The 4 M’s!!

1824 General Store

 

Well, it’s that time of year again; the Ho Ho Ho/Turkey/Merry Christmas/Hanukkah season! I was going to write about the holiday season that is upon us but I attended the Mt. Pleasant Downtown Merchant’s Meeting this morning (as I do each month as I am the secretary for it) and decided to change my topic to the 4 M’s.

In May 2018, a few of us decided to start up monthly meetings for Mt. Pleasant merchants to attend. Most of the merchants in downtown Mt. Pleasant are on the email list. I’m probably missing some so if you aren’t on the email list and are a merchant, please email me (Angela) at 1824generalstore@gmail.com so I can add you. Although not everyone can attend every meeting or at all if they are having to be in their store, each merchant receives an agenda ahead of the meeting, minutes after the meeting and can always be added to the agenda to discuss a topic if they so choose.

We discuss and plan events for the City of Mt. Pleasant, for our stores collectively, get updates from the City Manager, Chamber of Commerce and the Community Development Corporation.  From time to time, we do like to ask merchants to speak and share something beneficial with the group. We may have an outside expert come in and speak on social media, marketing etc all in an attempt to help us be more knowledgeable which hopefully in turn helps our businesses become a more enjoyable place to shop and attract more visitors.

During our meeting today we had an awesome message from a local business owner; hence the title of my blog – The 4 M’s.

Missy Meador’s Message to Merchants

Missy’s business ‘Human Capital Management Group’ located here in Mt. Pleasant offers human resource services to small, mid-size and large companies.  She is very passionate about the Mt. Pleasant community and supports the local businesses. We were so fortunate to have her speak at our meeting today. Her message to merchants was a positive one about our business community and the City in which we live. More inspiring than HR processes and job descriptions. 🙂

She talked about what a unique town we have in that it truly is walk-able from many of the neighborhoods to the downtown area. Not all towns have that feature but WE do! That Mt. Pleasant has a lot to offer people including the wonderful businesses we have here. And the importance of supporting one another in business as opposed to looking at each other as ‘competitors’.  I can personally say that the business owners here in town that I know are huge supporters of each other’s businesses and share events on their social media pages, send people to each other’s stores and support each other whenever possible. It’s really nice to work with these business owners and managers.

Missy also talked about being a ‘brand ambassador‘ for our community as business owners; taking pride and ownership in Mt. Pleasant.

I would encourage each and every person reading this blog to be a ‘brand ambassador’ for Mt. Pleasant.

Being a brand ambassador for Mt. Pleasant means sharing with others all the wonderful things here, the events we have, the businesses to shop in, the school programs, the manufacturing that’s moving here, the grants we have received, music events, restaurants to dine in, etc.  But it’s more than just sharing about it, it’s participating in it. You know how the saying goes… ‘Talk the talk or walk the walk’.  We need to walk the walk. So let’s spread the word and so some walking! 🙂

As you begin your holiday shopping this season please start by looking in the Mt. Pleasant shops first before going outside of the community. It would be greatly appreciated by all. 🙂 Someone may have just what you need or want and the perfect gift you didn’t know you were looking for. 🙂 Each week I’ll list a few downtown businesses to bring awareness to.

‘It takes a village’. It takes all of us to spread the word.

As Missy said, “Mt. Pleasant is in a beautiful place right now‘. I couldn’t agree more. So many wonderful things in the works and the current and future looks bright for us all.

Until next time 🙂 Angela

Nelipot Boutique: A cute clothing boutique on 1st Ave. Check her page for hours and updates.

Mt. Pleasant Grille: Most of you already know the Grille as they’ve been around for awhile but maybe you haven’t been there lately. They have homemade ice cream and delicious chicken and waffles.

Mindful Palm Massage: This is a new business downtown at 108 Hay Long Ave that recently opened. Check out her website for more details. She will have gift cards available soon. What a great, relaxing gift for your loved one.

Becky’s Do or Dye: Need your hair cut, dyed or an up-do? Check out Becky’s near the Grille. She’ll be happy to help you out.

