It was love at first tweet. Sabina and I were having our weekly “digitally in-person” meeting over our computers, and I was skimming our Twitter stream. Fox Small Business had just tweeted an article, “Capital One Launches ‘I Am Small Business Proud Campaign’”, in which award-winning independent director and producer, Trisha Dalton and editor and cinematographer, John Sears, embark on a 10-week journey across the country to explore the true fabric of America’s economy – small businesses - all of which are shared on the official website: www.iamsmallbusinessproud.com. Sponsored by Spark Business from Capital One, the “I Am Small Business Proud” campaign shines a spotlight on the backbone of this country’s economy.
Within an instant, I was hooked. Watching my first video was like falling down an amazing rabbit hole filled with suck-you-in, inspiring and motivating brand stories. The first #SmallBizProud story I discovered was John and Trisha’s first documentary about The Salty Paw, a groomer in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport and their owner Amanda Byron Zinc who illustrates how she started the store, and how her business survived Hurricane Sandy. By the time I finished it, Sabina and my meeting had very much turned into a desire to share these stories and the coast-to-coast journey with all of you.
As to the origins of the movement, Buck Stinson, Senior Vice President for Spark, says this about why they created this project: “As a leading financial resource for small businesses, we understand the value of getting close to our customers. This is a great way for us to capture a true representation of small business owners and celebrate what they do every single day.”
Everything that we have discovered about this campaign aligns with what we do and support at Tin Shingle. That’s why we have joined Capital One Spark to help Team Trisha and John shine the light on small businesses from North Carolina to New York City, Scranton, PA to Sacramento, CA. We are now official #SmallBizProud groupies in a partnership with Capital One Spark!
For the next five weeks, you will see highlights of some of the most important take-aways from the #SmallBizProud campaign and anecdotal business lessons (not to mention bucket-loads of inspiration) from each business owner. You’ll also get to know Capital One Spark a bit better, and discover their reasons for the campaign along with why they have such a soft spot in their hearts for small business!
From the pharmacist Mat Slakoper of Mat’s Pharmacy, who after working in a pharmacy spent two years looking for one of his own to buy, only to buy his hometown pharmacy and work for months until finally seeing profit which he hasn’t stopped doing in his 25 years of business...
...to the owners of the NIRO boutique, who not only design their own clothes, but teach fashion and entrepreneurship to youth in their community as part of their business model.
You can follow the filmmaker’s journey and check out past videos by state right now here, and stay tuned to our blog for our take-aways as they come! As of this blog posting, Trisha and John are traveling from New Orleans to Baton Rouge and Shreveport in Louisiana. You can follow their path and pictures via their Instagram and Twitter as well as Capital One Small Business Facebook page, as well as through the hashtag #SmallBizProud.
Disclosure: The #SmallBizProud content series is sponsored by Capital One Spark. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Capital One.