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In anticipation of Hello Etsy, a summit on small business and sustainability, we teamed up with Etsy to ask you which local businesses you love. We received tons of great submissions celebrating small businesses across the world.
We've posted a slideshow of the top four entries. Click through and let us know which submission you like best by Wednesday, September 14. The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate from Etsy, a GOOD T-shirt, and a year's subscription to keep or send to a friend.
Bartender Bobby Kruger of Julep's concocting an unnamed drink for adventurous foodies on a Real Richmond food tour of Shockoe Bottom.
Photo and caption submitted by Diana Fakhouri
Racquel Youtzy lives in the Leslieville district of Toronto, Canada and was upset by the waste she saw in single use plastic water bottles everywhere she looked. Instead of sitting back, she decided to do something about it, so two years ago she started producing her trademarked "Tap Water" bottles.
Her bottles are environmentally friendly reusable glass water bottles which she not only sells online but also delivers herself through her neighborhood and surrounding area.
Most days you can see her at cafes and mom & pop shops spreading the word about reusable water bottles or delivering cases that people have ordered. Working without a car, she takes public transit or walks down the street pushing her cart loaded with cases ready to be shipped from the local post office.
Racquel is so dedicated to the cause that even her pregnancy and her new baby have not slowed her down, as now her baby is also part of her daily rounds.
Racquel is also a firm believer in helping others. When she receives her new shipments of bottles, she arranges for local homeless to help unload the pallets for her. This not only helps them earn some extra money but also giving them some self respect. To me that is what makes Racquel the ultimate local business person.
Photo and caption submitted by Robert Vantol
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
Goat Cheese and Cherries, Lemon and Blueberries, Askinosie Chocolate. These are just a couple flavors that magnetized me to begin working for this amazing company. Jeni Britton Bauer, co-founder and owner of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, has put Columbus, Ohio on the map. People now travel to Columbus and happily wait in hour-long lines to have this experience that can not be recreated. Jeni uses local, grass-fed dairy cows and as much fresh, homegrown ingredients as she can get.
Her love for Columbus shows in each of her shops, as they represent the specific neighborhood they are located in.
Every batch is handmade. Every pint is hand-packed.
Jeni surrounds herself with staff made up of artists, writers, photographers, bakers, travelers and world-class experience gatherers. Jeni is slowly working towards making all of her shops completely recyclable, bike-friendly and sustainable.
When I tell people that I have a part-time job in the production kitchen of Jeni's, their eyes light up and an envious smile is almost automatic. I am honored to be a part of this incredible team and continue to look forward to continued success and innovation that Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams brings forth.
Photo and caption submitted by Jess Mathews
Hardly a day goes by that I am not wearing at least one article of clothing or accessory from Akinz (right now, I’m wearing Akinz cute blue flower earrings). It always fits my style and comfort. Plus, I’m Akinz’s biggest fan.
The face and inspiration behind Akinz is the young, vibrant, and beautiful Suzanne Akin. I met Suzanne playing ultimate frisbee. She was a sponsor, and continues to be one, for the Fort Collins Ultimate League all year long. The prizes for the winning team include her sunglasses (on Suzanne’s head in the photo) and her koozies. Her support makes frisbee league possible, and makes winning that much better!
Suzanne also supports the biking culture here in Fort Collins. She has a whole line of Biking is Fun and Bike to work t-shirts, she has deals for deliveries she makes on her bike, and she co-sponsors the big city event Bike to Work Day. Stylish and eco-friendly, it is possible.
As Akinz continues to grow with the support of local friends and family, the business has moved to a physical showroom (it previously just online). Suzanne designs and prints all of her clothing, hats, scarves, and koozies. I have never met a woman so charged and passionate, not just about what she does but about how she is linked to the community in Fort Collins and across Colorado (she’s a Huge hit with snowboarders). The Akinz I “FLY” Colorado (with her wings as the “fly” symbol) really gets to the heart of her connection here.
Photo and caption submitted by Emma Smaldino
I won't pretend to be a St. Louis native and steal this one from the wonderful people of STL, but as a baseball fan and the product of two parents who showed me that there is nothing more satisfying than a concrete (Blizzard-like, but better) after a Cardinals game, Ted Drewes holds a place in my heart as a fantastic small business.
Aside from being a positive force in the St. Louis community for years, this frozen custard joint has served as the after-hours place for Cardinals fans, or for anyone who enjoys something delicious in their stomach—which is everyone.
I went to college for just a year in St. Louis—with no car—and my priorities lay somewhere between not completely failing out and making sure I could get to TD's location on N. Chippewa (Route 66 - America!) whenever I had a craving. My college basically bought my soul when they presented Ted Drewes' mini-concretes after our Freshman Orientation.
There is something special about eating delicious food from a place that you know generations before you, including your own parents, have enjoyed just the same.
Photo and caption submitted by Jack Whitty