Boss Lady - Shelley Green


Several months ago, ok, maybe a year ago, I was inspired to start a blog series called "Boss Lady". The mission behind Boss Lady is to inspire young women (and men) to follow their instinct/talent/passion and become entrepreneurs. 
My team and I are reaching out to all the woman owned businesses that inspire and amaze us on a daily basis. We will start with a brief background, then dive in to the nitty gritty of running a business, what keeps them inspired, and everything else in between. 

I was born in the Midwest and raised in California.  I was a working mom.  I’ve raised three boys who are now grown with families of their own.  They all live in Southern California.

I’ve worked for major department and specialty stores coordinating fashion shows, promotions and events. I managed a design studio for a New York menswear designer and had my own business consulting firm for manufacturers and retailers.  I’ve had the opportunity to work with clients in all regions of the country. I’ve always enjoyed the fast-pace and ever changing fashion industry.

At some point I yearned to express my own viewpoint and align my livelihood with my values. I was distraught by the persistent destruction and poisoning of our natural environment, the waste in our throw-away society and became an advocate for Mother Earth. While on a journey towards improving my own health, I found ways to make simple changes in my daily routine that were healthier, safer for the environment and enhanced the quality of my life.  I made the connection between personal and planetary wellbeing and wanted to do what I could to make a difference.  That search to find my authentic voice led me to write a column on green living, teach environmental literacy and finally open my store which showcases the products I believe in.  

My commitment to share with others the products and services I have discovered hasn’t waned in the years since I found my true passion. The excitement for my work grows as I see more people wanting to engage in ‘living lighter on the earth” and know that collectively, if we each contribute in our own way, we can make a positive impact for the future. 

  1. Give us your elevator pitch.  We share how people can care for themselves, their families and homes in ways that are healthier, safe, and creative. By spreading the word that if it’s good for you, it’s better for the planet, too, we can collectively transform the way we live in our corner of the world.
  2. What is your business? The Green Corner Store is a general, eco lifestyle store in downtown Little Rock. We carry environmentally friendly products that are local, sustainable and organic. Our assortment ranges from food, t-shirts, accessories, books, personal care and wellness, natural parenting and baby and children’s products. We also have a large selection of Made in Arkansas goods and artisan crafts.
  3. When did you start your business? July 2009


  4. What inspired you to make the leap? I went to a conference and the keynote speaker encouraged each of us to do ‘something bold’. Use your talent and skills to do what you can to help the challenges facing the environment. I was doing environmental education and making suggestions about products for ‘green’ living. I couldn’t find anywhere locally that carried the items I was recommending.  I decided to use my retail experience and showcase them where customers could trust the products were safe and healthy.
  5. What helps you get started each morning? Coffee, diet coke, 10 mile jog, meditation?? Coffee! I’m addicted.
  6. Tell us about a day in the life of running your business. Every day is different. That’s what I love about retail. It’s a mix of helping customers, ordering and checking in merchandise, working with the staff, marketing, bookkeeping and housekeeping. You can have a plan but have to stay flexible according to the needs of that day.
  7. What keeps you motivated?  Our loyal customers. I love helping people discover new products and find special gifts.


  8. Describe your dream day. Hanging out with friends and family. Wake up at sunrise and spend quiet time outdoors in nature. Cook dinner from scratch and spend the evening reading or watching a movie with a bowl of popcorn.
  9. What is your greatest strength/super power? Persistence.
  10. Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat? Facebook and Instagram.
  11. What do you do in your free time? (ha! What is free time?!) Socialize with friends. Go out to have a glass of wine, dinner, attend an event.  I enjoy gardening, hiking and reading also.


  12. If an investor gave you 1 million dollars to use toward your business, how would you spend it? I would definitely expand our selection of products and services. I would like to serve other communities in Arkansas with additional store locations, too.
  13. What’s the biggest risk you ever took; how did it go? Opening my store was the biggest risk for me and it has given me the greatest sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
  14. Name something you hate doing but have to do for the good of your business. How do you make it tolerable? I like variety so I really enjoy every aspect of the business. If there is one thing, it’s being interviewed.  Advance preparation and practice makes it more tolerable.
  15. How do you handle discouragement? Try not to dwell on it and shift gears as soon as possible to something positive.
  16. Which iconic person inspires you? Oprah Winfrey


  17. Do you have a favorite, inspiring quote? Many but I’d like to share two favorites: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”…Rachel Carson, Ecologist, Author of Silent Spring. and “Find Your Place on the Planet, Dig In and Take Responsibility from There.” Gary Snyder, Author and Poet, 1975 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  18. If you could choose anyone to pick as a mentor, who would you choose? Juliet Schor, Sociologist and Co-founder, Center for a New American Dream.
  19. Who are you in your next life? Organic Gardener/Herbalist and Restauranteur
  20. Any secrets on how you balance the ins and outs of running a small business? The demands are constant so I just try my best to stay healthy and focused.
  21. What’s the best advice you have for other women wanting to be entrepreneurs? Be confident in your ability to make it happen.  I can’t say it better than with a quote from German poet, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

Visit The Green Corner Store in person
at 1423 Main Street, Suite D, Little Rock, AR 72202 
or
on social media:
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

All Photos By: Saira Khan


4 comments

  • Wow, I adore this lady – what a great read! I love what your doing here Brandy and you couldn’t have picked a more worthy subject. Shelly and The Green Corner Store are iconic to this neighborhood, so excited to see this post!

    Nancy Nolan
  • I love Shelley Green! = )

    Angeline Karigan-Winter
  • Thank you John! I really enjoyed reading Shelley’s story. I didn’t know her inspiration for opening Green Corner store until this interview.

    Thank for your kind words also! Boss Lady is a fun side project for all of the women on my team!

    Brandy McNair
  • Thank you for a wonderful profile of Shelley Green, SoMa entrepreneur and inspiration, and for your blog showcasing and celebrating businesswomen! Some of my favorite things about SoMa and some of the things that drew me to move my business there are the strong presence of women business leaders, property owners and civic activists.

    John Bell

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