On May 9th, we’ll celebrate Mother’s Day. It’s been a year full of unprecedented challenges, so if ever there was a time to do something a little extra for the mothers in your life, this might be it.
This year, why not support small businesses while you celebrate? In our Meet The Merchant series, we’ve spoken with a number of SMB owners who were inspired by the mothers, are mothers themselves, or sell items perfect for your gift list. We hope you enjoy perusing some of our featured merchants below, and hope you’ll learn more about the small businesses near you so you can support them as you support the moms in your life.
If Mignon Francois wasn’t a mother, The Cupcake Collection might not exist at all! Francois began baking to help pay for field trips and other expenses for her children. With little experience in the baking world, she turned to her grandmother for advice and support, and eventually mastered the art. As she grew her business, she’d send her children out to a nearby restaurant that always had a large crowd waiting. The kids would advertise to the hungry diners, and Francois’ customer base grew and grew. Now her business is in two locations and continuing to expand. You can even order her cakes online.
Tammy L.S. Wright owns ABC Fitness along with her husband, John Wright. They are both ex-military, and work to share their knowledge of health and well-being with their diverse clientele. For the Wrights, having a business also meant having the flexibility to care for their children the way they wanted to. Tammy still maintains a full-time job outside of ABC, and John works exclusively in their fitness center. That means he has the flexibility to get their kids to and from school while still running the business. They both take their fitness knowledge into schools, too, helping the next generation grow up with good habits.
Gladys Harrison currently runs Big Mama’s Kitchen & Catering, started by her late mother, Patricia Barron. Barron asked her grandkids to call her “Big Mama,” which she preferred to grandma, and the name stuck as she launched her business late in life. Their signature soul food is incredibly popular, and even in the darkest times of the pandemic they sold meal kits to bring a little bit of light to a family’s dinner table. If you’re nearby, be sure to check them out.
Randolph James owns Magnolia Emporium. He may not be a mom himself, but his mother, Thelma, played an important role in his store’s creation. His family has long been involved in diverse fields including the music industry, design, fashion, and modeling. When Randolph was coping with the economic downturn in 2008, he turned to his mother for inspiration, and Magnolia Emporium emerged. Because of the unique nature of their products, they favor the in-person shopping experience and don’t sell online. But if you’re anywhere near Charlotte, it might be worth popping in to find the perfect gift for a mom in your life.
We hope you find a special way to let moms know you see their hard work. Special thanks to all of our wonderful merchants who mentioned their kids in the interview! We are sure there are more than we know, but here are the moms we’ve knowingly written about:
ABC Fitness (Waldorf, MD)
Big Mama’s KItchen & Catering (Omaha, NE)
Holy Rolly Charleston (Charleston, SC)
OC Design (Manchester, CT)
Reyna’s Tacos (San Angelo, TX)
The Cupcake Collection (Nashville, TN and New Orleans, LA)
Vesco Ridge Vineyards (West Chazy, NY)