Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend the Visit North Carolina 365 Conference with Convention and Visitors Bureau Director, Sheila Barefoot. I serve on the CVB Board and thought it would be a great opportunity to network and to learn ways for the Chamber and CVB to partner to get heads in beds and visitors to shop and learn about how beautiful our town really is.
We had the pleasure of listening to remarkable guest motivational speakers who have such a passion for the tourism and business industry and it was so inspiring to hear their stories. One speaker in particular talked about small businesses finding their niche and making it the one asset that sets your town apart and makes it more unique than any other. Sampson County has so much talent and so many hardworking and determined small business owners that are truly inspiring and have a heart for our agricultural community.
It was interesting to hear his story about visiting a very, very small town in Missouri on his way to a conference. While passing through he decided to stop in at a local quilting store. The outside had so much color and pizazz to it that he wanted to see what it was all about. While talking with the owner he said she had this crazy vision of making that town the “Disneyland of quilting.”
He said she was very inspired and passionate about her job. He left not thinking anything of it until he came across one of her YouTube channels where she was giving tutorials to the world about fast and easy quilting. He instantly noticed that her views were reaching 350,000. He continued to talk about her popularity and near the end he stated that she now owns 12 quilting stores and two hotels. That small town has a population of 1,800 people and 5,000-10,000 visitors travel their each month just to meet her.
This story was truly inspiring and I hope our small businesses can take a little motivation from this article this week. For any information on the latest happenings in Sampson county check out our facebook page, email us at [email protected], or give us a call at 910-592-6177.
Kaitlin Adkins is the executive director of the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce.