This is maybe and admittedly not really random, a shoutout to Small Business Saturday. Maybe not random because, well, it’s tomorrow. Admittedly because Sendline is, of course, a small business, and it's my first year I can lay claim being part of the occasion now as an owner, too.
Small businesses are pretty cool. I’m not just saying that as a now-small business owner. I’m not just saying that because my wife Katie and I have been participating, not just the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but throughout the year, every year for as long as I can remember. We shop at our neighborhood farmer’s market, found each other’s wedding rings from craftspeople on Etsy, go out of our way to find local coffee everywhere we travel. We still laugh about a time on our honeymoon to New Zealand a few years ago. We were walking the streets of Queenstown and joked to each other after spotting a Starbucks, ubiquitous but out of place, ‘There’s gotta be a Starbucks around here somewhere.’ A Kiwi, ahead of us on the sidewalk, turned around on hearing that and, in feigned helpfulness, pointed to it for us. It was okay. He didn’t get the joke, which had its origins, in fact, a couple of years earlier in Bend, Oregon. Similarly, we were walking the streets there with our Lone Pine Coffee in hand when a group of women rounded the corner, surrounded by local coffee options. We heard one of them admonish, out of breath, ‘There must be a Starbucks around here somewhere!’ She was serious. In Queenstown, we were joking.
Nostalgia aside, I’m saying small businesses are cool because they exist for a single reason: the people who start them have passion. Passion is priceless, and infectious.
Always looking to be inspired, Sendline supports local, small businesses, too. At our workshops in Leavenworth, Washington, for example, we serve espresso and coffee from J5, bread and pastries from Anjou Bakery. Our lodging partner, LOGE Camps, is based in North Bend, and our swag is covered in the killer artwork of Leavenworth’s Ali Hancock. Their passion, every one of them, is palpable. It’s awesome.