“So, tell me – is Neighborhood Boutiques like say – Etsy?”
That’s the question I was asked during a Friday afternoon phone call with Becky Spieth, John Maxwell coach and well-recognized coaching authority for women in direct sales. We sought each other out because of our mutual focus on women and women in business – and as women of deep faith. She asked the above question after I shared our parent company and NEIGHBORHOOD BOUTIQUES vision and mission.
My answer to her question? The title of this post. “Yes, but different”!
We know there’s nothing new under the sun; simply variations on a theme. There are ideas and concepts that appear new; but are simply what is out there in the atmosphere – with a bit of a twist. They materialize as “new – “different” or “unique”.
Take Apple for instance. There was already an operating system in the market; but Steve Jobs and company had an idea for something a bit different. Now two giant operating systems exist and folks have the choice of one or the other. I like that. Choice is always good!
So is Neighborhood Boutiques like “Etsy”? Yes – in concept. But no in most other aspects! The differences are too many to enumerate in this post, but one dramatic difference relates to target market.
In 2007, I wanted to develop an online community for women in business who are also women of faith. I wanted them to have their own storefront, blog and other features; as well as a place to connect, engage and support each other in order to achieve the success each desires. Most of all, I wanted to be a resource for them – and they for each other. But to my knowledge, my vision was ahead of the technology at that time.
So the vision began as a simple daily blog and newsletter, grew into a fairly large community of women connecting via a popular social networking software platform before I became aware that technology had caught up with my dream!
Thus the birth of Neighborhood Boutiques! A place for women of faith who own or are a major partner in a small business can connect, engage and support each other. The resource piece of the vision is forthcoming which is exciting to say the least!
Women are the world’s influencers. Becky and I own that statement as do multitudes of women across the planet. Statistics are now bearing that statement out as truth since women make most of the financial decisions in the household. But we haven’t achieved a place at the corporate table in the same roles and positions as men. And women owners of large corporations have an advantage over those whose dream is simply to have their own business without the headaches and stress associated with “big”. Many want to earn a bit of extra income and contribute to family resources. And that’s perfectly okay!
The same is true for us now that social media burst on the scene in a big way – and it isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, it will only become a more significant part of any business marketing plan – whether that of men or women!
Big isn’t always better. Etsy is big and I congratulate it’s team on being “big”. But big means I might never be found. And without being found, I’m just a shadow in a dark corner of someone else’s dream of success. And who’s there to support me? Who’s there to help me be found?
Marketing Creativity blogger, Lisa Jacobs published a great post this past Friday, January 9 on why she left Etsy. It gave me all I needed to know when Becky Spieth asked the question with which this post began. She developed her own alternative; but I know that Neighborhood Boutiques is an alternative as well. And someone will come along one day and be an alternative to us – with a different target market and a few twists that make it different – and unique as well.
Most of all, Lisa put in black and white the unique difference that sets Neighborhood Boutiques apart from Etsy. Size of community; ownership of individual store fronts (critically important by the way); marketing support and many other differences that may seem of little consequence – but in the grand scheme of things, can mean the difference between living in the shadow of someone else’s dream – or their own!
Each Monday for the next several weeks, I’m going to tell you why Neighborhood Boutiques is good for women who own or are a major partner in a small business.
Why it’s a great place for women of faith – but not limited to them.
Why it’s important for women who don’t want the cumbersome, all-consuming work of a large company, to have their own space to blossom and grow. Blossom and grow because they share space with like-minded women who care enough to support each other – and each other’s success.
But the one takeaway I want women reading this to take to heart is this: We have great influence. We are the world’s influencers. We make a difference when we accept that we can – and do. We don’t have to own a GM, Ford or even an Etsy.
But we do have to decide that we matter. That our destiny design is just as important as a corporate America CEO – male or female.
So let that be what you take from this post. You’ll have plenty of time to learn more about Neighborhood Boutiques and it’s unique difference in the coming weeks. For now – wrap your arms around the fact that you matter. That you influence a world of folks who would never be who they are today if it were not for you!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Empowering Women to Thrive
You’ll find us at the following locations-Come Join Us!
Neighborhood Boutiques – OPEN NOW
COFFEE in the NEIGHBORHOOD
The Neighborhood at Facebook
Neighborhood Boutiques at Facebook
Neighborhood Boutiques at LinkedIn
Neighborhood Boutiques at Google+
Neighborhood Boutiques at Pinterest
Neighborhood Boutiques at Twitter
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/2382941337/pjm5n494765lxfks49h7_400x400.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]My passion is to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]