Storytelling — Small Business Greats.

imagesI love small business.  I grew up in a family business and I’ve been an entrepreneur since my early teens.  I think every small business owner has a powerful story to tell.  In fact, I told my husband that some day when I retire I want to drive across the U.S., stopping in small towns and writing about some of the business owners in the area. Small business is the heart of America.

Well, as luck would have it, someone beat me to the punch.  (Also I really can’t see myself ever retiring.)  Two filmmakers from New York, Trisha Dalton and John Sears, are on a 7,300 mile road trip across the country to tell small business stories, courtesy of Capital One Spark.  After starting in the Northeast, I caught up with them just outside of Oklahoma City.

It’s a campaign titled “I Am Small Business Proud,” (#smallbizproud) sponsored by Capital One Spark Business.   Naturally, I was interested in learning how these two storytellers landed such a fun gig.

Dalton shared with me that Capital One Spark Business was reaching out to small businesses and they thought it would be great to film it.  The company was looking for a documentation team that could manage a cross country tour for 10 weeks.  “John and I are both small business owners and the idea to travel the country and tell the stories was really exciting to us,” she said.  “We film one or two stories every day or two in each city, but we also stop by others and try to meet as many as we can,” Dalton explained.

In addition to documenting the stories, the filmmakers are spending money with local small businesses.  For example, in Nashville they stayed at Crocker Springs Bed & Breakfast where they enjoyed playing with and filming the owner’s miniature donkey, Chewy.  In Houston, they were wowed by the “Frozen Awesome” ice cream at Eatsie Boys. So far, the duo has spent $40,000 with small businesses across the country.

I asked Dalton what kind of mood small businesses are in these days. “It’s been sort of surprising.  When we were preparing for the trip, a lot of people said it is a hard time for small business, but we found they are doing well and a lot of people are starting small businesses,” she responded.

Both Dalton and Sears hope people will watch their videos and they will walk away with a true understanding of the pride and passion these entrepreneurs have in their enterprises.  They explained that the businesses owners they’ve met and have profiled have a ‘stick to it’ attitude.  Failure is not an option for them.   “When they tell the story of how they got started in their business, it’s really inspiring,” Dalton added.  “As one business owner in Austin noted, whenever you start a business you have a 99 percent of failing.  You have to be pretty crazy.”

I’d say I have to agree, but as many of the business owners Dalton and Sears profiled, I love what I do and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You can watch the video profiles on the “I Am Small Business Proud” YouTube channel, but let me warn you, they are so inspiring it’s difficult to stop.  Much like a familiar potato chip slogan — it’s hard to watch just one.


One more note: The opinions expressed herein are those of the author (yours truly)  and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Capital One.