pocket. The National Agriculture Statistics Survey of 2019 reported around $711 million direct revenue from farmers markets. This is a lot of money circulating back into your community. 

Nasbie can be the solution. When your favorite local market is closed for the winter, have no fear, Nasbie is here! Our online local marketplace is the perfect host for artisan creators. Instead of having to wait for the weather to spring back to life to buy your go-to essential oils and caramels from your favorite crafters, you can just log onto Nasbie. You don’t have to miss your favorite products just because it got cold. 

This is a plus for our partners, too. As a small business, every sale is important. Farmers markets open the door to hundreds of new customers on a regular basis. Nasbie can be another way to get products out to the people in our community that will appreciate them the most. 

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it a thousand times, our mission is to support our area; the creator, the consumer and the community. Small business success is our number one priority. We love farmers markets as much as the next guy (you’ve probably seen one of our team members attending at least a few this year) but the Greater Philadelphia area weather just isn’t on our side 6 months out of the year. So, keep shopping local farmers markets until the bitter end, but don’t forget to tell your favorite vendors to check out Nasbie before Mr. Snow Miser comes around.

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Benefits of Shopping Local

Why shopping local is better for everyone. 

Shopping local is truly the better shopping option for everyone involved. From being a consumer to a producer, there are limitless perks. In case you need more convincing, here’s a few reasons to continue to #GoBuyWhereYouGoBy. 

The money you spend goes back into your community. 

When you buy from a local business, 67 cents for every dollar spent stays within your community. Part of that money goes directly to the artist and their family. On Nasbie, many of our partners within the Greater Philadelphia area chose to support other small businesses whenever they can. This means shopping locally not only when they buy supplies for their product, but when they shop for themselves as well. All of this money keeps circling within your community to create a richer economy in the area you know and love. Our partners pledge to shop local because they know the care and craft that goes into artisan products made next door rather than in a factory. That brings us to our next point… 

Better quality products. 

When you buy from a small business, the person making and handling your products cares a lot more about what they’re sending out. Our partners take pride in their work; everything on Nasbie is hand made and curated by a real person. This real person is much more likely to catch any imperfections so they can make sure their products are high quality. 

Take founder of It’s Seasoned, Whitney Frederic, for example. Whitney started her business because she wanted to see better quality seasonings available. She prides herself on her seasonings being GMO, MSG, artificial flavor, dye and preservative free. She sources all of the ingredients for her blends with care to make sure she’s delivering something she can be proud of. A lot of these seasonings and ingredients are sourced because of their ethical and environmental benefits as well. Let’s talk about the environment and shopping. 

Shopping locally is environmentally friendly.

Buying from local retailers helps cut down on your carbon footprint. Say you need a new candle. When you buy from a partner on Nasbie, that candle is coming from someone within the Greater Philadelphia area. That means your package only has to travel with your state rather than take a jet plane across the world. Fun (not actually so fun) Fact: Jet planes emit a lot of carbon dioxide and other harmful gasses. Amazon actually has their own line of freight jets because of how regularly they ship transcontinentally. On the other hand, Nasbie offers in person pick-up when you purchase on our website to help eliminate travel miles for your products. Interesting juxtaposition there…

The people making your products also care about the environment as much as you do. Let’s think back to the candle scenario. Candles made with paraffins and other dangerous chemical ingredients can cause unwanted pollution in your home. This means it’s important to find candle makers that care about the ingredients they’re using. Take Candle Studio 1422 for example. All of the candles made by Candle Studio 1422 are made with soy wax. This is one of the safest ways to make candles. Not only do our partners care about making products you’ll enjoy, but they want to make products that will be safe for you and the environment. 

Everyone wins when you shop local. 

This is part of why we created Nasbie. We want to help make local shopping in the Greater Philadelphia Area easy. More convenience means shopping local becomes your first choice. From being a consumer to being a producer, there are undeniable benefits of shopping locally. Not only do you receive better quality products, but you make the world a better place when you do. Environmentally you reduce your carbon footprint and you support your neighborhood while doing it. You can be a local superhero… Look at you go! Or should I say, look at you #GoBuyWhereYouGoBy.

