Friday, November 9, 2012

Mark Your Calendars -- Nov. 24th is Small Business Saturday -- Show Your Support for Local Mom and Pop Stores

I was recently chosen by Mom Central Consulting and American Express as a Small Business Saturday Ambassador, for the upcoming "Shop Small Business Saturday," which is happening on November 24th.  I was not only honored because I love sharing weekly Spotlight on Mom posts about moms who are small business owners -- as well as spotlight dads -- but, also because I am a small business owner myself with my "Inspired by Savannah" company and blog. While pregnant with my first daughter in 2009, I came up with an idea for a new product, which I called "Sootheaze."  On a whim, I applied for a grant through the Huggies Mom Inspired program, and was surprised when I was awarded $15,000 to help me start my business.  Prior to this, I worked as a health educator for over 10 yrs., so I didn't have the background experience in starting a business, let alone running it successful. 

As my journey as a small business owner began, I hit many bumps along the way, including trademarking issues, legal costs, etc.  No one ever says how much money it takes to start a business.  When I was awarded the grant through Huggies, I thought I had hit the jackpot and would be set for awhile.  But, as the costs began to add up, the money slowly went away.  I began charging expenses on a business credit card, all before the product came to market.

Fast forward two years -- my product is still in development, as changed had to be to made for safety and liability issues, and we welcomed two daughters (one in 2010, and then again in 2011).  So, as you can imagine being a new parent and new small business owner can be stressful and time consuming.  Also, along the way, I began blogging and spotlighting other mom entrepreneurs.  I met a lot of mom entrepreneurs through networking and online, but noticed that they were getting the exposure they deserved.  Not only were they trying to balance family and work like me, but they were also offering amazing products/services that they came up with.  Their stories were inspiring and I wanted to offer an outlet for them to share and hopefully nudge other moms who were on the fence about starting a business.  Now two years into my blog (another business of mine), I have spotlighted over 400 moms.  Even though with the slumping economy, some have had to step back from their business, others are thriving in part to the support they receive from those in their communities that like to support small businesses.

Did you know that Saturday, November 24th is "Small Business Saturday?"  This is a day set aside to not only highlight wonderful small businesses, but give people the opportunity to start their holiday shopping and get some amazing, and usually one-of-a-kind gifts, all while supporting small businesses.  Because, without your support and business, these business (which many mom entrepreneurs own) will not stay in business.  Being a small business owner, I know firsthand the struggles one faces in running a successful business, while also wearing various hats (Mom, wife, sister, friend, employee, etc.)  And, when I started by business and blog, I wanted to offer support to other small business owners.  So, not only do I spotlight mom and dad entrepreneurs, but I shop local small businesses on a weekly basis, and especially every year on "Small Business Saturday."

Please help me in supporting the small businesses in your community by marking your calendar for Saturday, November 24th, and heading out to shop local boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, etc.  I was amazed when I began looking at all the local small businesses that were in my community - there were so many of them.  Do you have a favorite local small business you like shopping at?  I'd love to hear your stories about special finds while shopping there, as well if you support small businesses on "Small Business Saturday," like I do.

And, if you know a mom or dad entrepreneur who would love to share their story and product with readers, share my website/email or leave a comment below. I am looking for people to spotlight in 2013, and would love to share stories of those you know.

To learn more about "Small Business Saturday," including finding shops in your area -- click here to visit American Express' Shop Small site --

Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for American Express. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.

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