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Cheese, Oysters, & Grandmothers: Tell Your Story for National Small Business Month

Updated: May 8, 2023

Storied Lane Marketing: Helping Small Businesses Tell Their Stories

May is here, and it's National Small Business Month! This is a great time to share your story and build relationships with your customers. Here are some of my tips, trends, and inspirations to help bring out the storyteller in you.

A white door to a small brick building

One Colorado in Old Pasadena, California

Tips & Tricks for Your Small Business

What's Your Why?

National Small Business Month is a great opportunity to share the why behind you and your small business.

  • Why did you start?

  • Why are you in the community you serve?

  • Why do you do what you do?

  • Why does that make you different?

It can be easy to get caught up in the endless to-do lists and goals of running your own business, but taking a moment to pause and think about your why can be a breath of fresh air for both you and your customers. Telling your story builds relationships and support for you and your business, and it keeps you connected with yourself, your team, and your community.

Small business is personal, and it should be. May is a great month to celebrate that!

Industry Trends

Weave Your Story Throughout Your Brand Experience

Storytelling is a key component of success for every type of business, and its importance is only growing. Customers are looking to form relationships with the brands and businesses they frequent, and it is increasingly more important that those relationships align with their core values. It can feel like a lot when you are already doing so much to provide the best product or service possible, but this is an opportunity where small businesses can thrive.

As a small business owner, you have a voice, perspective, and story to share that are completely unique to you. This can be your superpower and allow you to connect personally and authentically with your customers in ways that others cannot.

Identify your story and begin to weave it throughout your brand experience. You may have already started with the "About Me" page on your website. Take a look at that page with fresh eyes and think about the story it is telling - does it align with your vision and your heart? Then you can look at other brand touch points your customers may experience. For example, can you find a small space on your packaging or menu where it could be shared? Can you include parts of your story on your social media platforms - maybe even with a photo or a video of yourself?

Weaving your story throughout your brand experience will help your customers get to know you and your business better, which will strengthen their relationship with you. Storied Lane Marketing is here if you need help along the way!

Marketing Inspiration

Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery, Fishwives Restaurant

Most people who know me know how much my grandmother meant to me -- so much so that I named Storied Lane Marketing in her memory. I love to hear about other people's relationships with their grandmothers and families, and it's something for which I always have a soft spot.

I also love cheese and oysters, so it's no wonder that several friends recommended Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery and Fishwives restaurants to me. There are many places where you can find great cheeses and fresh oysters, but their founders' stories are what really drew me in. Two different restaurants founded in honor of grandmothers and offering some of my favorite foods? Say no more, I am there.

Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery, French Cheese Sign at Agnes, and My Own Cheeseboard

Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery is a beautiful restaurant with a cheese shop and marketplace inside of their historic building in Old Pasadena.

When I first visited Agnes' website, I was pulled in by the uniqueness of their business and the personal story that the founders shared behind it. The part of their story that resonated with me the most was that their business was named after one of the founder's grandmothers, and I especially liked the small anecdote they shared about her.

When I visited the restaurant, I found that the brand experience and stories I felt from their website and social media came to life through their decor, fun plates, and deliciously unique menu. Since then, I also visited their cheese shop to take their recommendations and build my own board (which I am currently eating as I write this).

Their story pulled me in and kept me engaged as it was woven throughout my dining and shopping experiences, and their business keeps me coming back for more.

Fresh oysters at Fishwives restaurant
Fishwives Restaurant

Fishwives is another restaurant who pulled me in with their story.

When I first visited their website, I loved how they defined "fishwife" and shared a story about their great-grandmother's life as one in the 1940s. They beautifully related their inspiration to their business today, making it personal and forming a connection with me.

I was drawn in by their story and menu, and I decided I had to visit and try their fresh oysters. It was a delicious experience, made even more special by their attention to detail, branding, and storytelling. The decor, plating, and even the payment experience were aligned -- my check came in an old container of Old Bay seasoning!

Like Agnes, Fishwives' story and experience will keep me coming back for more.

This post isn't sponsored -- I have just genuinely enjoyed my visits with these restaurants. Their stories resonated with me and drew me in, and their food, ambiance, and branding keep me with them. That's the power of small business storytelling combined with a great product or service.

How will you tell your story? I hope this year's National Small Business Month inspires you to embrace your why and what makes you special.

Until Next Month

Stay tuned for next month's post in early June. Until then, learn more about Storied Lane Marketing by exploring our website, and booking a free one-hour consultation with Katelyn.

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