LETTERS

Impact of Cranston small businesses goes far beyond sales

Posted 11/24/21

To the Editor, As we recognize Women's Entrepreneurship Day (November 19), I want to take a moment to express my admiration for the women small business owners who keep our community running. So many talented, hard-working women have realized the true

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LETTERS

Impact of Cranston small businesses goes far beyond sales

Posted

To the Editor,

As we recognize Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (November 19), I want to take a moment to express my admiration for the women small business owners who keep our community running. So many talented, hard-working women have realized the true power of their resiliency, and how to maximize their resources during these difficult times.

Opening my doors for the first time this year in Cranston during a pandemic – my first ever storefront gallery with a reiki space – was a leap of faith. After operating my business solely on social media, I recognized there was an opportunity to bring my art and healing to more people in-person. Little did I know this would lead to unimaginable connection and community.

Utilizing coastal treasures, like local seashells and driftwood, and sprinkling reiki-infused healing crystals into my art and gallery, takes shoppers on a nostalgic, therapeutic and soulful journey. I had hoped that my space would bring light to the community, but what I didn’t realize was this “safe-haven” would fill a major void for many who want to find peace, connection with themselves (or others) and an outlet from their busy daily routines.

After an extremely positive response to many of my coastal and spiritual artworks, I wanted to teach others how to create similar pieces from simple, local materials like shells and rocks, and importantly, enjoy the process of creating art that speaks to them! Social media tools like Facebook Events made spreading the word about these workshops easy and visible to the larger community. From family fun workshops to fundraisers, to individuals socializing and meeting new friends, these workshops have helped Rhode Islanders discover newfound creativity and joy.

What these workshops helped me discover is the capacity for small businesses like mine to be more than simply a place to buy products, receive a service, or attend a class.

Every day, small businesses are places where some of the best moments of humanity happen. They’re where old friends reconnect, or where random acts of kindness “paying it forward” take place, or even where new passions and healings are unexpectedly discovered.

To my fellow women entrepreneurs – during a time where I know many of us may feel discouraged, or that our energy is scattered, remember your impact goes far beyond sales. Remember to let your heart lead your decisions – when you are properly aligned with your passion, it is a magnet for others who need you. We provide spaces where memories are made, connections happen, and where people feel safe to let go of the stress and pressures of life.

Until I opened my doors in the Pawtuxet Village and began witnessing this for myself, I never fully appreciated the many layers of impact small businesses have on our communities. My advice to you is to stay authentic, keep working hard at what you love, and know you have other small business owners, like me, rooting for you and your passion. Happy Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, Cranston!

Alana Almonte

Cranston

The author is the owner of Anchored Soul in Cranston.

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