Community is the most important thing.
Growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania I learned to value small business. Both of my parents owned their own businesses and it’s what I grew up understanding.
The local grocery store, hardware store, fitness centers, restaurants, coffee shops — not a single one of them were chains or superstores. There was only one – and I knew who owned it because I probably went to school with their kids in the one school in our town.
When I graduated college and moved to Washington DC I went from a huge fish in a puddle to a tiny fish in a huge ocean! I was lost, I was a nobody, I wasn’t special anymore.
After six years of living in the DC area, I’ve begun to create a name for myself. I’ve gotten to know the local businesses, partnered with other entrepreneurs, and tried to bring people together. It turned Old Town into my home and all of a sudden I was a small fish in pond. My circle grew a little bigger.
When I look to grow my businesses it’s always been my goal to find other locals. I didn’t want to hire a cleaning service for my airbnb, I wanted to hire the woman down the street who started her own small cleaning company with one employee. When I was looking to hire photographers for Photo Becky, I looked for the woman trying to start her own photography business to partner with.
We only succeed if we work together.