Growing up in a small town, I have always valued the heart of mom & pop businesses. I am originally from Hephzibah, GA, a one stoplight community with a post office, church, police station, and public school system. I believe exposure to a small town atmosphere gave me a sense of understanding for home-grown creativity and businesses made from scratch. I went to the same private school from kindergarten to my senior year of high school. As any high school senior would be, I was MORE than ready to explore the rest of the world beyond my Georgia home. I moved to Nashville, and quickly fell in love with the city and the people! I think there is something to be said about the person(s) behind a private business. I find it fascinating when I can sit down with the brain behind the original idea, how it connects to their background, who they are as an entrepreneur, and what they dream to be the future of their business. Our society has become accustomed to glamorizing “hard work" ; that for a certain amount of time, you go through challenges, and then immediately become established. By getting to know the owners, I hear their take on starting a new business and the challenges they still face because they work for themselves. Yet so many rewards come out of their journey and I believe their authentic point of view is worthy of acknowledgement and appreciation. Owners are constantly adapting to interests and leisure time of families, college students, singles, and the elderly. I was taught the importance of working hard for something greater than yourself and not allowing trends and popular ways of living to interfere; to be proud of who I was, learning to listen and applying my skills to reach my goals. The artistic aspect of Nashville gives so many people a chance to give back. If I could describe Nashville in three words, I would say it’s resourceful, genuine, and diversified. There is always someone new I meet that is proud of their individual skills, strengths, and passions. Since spending my time here, I have made a point to visit a new restaurant or retail shop when catching up with a friend. My blog, The Local Lady, highlights my journey discovering small businesses and their stories. My hopes are to expand Local Lady to cover small businesses around the globe! Locally owned businesses are the reason why chains exist. If they ever become obsolete, I believe some of the best ideas will never get the chance to come to fruition. I hope you enjoy my posts and are encouraged to do some exploring yourself!
Embracing Authenticity & One-of-a-Kind Legacies,
~ Libby Oellerich, "The Local Lady"