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Social Media is a full time job– let our team of people take some of the stress off your shoulders.

Social media can open many doors; finding new customers, promoting your business and it’s values, advertising your products and so much more. Social media marketing can also start to feel like more of a burden than a benefit when you’re a small business owner. 

Here at Nasbie, we have a whole team dedicated to your small business’s success. That means a team of people focused on marketing, a team of people focused on social media, a team of people focused on partner and customer relationships, and a team of people focused on expanding our community. Owning a small business is enough work on it’s own. Add in hours on social media and studying marketing strategy and SEO– you’re looking at a full time job with double overtime! 

We know how hard it can be to thrive in the online world. That’s just another reason we created Nasbie. We’re the only ecommerce site dedicated to local, small businesses. We’re dedicated to our social media marketing, making Nasbie another avenue for customers to find you and your products. Sure, you could pay for ads and promotions. Some of the people your ads reach could be your target audience, but a lot of the time they won’t be. At Nasbie we’ve created a strong social media presence dedicated to finding new members of our community. We eat, sleep and breathe local. Our social media presence does, too. 

No matter what, Nasbie is here for you: our partners and our customers. We strive to connect artisan creators with the people in the community that will really appreciate their work.

So sit back, light a candle (you can even find some in our beauty and wellness category) and let us take some of your online workload. You focus on the great products, we’ll take care of the rest. 

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Measuring Small Business Success on our Dashboard

Something you might notice on Nasbie’s homepage is our Small Business Success Dashboard. We measure three things; businesses on Nasbie, the jobs they’ve created and the revenue that purchases made on Nasbie have accrued and put back into the community. This Small Business Success Dashboard serves as a reminder of Nasbie’s goals, values and priorities. It’s as simple as local, local, LOCAL. 

So far with 39 businesses on Nasbie, 47 jobs have been created or saved and over $700 recycled into our very own community. All that only three weeks after Nasbie’s launch and we don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. 

Shopping local is the obvious choice when you really think about it. By measuring the success of the small businesses we host on Nasbie, we measure how impactful your dollar can be. As a consumer, that dollar holds a lot of power. By shopping at small local businesses you can help keep your community flourishing. This sounds like a way better alternative to putting more money into a power hungry billionaires pocket. 

The issue has always been convenience. This is one of the many reasons we created Nasbie. Before Nasbie, there was no legitimate online alternative to shopping in a small town or buying from a talented family friend. It’s hard to find small businesses and artisans with products you love. Our society has made it that way. Amazon smothered the market and Etsy made a thinly veiled attempt at redeeming it. It’s time for a change.

Nasbie is daring to be different. By starting in the greater Philadelphia area, we’re focusing on a hyperlocal market and creating interconnectivity between people that could genuinely benefit from an online platform. We’re making shopping local more convenient than it’s ever been. With a one-stop-shop online marketplace and options for in-person pick-up there’s really no reason to shop anywhere else. #GoBuyWhereYouGoBy just got a whole lot easier.

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WCU Students Staff New E-Commerce Site Nasbie

June 8, 2021

ECommerce Site from WCU Students and Faculty

Small businesses suffered during the pandemic but a new local online platform — staffed by recent WCU grads and students — is now available to help small artisan businesses in the greater Philadelphia region market their products virtually.

Nasbie launched in late May. It’s the brainchild of Komeil Nasrollahi, business engagement manager for the Chester County Economic Development Council, who teaches in WCU’s College of Business and Public Management.

“During my time as a WCU faculty member, I’ve met a handful of students who truly exceeded my expectations of young adults,” he notes. He recruited them to help launch Nasbie…

If you’re interested in reading on, you can access the full article here!

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Discovering An Etsy Alternative #ByeByeEtsy

Is an Etsy alternative possible? For months we’ve tip-toed around our competitors’ names in hopes to be neutral in the online shopping world. Well, no more Mr. Nice-Nasbie. 