Celebrating Women Business Owners AND Mt. Pleasant Radio Show?! Huh?

October is National Women’s Small Business Month! Being a small business owner myself, well, I think we deserve a little recognition for our vision, hard work and contribution to our communities and the economy. Kudos to all women who own a small business!! Here’s a toast to all of you who took a chance at your dream and saw it to fruition. YOU ROCK!!!!!!

According to the eighth annual 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report by American Express:

  • By January 2018 there were 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the US. These businesses employed 9.2 million people and generated revenues totaling $1.8 trillion.
  • Compared to all firms, women-owned businesses accounted for 58% of firms, employed 21% of the workforce, and generated 46% of revenues.
  • When it comes to growth, the businesses owned by women also fared better, surging 58% from 2007 to 2018. All other businesses on the other had increased by 12% during the same period. This was an annual growth of 4.2%.
  • Between 2017 and 2018, there were 1,821 net new women-owned businesses added per day.
  • Almost half or 48% of women business owners are between 45 and 65 years old, with 67% over 45 years of age. Women between 25 to 44 years made up the second largest group at 31%.
  • The vast majority, or 88% of women-owned businesses generated revenues of less than $100K.
  • The businesses which made between $100,000 and $249,999 accounted for 5% of all women-owned businesses.

As you can see – women contribute to our economy in a significant way across the country but today I want to focus on the women owned businesses right here in our quaint little town of Mt. Pleasant, Tenn. If I left anyone out (accidentally) type in the comments the name of the business so we can recognize her.

As we all know, Mt. Pleasant is currently going through a revitalization effort. More people from out of state and out of town have been moving here in the last couple of years just like my husband and I did a year and a half ago. We fell in love with the historic buildings downtown and the historic homes.

Photo Credit: Videoblocks

Yes, I’m going to say it again. 🙂 For a community to thrive and be alive, it takes a village. It takes people like these women business owners, to take a risk on opening a business in a not so bustling town. But we knew that coming into it and decided it was worth the risk otherwise we wouldn’t be here. Believe me, I know it takes fortitude especially on the days of few customers. Sometimes, I do ask myself, “What the heck did I get myself into?” 🙂 

But then I regroup  and remind myself that this store is a dream and goal of mine and even more so I would like to think 1824 General Store is providing a valuable service to residents in our community and surrounding areas.

Without our women owned businesses and services downtown,  there would be more vacant buildings falling apart, boarded up and sad looking and not many shopping options. So I encourage you during this month of October to stop in at least one of these women owned businesses and say ‘THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!’ And  another great way to say ‘thank you’ is by purchasing something in their store and telling your friends about your awesome purchase and invite them to go check out the Mt. Pleasant shops. That’s what will help keep all of these businesses open. Without community support, businesses are at risk for closing their doors and none of us want to do that. 🙂

And for those of you who do frequent the downtown businesses, a huge THANK YOU!! The other day, as people came into our store – I noticed that each person was a ‘regular’ customer of ours meaning they shop here frequently and it brought joy to me. I love that my customers appreciate us being here and the products we have that they keep on coming back.!!!!

Here are the Women Owned Businesses in Mt. Pleasant (that I am aware of).

Photo credit: Resiko

MT. PLEASANT RADIO SHOW- FRIDAY, OCT 12TH

You’ve heard right!! Mt. Pleasant will soon have it’s own radio show talking about all things Mt. Pleasant and surrounding communities. How awesome is that? The name of the show, “DRIVE SOUTH”.

This Friday at 9 am on WKOM 101.7 FM will be the first radio show for Mt. Pleasant that I’m aware of. This will be a once a week show, same time and place. The topics will rotate each week depending on what’s happening in and around town. Several of the merchants got together to help make this possible through purchasing ads for the show. But the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON responsible for making this opportunity possible is MICHELLE MORGAN with Hay Long Hall.

It was her vision and contacts that brought this radio show to fruition. Any businesses that want to purchase ad space in the form of a recorded commercial, contact Michelle Morgan at Hay Long Hall.

