When Misty Rawls started making skincare products in the kitchen of her log cabin home, she certainly had no idea that just a few short years later, she’d be seeing her products in retail stores and working with customers all across the country.
She started making her products because she had a personal need for all-natural skin care. As a nurse, she found she was allergic to some of the ingredients in products she was using, and wanted to find a solution.
In case you missed it, last week The UPS Store teamed up with Entrepreneur magazine to sponsor its annual Growth 2.0 Conference – an event where entrepreneurs come together to network and learn from experts in the field. Attendees heard from small business thought leaders and went to workshops focused on social media and brand management.
If you are a small business owner, are thinking about starting your own business, or just like to soak up motivational business content, here’s what you missed:
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, not only because of the food, but because it gives me a chance to think about what I’m thankful for. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I am especially thankful to live in a society that supports one another. Not only were families, friends, and neighbors affected, but local shops and businesses, as well. In this time of thanksgiving and the holidays, what better way to say thanks to our neighbors by supporting small business during Small Business Saturday?
Starting a business can be scary and challenging, as Michael and Peter Solaka, owners of Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe in Detroit, Michigan, quickly learned. As they worked to open their shop they faced a series of setbacks including flooding, robbery, and landlord bankruptcy. At times it seemed as if their local grocery shop would never open. But after two and a half years, through determination and incredible resilience, Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe has finally opened its doors, and we want to help make sure it stays that way.
We’re always looking for new ways to help small businesses, so when we heard about cash mobs, we knew we wanted to get involved. Cash mobs are events where community members gather together and target a local small business to give them a one-time profit surge. It’s a great way to encourage people to buy local and generate revenue that supports their community. To show our support, we worked with local cash mob organizations and pitched in $25 Visa gift cards in different cities across the country for participants to spend at designated small businesses, one of those being Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe.
Oh, New York in the fall – I couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate small business with some amazing people! In July, Martha Stewart launched “American Made”, a celebration of American artisans and entrepreneurs presented in partnership with The UPS Store. Ten rising stars in food, fashion, design, community, gardening, crafts and technology were chosen as featured businesses by Martha’s team, and an 11th small business was chosen as the Audience Choice award winner through online voting.
When you’re your own boss, work isn’t just a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekday job – it’s your life! You eat, sleep and breathe your business, down to the very last details. And although you may be the expert when it comes to your product, there may be other areas of the business you have questions about. Whether it’s tips on how to protect your business or insight into the world of social media, having the opportunity to ask an expert can be a big help.
So, if you run your own small business, or even if you’re just thinking about starting one, take the chance to ask Steve Strauss, author of “The Small Business Bible” and USA Today contributor, all of your small business questions at the live chat on The UPS Store’s Facebook page on Thursday, October 18 from 9 -10 p.m. EST.
If you grew up in a small town like I did, you know what it’s like to walk into the local bakery or clothing boutique and feel at home. I always loved when my parents would take us to the small Italian restaurant on the corner. It was owned by one of our neighbors and I got a kick out of watching their kids whiz around taking orders while their mom and dad were cooking and working the room. It seemed like such a family affair. Thinking back, it all looked so simple and pleasant, but behind those kitchen doors, I’m sure it was anything but.
With any small business, the road to success is never easy. And for those brave enough to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality, there are a lot of obstacles to overcome that can be intimidating to face alone, especially in the midst of an unstable economy and a growing need for community driven businesses.
Whether it’s in your professional or personal life, I think everyone has had a mentor. We all can think of that someone who inspired you to follow your dreams, pushed you to excel, or showed you the ropes when you were just starting out. For me, it’s not only my college professors, but my family and my co-workers, not to mention my boss who gave me my start in public relations.
For someone who is just getting into the small business world and is trying to get their operation off the ground, a mentor who has experience and provides guidance can be just the person to get you where you need to go. Thankfully, there are organizations like SCORE, who guide small business owners through the trials and tribulations of running a business, while also offering advice and expertise.
As a little girl, I remember being jealous watching my friend, Samantha, color on the sidewalk. It may sound silly, but the fact that she could create works of art out of chalk and cement always drove me nuts. Why did my portrayal of a puppy end up looking like a pot-bellied pig while hers looked like it could get up and fetch a tennis ball?
Fortunately, we are way past those days now. Instead of chalk, she uses her computer. And instead of dogs, she creates incredible wedding invitations. Samantha has grown up to be an amazing graphic artist with a growing business in the wedding industry.
This fall, Martha Stewart will launch “American Made”, a celebration of American artisans and entrepreneurs presented in partnership with The UPS Store. Awards will be given to the top 10 rising stars in Food, Fashion, Design, Community, Gardening, Crafts and Technology. Martha’s team is still looking for a final recipient to honor, so if you know a creative individual or small business owner that you’d like to have recognized, nominate them for the Audience Choice award by August 25th.
With all of the sunshine, crowded beaches and endless pool parties, it’s hard to believe that back-to-school is right around the corner. It seems like school just let out for summer vacation! It’s never too early to start planning for the chaos that is August and September.
Even for the most organized of parents, the weeks leading up to the first day of school can be a whirlwind of crayons, calculators and textbooks. But can you imagine the stress that those first-time college parents feel?