The Beautiful Irony Of Being Self Made And Relying On Others

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Supporting a woman owned small business is a phenomenal way to be the change and to be a feminist. This is why shop local and shop small is fab advice.

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This Is Why You Should Support Woman Owned Small Businesses

This week marks the official beginning of the holiday season. For many households, this means one thing: Let the shopping begin. We have heard — and had — many-a-debate about what's better, Black Friday shopping or Cyber Monday shopping. Added to the debate mix is a little bit of brilliance called Small Business Saturday. On VProud there is an amazing video that shows how much heart goes into running a small business and how much impact occurs from shopping locally and shopping small. Mom, yoga instructor, and small business owner, Ilene Evans, reflects on this topic with a fabulous twist shedding light on the intersection between the independence required to run your own business and the interdependence required to have a successful small business. We absolutely love Ilene's take on this topic and were very inspired by it and think that you will be, too.

—The VProud Team

small business saturday

Small Business:  A Love Story

By Ilene Evans For VProud

In our culture, we tend to romanticize the notion of being “self made.” We love a good rags-to-riches story. We praise those who “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.”  Independence is idolized and dependence on others is often considered weak.  We take pride in going at difficult tasks alone, especially when we succeed at them.

I do not buy into the self-made myth because I believe that we find our success and personal power by relying on and exchanging with others.  We need a tribe, and one that is diversified.  We need people in our lives who think differently than we do and who have different areas of expertise so that we can expand our own knowledge base and examine issues from other viewpoints.

In no area of my life has this interdependency been more necessary than when I started my business two years ago. From the moment I began to explore my business idea as a possibility, I talked to people.

I talked to the small business resource center at the local community college. I talked to other business owners in my town. I talked to the development department at Town Hall to get an idea of what it would take to pass building inspections on the commercial space I was looking to renovate. I enlisted the plumber I had hired to find other workers for me to help with construction on the building. Shortly before my scheduled fire inspection, in a panic that I had misunderstood regulations, I frantically recruited the fire chief of our town to double check the installation of my fire extinguishers.

It took the input and feedback and help of many to get my business started. And my dependency on others does not end there.
I depend on the people in my town every day to keep my small business going.

I could have the best product and the best customer service in the world, but without the support of the town, my business wouldn’t exist.  There’s nothing self-made about my story. I am here solely because my customers show up for me. 

Behind every small business is a love story.  It begins with an entrepreneur who is in love with a product or an idea who connects with clients who also love that product or idea. It’s dynamic and interdependent and not in the least about a solo journey. The best love stories rarely are.

ilene evans hippie chick granola vproud
About the author: Ilene Evans is the owner of Hippie Chick Granola Co., a small batch granola bakery located on Oak Island, NC. When she’s not baking or chatting up the locals at work, you can find her chasing her high-strung rescue dog down the beach, driving the soccer car pool, or teaching yoga. Find out more about Ilene and Hippie Chick Granola Co. at, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Join Ilene's honest conversations on VProud.

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'Tis the season to support Small Business Saturday: Do you make an effort to #shopsmall during the holidays?

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