Friday’s show will consist of:

George Hamilton V will be the show’s host.

 

 

 

Michael Kelsh is the guest musician.

 

 

 

Marshall McGaw, author of Tales from the Backwards Z will be interviewed. He wrote this book which are stories of growing up in Mt. Pleasant. Of course we sell his book in our store. See, we make it easy for you.

 

Damien Boggs will be playing at Hay Long Hall on Saturday, October 13th from 7-10pm and will be interviewed on the first show.

 

 

HOW EXCITING!! I’m so happy for our town and so appreciate all the people that live here and have started businesses here (male and female). Thank you!!

Until next time 🙂 Angela

 

Made in Tenn Tasting Event!! Yum,Yum!!

Wow! This sounds like a lot of fun. When/Where/What/Who/Why?!!!

When:  Saturday (this coming Saturday) from 3PM – 6PM

Where:   1824 General Store/106 North Main Street in Mt. Pleasant

What:  Free tastings of Made in Tenn products

Who: Our amazing suppliers that make their food/products right here in Tenn

Why: Because we know the products our Made in Tenn vendors make are delicious and made with a whole lot of love. Most of the companies are made up of families or a small number of staff. We get the privilege of supporting a small business in Tennessee while getting a great product to sell to you our customers and you our customers get to enjoy delicious food made in our home State. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Bonus: If you purchase any of the Made in Tenn products featured during the 3PM-6PM event time, you will receive 10% off. (Only on featured TN products and only during those hours)

We are very fortunate to have all of these Made in Tenn products available in our store for our customers. Each and everyone of the people behind these companies that we deal with for ordering, asking questions, deliveries, etc are such a pleasure to work with.

And a huge thanks to all of our vendors for taking time out of your day to set up a table and provide food tastings to all our visitors on Saturday.

And a huge thanks to all of you who are planning on visiting the store for the Made in Tenn Tasting Event. Stop by anytime between 3PM – 6PM and meet the vendors and taste their products. It’s all FREE!!

** Note: The store will be closed on Saturday for just 30 minutes from 2:30-3:00pm to allow the vendors to set up their tables. We will  re-open at 3:00pm.  (Of course we will open at 10am on Saturday as normal)

Until next time 🙂 Angela

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @1824generalstore

 

 

 

 

 

‘Small Businesses are Saving Our Main Streets’

I was talking to a friend of mine this week about the revitalization of downtown Mt. Pleasant and she asked how my store was performing. I told her about my efforts on social media and print media to reach both local residents and visitors.  I also told her my desire to share information about my store’s products and Mt. Pleasant City in general through a blog I recently started writing.

She pointed out that starting a new retail business is not an easy undertaking even in an established town of developed foot traffic like downtown Franklin, TN, for example. When one opens a business in a busy town, marketing focus is on the store, the products, the service and the customers. Opening a retail business in a town that is experiencing a revitalization effort has less foot and car traffic. The businesses cannot and do not just focus on marketing their store but in addition the owners find themselves marketing the town itself; an additional challenge for the small business owner.

It was one of those things where I knew that was the case for me and others in our small town but it didn’t hit me until she presented it that way.  As I thought more of it, I realized this is so true. Many of the downtown businesses market not only their store products and specials, but things happening in the City of Mt. Pleasant or events merchants have planned in order to draw more visitors and shoppers to downtown.

According to Small Business Revolution’s website, ‘Small businesses are saving our main streets.’ As we traveled the country capturing the inspiring stories of 100 small businesses we recognized that nowhere in America are small businesses more critical, and more under siege, than in our small towns. We created the Small Business Revolution – Main Street to help those small businesses, and in turn, those small towns, reignite the spark that drives them and keeps people coming back.

American Express supports and helps market the ‘Shop Small’ movement as they recognize the importance of small business in America.

‘Small businesses help ensure local economies stay strong and vibrant’.

 

Did you know….

