This is the 13th annual edition of Vesta Copestakes’ local holiday gift guide – itself an remarkable gift to the community.
13 years ago I started publishing the Small Shops guide because I was inspired to promote small businesses run by people who responded positively to me when I handed the Gazette to the person across the counter. I found a remarkable difference between people who reacted to me with a smile, as opposed to disdain because they thought I was selling them something. As media, I can support the people with kind hearts who are clearly happy with what they do for a living.
Entrepreneurs take huge risks when they go into business for themselves. They work long hours, many times make less money than their employees, and aren’t covered by employee benefits. Why? because they really can’t do someone else’s subject. They are leaders, “Lone Wolves”, stubbornly independent, and not really capable of being managed by others. It’s an affliction as much as an asset.
Being that kind of person, I like supporting entrepreneurs since I can. Media is a tool of influence, and as Mr. Rogers said when he was honored for his decades-long show for children, “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood,” media has a responsibility to support what is good in this world. Since I am in love with my home, and want to be part of keeping it healthy and strong, I can support locally-owned stores and locally-made products in the pages of the Gazette’s Small Shops of Sonoma County.