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

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Boss Lady - Stacy MacDonald

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. 

 

My name is Stacy MacDonald and I am the Owner, Designer, Miner and Maker of made. I am married to a pretty fantastic guy, who I actually started dating in the 7th grade, and we will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary this August! We have three young children and as a family we love to regularly have dance parties, eat waffles and have Friday night- movie nights. I started making jewelry when I was about 17 years old after a few failed attempts to have my ears pierced. Finally resigning myself to clip-ons, I began making ones that suited my style as I headed off to college. I made jewelry off and on for the next ten years, evolving from selling clip-on earrings and necklaces to the girls in my dorm to eventually starting made. in the summer of 2014.

 

  1. Give us your elevator pitch. I make all of my jewelry with Quartz and Quartz crystals that I mine out of the Quartz mines in the Ouachita Mountains. I dig the stones out, clean them each by hand, and then turn them into jewelry that balances their unique, raw, organic characteristics with simple, minimalist lines. Hand mined. Hand made.

  2. What is your business? And how long have you been at it? My business is made. I have been making jewelry off and on since I was a teenager, but I started on this adventure the summer of 2014.

  3. What inspired you to make the leap?  Honestly, my third kiddo was about six months old and I was spiraling into an all too familiar black hole of postpartum depression. Having struggled with anxiety and depression since I was a teenager, I knew that I needed to get my hands to work doing something other than changing diapers. We didn’t have the funds to start up anything, but I had some leftover chain and wire from my last venture with jewelry making a few years prior. I got the thought during church one Sunday morning, “Quartz is a natural resource here. I wonder if I could make anything with it?” I shared my idea with my husband and a few days later we loaded up the kids and went on our first dig. I tell people all the time that as I was mining these stones out of the clay, Jesus was mining my heart. My process became like an object lesson of God’s grace, love and redemption because He pulls us out of the miry clay. He relentlessly pursues us. He cleans us up and admires us even in the clay and muck of life. He sees our potential even when we can't see it ourselves. Slowly but surely, the veil of depression began to lift. And to my surprise, these hands that I had nearly come to believe were worthless were making something that people actually liked! And my heart was being flooded with the love of Christ through it all.

  4. What helps you get started each morning? Coffee, diet coke, 10 mile jog, meditation??  I love this question because it wasn’t until I had baby #3 that I even started drinking coffee! But now, I don’t know how I ever functioned without it!



  5. Tell us about a day in the life of running your business.  My business is run in between making meals and changing loads of laundry. Sometimes it’s during a movie for the littles (let’s just be honest here) and other times it’s with them right next to me with their own strip of wire to bend into shapes and letters. It’s when they’re at school/preschool and after they’ve gone to bed. It’s between morning coffee with my husband at our dining room table and my weekly lunch date with my sister. I value the time I can spend on made. but I very much value my relationships.  

  6. What keeps you motivated?  It is so cool to me that I get to share the love of Christ with people through a piece of jewelry. made. for me is very much my redemption song and to see it resonate with others and encourage others is absolutely what keeps me going.

  7. Describe your dream day.  My dream day would definitely start with sleeping in and then a big yummy brunch (that I did not have to cook) at home with my family. The day would be fun and free of any pressures or timelines and then we’d finish it up with a fire and s’mores in the backyard with all of our friends.



  8. What is your greatest strength/super power?  I like to think I’m witty. Some may call me corny, but I’ll stick with witty.

  9. Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat?  I have actually gone against all small business advice here and decided over a month ago to completely sign off social media! You can read more about that on my farewell post here.

  10. What do you do in your free time? (ha! What is free time?!)  Someday I’ll remember what free time is… multi-tasking is my way of life for now.

  11. If an investor gave you 1 million dollars to use toward your business, how would you spend it?  Oh my! One of the biggest things I look forward to doing with my business is actually an extension of made. called Out of the Clay. I would love to work alongside an organization like Celebrate Recovery or something similar and be able to offer a place with all the tools and supplies for various art and craft forms available to people who are struggling with depression or addiction to come in and be able to make free of charge. If I were a therapist, I’d call it art therapy, but since I’m not we’ll go with “breakthrough crafting”. ;) I would then love to offer those makers the opportunity to sell their work and share their stories at a brick and mortar of made.



  12. What’s the biggest risk you ever took; how did it go?  I feel like life is one big risk after another. The old cliche really is true that if there’s no risk, there’s no reward. I tell my kiddos that sometimes taking a risk can end up hurting, but other times the payoff is so amazing and so exciting that it literally changes your life. We can’t be afraid to take risks for fear of the times it will hurt, because then we’re sure to miss out on some amazing things.

  13. How do you handle discouragement?  Discouragement is tricky. We all experience it and whether you’re pretty good about letting it roll off your back or not, it affects us all one way or another. I am not one of those people that finds it easy to just let things roll off my back. I don’t mean to dwell on discouragement, I just have trouble not taking it to heart. I have to regularly remind myself that I just can’t make everyone happy. Not everyone will be my customer and not everyone will love what I’m doing and that’s okay. *Cue Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”* ;)



  14. Any secrets on how you balance the ins and outs of running a small business?  I think it’s important to keep in mind that an overall balance is probably better and less stressful than focusing on trying to achieve a daily balance. Some days, I’m all mom and absolutely no work gets done. Other days, I have to be in full out work-mode and willing to allow other people to help watch the kids. Some moments of working are all for production and other times the focus is heavily on administrative work. I do a lot, but I can’t do it all all the time. I’ve tried and it just makes me and everyone around me miserable. I sleep when I need to and stay up late when I can. I set goals and work very hard to achieve them, but I also forgive myself when life happens.

  15. What’s the best advice you have for other women wanting to be entrepreneurs?  To me, starting a business is a lot like trying to decide if you’re ready to start having kids. You’re never really and truly ready to start having kids and there’s never a really and truly an excellent time to start a business. We’re all busy and have commitments and throwing a business in the mix is certainly time consuming, to say the least. But why not?! If you have an idea for a product or service or for a business, don't convince yourself that it’s just a romantic notion to pursue it. Don’t listen to that voice that may try to get you to believe that you’re too naive to go after it. Silence that with action! To go after something with passion and dedication is bold and brave and inspiring! To sit on your idea and give into fear or to allow worry to halt you into inactivity robs all of the rest of us of what you have to offer. Go for it.

 

All photos by: Saira Khan 
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