We are proud and honored to announce that Arthlin Jewelry LLC has been chosen as an American Small Business Champion by SCORE and Sam’s Club.
The American Small Business Championship (championship.score.org) awarded this title to 102 small businesses, two in every state and the District of Columbia, for their dedication to the success of their businesses. Each state winner will be awarded a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, an all-expense-paid trip to a training and networking event in Dallas, TX, SCORE mentoring and publicity throughout the year. Each Champion is also eligible for one of three $25,000 grand prizes.
We are honored to have been chosen for this award, especially considering all of the wonderful, deserving businesses that participated (1563 entries total). To be honest, this isn't something that I would have thought possible in the humble beginning of our company. We have come such a long way in the last couple of years.
We hope to serve the community by providing original jewelry designs manufactured by hand in the United States and to create more jobs in our fun, creative environment.
The prizes, training, publicity and SCORE mentoring we have been awarded will help us take our business to the next level, and better serve you, our customers.
The Sam's Club gift card will allow us to set up a third work station for our next hire and to stock up on office supplies.
Fun fact: The state of Maine did very well this year with THREE State champions! (The only other state with three Champions is California – Go Maine!)
Congratulations to Tip Whip LLC and The One Gallon Soap Company!
We look forward to attending the training event in Dallas, Texas next month and will be sure to keep you updated!
I’d like to share the story about how this happened and a couple of things that I learnt along the way:
I visited SCORE’s website shortly after they launched the 2017 Small business Championship.
“What a wonderful opportunity” I thought…
I started reading the entries and got intimidated by the caliber of the businesses that had already entered.
I closed the window in my browser. I moved on.
One week later, I received this email while having my Saturday morning coffee:
Let me rewind a bit. Craig is my SCORE mentor.
Last summer, I had to face a difficult truth: the business had outgrown my capabilities to scale it and I needed help. I didn’t know who to turn to, but I knew that I needed a mentor’s advice for what was coming. There was more demand for the jewelry than I could supply on my own and it was time to hire. Luckily, I ended up finding about SCORE, an organization that helps small businesses start and grow (and the services are free). Business experts like Craig volunteer their time to help small business owners on a regular basis.
After I received the email above, I finally felt inspired to write the entry. Plus, Craig had been so generous with his time and knowledge over the months that the least I could do was give this a shot. The words were flowing and before lunch, Arthlin was officially entered in the championship.
I learnt an important lesson from this:
I think it’s fair to say that self-doubt tends to linger around for most entrepreneurs. It’ll go away on the good days and come right back on the slow days.
And it ALMOST cost me a chance of a lifetime when it told my brain not to enter the competition because there was no chance.
As the competition went on, I quickly witnessed a support system that I didn’t realize I had. Well I knew how AWESOME the people in my life are - and I’m very lucky for it – but what I hadn’t realized, is how much all of you do CARE. Family, friends, friends of friends and even people I haven’t seen in years rallied to get the votes count up on the entry. It was incredible to see the votes go up by a thousand or two every day. The vote count was worth 15% of the final judging score and I owe you a huge THANK YOU for your support.
An extra special thank you to (in no particular order):
Our loyal customers
People who work hard to help scaling this business: Emily, Liza, Martin.
My SCORE mentor Craig and his family for your support and votes.
My husband Dustin, friends and family for all the love and support.
Fellow handmade business owners (Shout out to the EtsyMaineTeam for sharing the entry!).
The wonderful ladies at Passion for Pets Rescue for sharing the entry as well.
Stay tuned for our Small Business Championship symposium adventure! 😊