  • There are 580,453 small businesses in Tennessee
  • Of these there are 80,234 businesses that employ 1-20 employees
  • Small businesses make up 99.5% of all Tennessee businesses
  • 42.09% of all employees in Tennessee were working for a small business in 2014
  • Businesses with 1-4 employees had the largest loss (closing their doors) in 2014 (Data from SBA)

It’s quite amazing how many small businesses there are in the State of Tennessee.  I so enjoy doing business with our suppliers of ‘Made in Tenn’ products as they too are small companies and many family run just as we are here in downtown Mt. Pleasant. They understand the challenges we face and the desire to bring a product or service to Tennessee communities and be a small part of the local economy.

There are so many unique and quaint small businesses in Mt. Pleasant’s Historic Downtown Area to visit.  In case you weren’t aware what makes up this area, the area runs from Bond Ave to First Ave and one block east and west of Main Street. Within this historic district there are several businesses; retail shopping, restaurants and services. So…………..

What can you and I do to help Mt. Pleasant become a vibrant, bustling, place for people to live and work again?

Become involved in the town’s revitalization efforts by:

  • Following us and the other businesses on Instagram and Facebook
  • Tell friends and family about Mt. Pleasant
  • Share this blog with friends and family
  • Attend community events and meet and mingle with neighbors and strangers
  • Attend and get involved in City Commissioner meetings
  • When in need of food, gifts, clothes, a place to eat, flowers, auto body work and mechanical work, hardware, computer repair……. check out the Mt. Pleasant businesses to see if they have what you need or want first before going elsewhere. Every service/store has a variety of products and prices sure to fit different budgets.
  • Share your ideas on how we can all help and participate in the revitalization of this quaint, historic small town.

Thank you for supporting local businesses in Mt. Pleasant and throughout Tennessee.  By shopping local, it helps improve the business owner’s chances of serving their communities for years to come.

Until next time 🙂  Angela

 

We Love Our Customers!!

I love having customers visit our store be it new, returning, local or out of State. It’s fun chatting it up with them and  getting to know a little bit about them.

What I have noticed since we’ve been open is there are quite a few people that have lived in Mt. Pleasant for a long time but also  quite a few people that have moved here in the last few years from out of town and outside of Tennessee. Some are retiring here, some moving their families from Murfreesboro, Franklin or Florida…. the list goes on.  People are seeing that Mt. Pleasant housing is still affordable, the area is beautiful, the town is quaint and they want to be a part of it.

One of the fun things about owning a retail business is that I get to meet several people throughout the day both locals and visitors. Let me introduce you to a few of our customers……….

A Local Resident of Mt. Pleasant

Meet Michelle! She’s a frequent shopper in the store. She moved here about the same time that we did.  She is demonstrating that we have red carts in the store to hold all of your goods AND it rolls. This way your hands won’t freeze with frozen food purchases and you have tons of room to put all the things you love in your cart;  much more room than an armload.

An Out of Town Visitor 

Meet Mike Wolfe from the show American Pickers that owns Antique Archaeology in Nashville and is invested in Columbia, Tenn as well. He  walked in the store and of course, I immediately recognized him from American Pickers since it is one of my favorite shows. (No, not just since he came in here as you might be thinking)

I never thought I would be the ‘star struck’ kind of person but I was.  I was actually a little nervous yet thrilled he stopped in my store. But I wondered what brought him here.  So I asked him and he said he heard good things about the store from people in Columbia so he wanted to come and check it out. He did some shopping, we chatted a bit and then he went on his merry way. It was a fun experience. So, you never know who might be next. People tell me Luke Bryan has a place in Mt. Pleasant so who knows? He may be my next visitor. 🙂

A Sweet Little Girl

Meet this sweet little girl. I really enjoy having kids in the store and seeing their faces light up looking at the toys or getting a bubble gum from the 1 cent bubble gum machine. While their parents shop, they have fun playing with a wind up car or emoji ball. And this little girl drew a picture and gave it to me.

So whether our customers are small, residents of Mt. Pleasant or visitors from out of town or celebrities – just know I appreciate all of you and thank you for stopping in our store.

Until next time 🙂 Angela