As a small business owner, one truly appreciates any and all support that is received from the community and fellow small business owners. It is all of the little connections that can help you build your business (and your personality) while creating amazing new relationships, networks, etc. that often turn into friendships.
I would be remiss if I did not offer up an apology to two sets of business owners that both gave me the time and consideration to listen to my original pitch for Brewmiceter Hops Hunt. They, like everybody else, had a trillion items on their to do lists and not enough time to do them all. Despite the above, the owners, Will & Meredith McCameron, of Brewery 85 and the owners Shawn and Lindsay Johnson, of Birds Fly South found the time to talk to me about my start up business and both sets of owners were among the original 8 Brewmiceter Hops Hunt locations. Thank you Will, Meredith, Shawn and Lindsay! Without the right support from the right locations, there would have been no Brewmiceter Hops Hunt. They helped me get my business off the ground. In their honor I have started the Brewmiceter Honorary Graveyard with these 2 being the first to be honored. Check out the Graveyard and see what it is all about.
Me being late thanking them - disappointing. My disappoint in myself for this is the reason I am writing this article and for the creation of the Brewmiceter Hops Hunt Honorable Graveyard - to thank those who helped me and remember how I got my start with my business.
It seems that we often forget how important partners like the 4 above are, or we forget to take the time for that cup of coffee/beer/lunch with another small business person who is eager to have our ear.
If it had not been for two wonderful, knowledgeable, charming, amazing women, Michelle Nance and Kendra Williams (don’t know why I put her last name, everyone knows who she is) with Visit Greenville SC, again, Brewmiceter Hops Hunt, would not have gotten off the ground. Michelle spent quality time with me in the Visitor Center when I went in to get general information about the chamber. Kendra, the second person I met with Visit Greenville SC, not only gave me a ton of information, but she thought to invite me to a small networking event. Actually, all of the people I have dealt with at Visit Greenville SC have been amazing and deserve a thank you as well - you all know who you are, and you have all been phenomenal to work with. Separate call out - Thank you Michelle and Kendra! I tell every small business owner that I meet, that Visit Greenville SC has been the single largest blessing/resource/knowledge based business that is responsible for me getting my business started and for it still being open 2 years later .
If we don’t try to follow all of their examples and help build up our local businesses, while building up and contributing to our community, where will we end up?
Sure there are corporate programs to have employees engage with the local communities, but is that what makes Greenville special? I will share one more quick event that has stayed with me since it happened. This event describes, for me, what keeps Greenville special:
It was a normal beautiful day and I was out for a walk downtown. Yes, I can be “that” person, you know the one that smiles and says hi to everyone that I pass. I will stop and offer to take a photo, help someone looking at a map, and even chime in if the people walking in front of me are discussing where to eat. Now on this particular day, I saw a gentleman slightly behind me at a crosswalk. He was holding something and I thought it was licorice so I took a double take. He was in fact eating twizzlers(or carrots - memory fadeout) from a Zip Lock bag. He smiled, and of course we ended up talking. I know I don’t have all of the facts straight but the jest of the story is that he had worked downtown, he comes downtown once a week and meets with other professionals, and he walks around on his lunch. He told me that the mere fact that we had this simple exchange while walking and we both went our own ways smiling, glad we took the few minutes to chat, and a little cheerier is what he feels Greenville is all about. He also said that he sees less and less of these types of interactions. Those 5 minutes were so special to me that I actually put a note in my phone later that day - not something I do often:
“Tell Nancy about Harold the man eating twizzlers that I met on the walk back from the chamber.” Thank you Harold!
In parting, my apologies are sincere, and I do believe, as a nun once told me: “Little things on little wings bear little souls to heaven.” Part of my focus for 2024 is to remember how much others have helped me and to pass it forward. This is sometimes easier said then done, but it is worth it to skip a few little things in my days to try to help other small businesses and to share the love every time I walk around our city. My goal/mission statement is:
We are a group of individuals who believe that we need to support the local business groups, keep our city friendly, help one another, be loyal, buy local, be kind, be inspiring, take pride in who we are, what we stand for and for the city that we call our home.
Have an amazing day and may the year ahead of you be your best one yet!
Be Loyal, Buy Local