Nearly 9 years ago, the idea for Batch was born. The idea at inception was relatively simple: ship four Nashville-made items to subscribers once a month. The goal? To grow, but ultimately stay small. We felt that if we worked hard we could eventually get up to 200 or so subscribers by our third month.
To say the rest is history would be glossing over the ups and downs, heartaches and happiness, and challenges and accomplishments we've faced over the last decade. While we're very much still a small business (which the SBA defines as any company with fewer than 500 employees), we're still growing and changing on this very meaningful journey.
And that's what happens when you shop at a small business: you're supporting someone's journey.
I know that because every vendor we work with has a story about that journey. Ours is full of stops and starts, city launches and closures, store openings and closings, product launches and sunsets. Hopefully, each one has allowed for a key learning moment that makes us stronger and better poised to travel well as we march forward on our journey.
Our vendors' journeys are of those who take family recipes and build a brand based on legacy. There are journeys of entrepreneurs searching for the perfect candle, sauce, soap, or caramel and not stopping until they've found it on their own kitchen or workshop table. Those journeys of quality and no compromise allow dreamers and schemers the chance to make the world just a tiny bit better.
But for nearly every small business owner, the journey doesn't end with a finished product primed for your enjoyment. The journey continues as they grow ever bigger and hire their first employee (small businesses account for two-third of all new jobs created in the US).
Or, as they sign that first lease or finally get that piece of equipment that makes them more successful.
Then there's the journey toward that first BIG order, that first media mention, that first brand recognition.
Beneath the parts of the journey we usually measure in dollars and cents, traffic and ROI, are the elements that outlast any business: family, community, legacy, meaning, and impact.
When you shop at a small business, you're supporting an owner's children getting to go to school or invest in their own dream. You're providing healthcare and security for people who don't have the safety net of a large corporation. You're making a statement, confirming the vision of a founder who believes they can help save the planet, protect a species, feed others who are vulnerable, or create meaningful work.
Big businesses can do all that, too, but usually only once they've gotten so big that they need to establish a committee or initiative to focus in on supporting small businesses (which we - ahem - love to help with). But the beauty of small businesses is that such meaning and impact is baked into the DNA and modus operandi of the company itself.
Spend $1, make an impact.
During this Small Business Week, I hope you continue to support small businesses wherever you are. Whether you work one in to your daily routine or go out of your way to be deliberate in how you spend your money this week, remember that a shift in your spend can create the next big idea. If you need an even more handy reminder, be sure to sign up for our Small Business Pledge so you can unleash the superhero we all know is inside.