The Sharable Economy

by Karen on June 2, 2014

If you’ve been reading “us” for a while, you know we’re all about helping out any way we can. Cynda just read an article in WIRED about the new “sharable” economy where services like Uber, Airbnb, and others are setting up a business relationship between individuals – strangers really – where the economy runs outside the walls of a formal business.

Handshake on a sharable economyThere are plusses to these arrangements – we’ve even been known to barter with our clients from time to time. As a small business owner, Karen has found that networking with other small businesses resembles this consumer sharable economy.

Networking has become more than just advice on finding a good tax accountant or tips on social media approaches. Karen is now finding her favorite businesses the old fashioned way – shaking hands, sharing skills, and talking about it!

Hence this blog – to give a shout out to a few great woman business owners who have impressed Karen with their skill and approach. Not to mention their businesses offer services she herself has needed! As businesses work to grow their client base and brand awareness, sometimes working for each other is a great way to make that happen.

Amy Slaymaker: Interior Design.

Butterfly wallKaren’s office is in her home. Her neighbor, Amy Slaymaker, is working to build an interior design business and volunteered to do Karen’s entryway. As clients and business associates come through the entry to get to Karen’s basement office, the lovey entry is an image booster for A Second Me and for Amy – when Karen tells those who inevitably compliment the décor who did it.

Entry Way yellow chairAmy has decorated her home over the years, and is now finishing up with a kitchen redo. Her two sons are aging into more self-reliant territory so Amy has been open to opportunities for her next career. She has been interested in design for years (just check her magazine rack full of home/garden issues). As friends have lamented the state of their rooms, Amy has stepped up and done several jobs pro bono with thoughts toward building a portfolio. Happily it seems to be working. She’s effectively open for business now and happy to help in any way – from a simple paint color consult to an entire room redo.

Heba Saleh: EatLuv.

eatluv mealKaren is a local food advocate – big time. From her huge home garden to her at least weekly treks to the farmers’ markets all summer long. Heba with EatLuv fit right into Karen’s food interests. It was her networking through Femworking got her in touch with Heba – who is all about helping us make the most of the freshest ingredients in a minimal amount of time.

eatluv how it works

Heba’s company EatLuv provides the ingredients and recipe for making your own farm to table experience in your kitchen. It’s all planned and delivered – you just chop and add some heat, and a fabulously healthy meal (for you and the environment) is on the table. If only everything could come wrapped in a neat package with instructions included (thinking kids here…).

Jean Janssen: SmartMarkets.

smart market chardIn 2008, Jean founded Smart Markets to provide Northern VA residents a well-managed, guaranteed producer-only farmers’ market. Jean felt there was a need, and turns out, she was right. There are eight Smart Markets throughout the region all summer long.

Jean has lived in Fairfax County for over 25 years and loves food, nutrition, and cooking. She’s a lifelong activist and has an entrepreneurial spirit that makes Smart Markets such a successful fit for her.

Smart Market BasketsJean’s goal for her markets is to “bring together a diverse population around a shared objective: supporting families by buying and serving real food — with real flavor. Many shoppers don’t even know they are preserving small farms, promoting sustainable agriculture, and contributing to the protection of our environment.” That’s what makes Smart Markets so great – folks come because it’s fun and they can find great products. The doing good part is just built in!

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