Prime Day was and still is one of the most anticipated days in the e-Commerce world. However, it has gained additional notoriety over the past 2 years as a reminder of everything that is wrong with the monopoly built by Amazon. Krissy Mashinsky is using social media and blockchain to help sellers jump the hurdles that come with not using Amazon.
Over the past years, Amazon has been in the spotlight for all of the wrong reasons, ranging from poor work conditions in its warehouses to copying products offered by its sellers. These controversies have not only resulted in scrutiny from the public and media but also in a bipartisan push to rein in the company. About a month ago, John Oliver referred to Amazon’s creation of knockoffs in a segment on Tech Monopolies which created ripples across the industry.
Few people are more familiar than Krissy with the trouble that monopolies like Amazon represent for small businesses looking to make it in the e-Commerce industry. She has more than 30 years of experience in the retail industry by holding leadership positions for companies like Calvin Klein, Free People, and URBN. In 2020, she took all this experience and applied it to the launch of USA Strong, her new e-Commerce platform.
Krissy is a force to be reckoned with in the retail industry, especially when it comes to the application of new technologies like blockchain, being asked to speak in conferences like NFT NYC and in front of government officials to help them make decisions. Her charisma and gravitas have also helped her establish a presence on social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, reaching a following of over 2 million.
On Krissy’s social media, her followers are not only able to get a peek into her hobbies, family life, charity efforts, and projects but also to learn important insights into the status of different industries. Over the past 2 years, Krissy has shared her insights on why Amazon is detrimental to small businesses and consumers alike, championing the #boycottamazon cause on several occasions through stories and posts. In an interview with Cheddar News back in March, she referred to this cause by stating:
“I spent 30 years in the frontline of retail and I just watched these small businesses get decimated. . . . When you think about what happens with these small businesses with Amazon…money doesn’t go back to small businesses, Jeff Bezos keeps that money. These small businesses don’t know that until they are so deep that is hard for them to get out. When you think about how many small businesses have shut down, I would directly attribute that to what has happened with Amazon.”
While boycotting Amazon is not a new proposition in itself, most of those who have called for such action have failed to see a simple reality: Amazon is more than just convenience. The platform has become so ingrained in society that it is now the driving force behind industries like streaming, cloud computing, AI, and much more. Expecting consumers and businesses to go without its services is asking for the impossible without offering an alternative.
USA Strong is Krissy’s alternative to Amazon’s retail arm. The online platform focuses on curating, selling, and verifying products made in the United States while giving 90% of every sale to the shop owner. The platform has been especially popular among female entrepreneurs, with them constituting 70% of all shop owners. In addition to this, 60% of all partners have a charitable arm, which further strengthens the platform’s mission to have a local impact.
It will take years for monopolies like Amazon’s to disappear independently of boycott campaigns and bipartisan efforts to pass antitrust bills. However, efforts like Krissy’s are already pushing toward a real solution not only by showing that alternatives do exist but also that they can work.