If we’ve learned anything while creating Nasbie, it would be the frustrations our partners have faced dealing with Etsy. From hidden fees to hidden product listings, it seems like Etsy only wants mainstream and mass produced products to succeed. There’s no reason a partner should list their products, look up the exact title and product tags they paired with it themselves and not see their work for pages. An Etsy alternative would truly make local artisans sell local.

From listing fees to shipping fees to advertisement fees, Etsy breaks up their charges into smaller percentages to trick artists into thinking it won’t be that much. $0.20 here, 5% there, 3% eventually and another 15% if you’re actually successful. Eventually you’re losing 25% of revenue. Oh, and if you want to access their premium features while building your site, you’re also going to have to pay a monthly fee. Frustrating is an understatement. Running a small business is already hard enough. Why make things any harder? It seemed to be time for an Etsy alternative.

We decided to learn from those that came before us. Nasbie was born during a pandemic where small businesses were struggling most. The goal has never been to profit or exploit; it’s to help our neighbors by creating unity and strength. 

Take this as our oath to do better. We might just be starting out in the ecommerce industry but we don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. Our mission will always be the same; support local businesses. Our success is completely dependent on our partners and it always will be. 

So, Greater Philly area, let’s vow to do better- together. #ByeByeEtsy.

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Welcome to Nasbie!

Nice to meet you, we’re Nasbie!

Welcome to Nasbie! If you’re here then you’re probably wondering what we are, what we do and how we started. Allow me to explain. 

Nasbie is an ecommerce platform dedicated solely to selling local, artisan products from small business owners. We have no time for corporate monster stores and their policies (or scams). Our success is completely dependent on our partner’s success. 

Nasbie started in Chester County. Our founder, Komeil Nasrollahi, has been working for a non-profit organization in the area for years, and it was while he was there hearing about the struggles small businesses face that the idea hit him. After countless occasions attempting to help small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic, Komeil started working on a nameless ecommerce site dream. Komeil is a man of many wonders, not only does he teach entrepreneurship and business to undergrad and MBA students at West Chester University but the man speaks four languages! Komeil is an immigrant to the U.S. and has been all over the world and seen a little bit of everything, but even with all those smarts he decided to enlist some help. A mentor, an entrepreneur and two of his students walk into a bar type of deal- except the bar in this case was a Zoom call- and Nasbie was born. 

Since it’s conception, we’d like to say Nasbie has worked hard to define our mission but it was actually pretty easy; support local businesses and the community. Every step of the way we’ve decided to put small business owners first. We like to believe there’s no more room in the world for scammers and schemes. We know how hard it is to run a small business, why on earth would we want to make it any harder? 

Every business and artist that joins Nasbie becomes a partner, not a pawn. We call them partners because we want to work together towards success. Nasbie would be nothing without each and every one of them. 

We can’t wait to grow and find more and more artisan creators in the Greater Philadelphia area– and hopefully soon to be beyond. If you take anything away from our introduction let it be this; Nasbie is daring to be different and we want you to join us in our journey.

Why Nasbie

Now you might be thinking, “Why Nasbie?” and that’s a fair question so let us answer it for you. Nasbie is here to make an impact; not for big chains, not for corporate giants, not even for ourselves. We are here to create success for the small businesses that make up 99% of our workforce, that add value to our communities, that support the growth of local towns. No fees, no worldwide competition, no profit hungry mission. 

When you think of Nasbie, you’ll think easy, convenient, transparent. And isn’t that the type of company we’ve all been looking for? One that puts its partners first by building customer relationships, creating connections within the community, and promoting local value. We’re successful when our partners are successful; so you make the products and we’ll do the rest.  Owning a small business and being an entrepreneur is all about having a dream, learning as you go, taking risks; so why not take the chance on us? We may not have fully convinced you yet but in our opinion, partnering with Nasbie might just be the best business decision you’ve ever made. If you’re interested in learning more, send us a message here!

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