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Shop Small for the Holidays!

Guest blog post written by Tracy Campion, co-owner and co-publisher of Pet Connection Magazine

It begins with one very important question: Can I create and run my own small business?

And for hundreds of thousands of Americans every year, the answer is an emphatic “Yes!”

But did you realize just how important small businesses are for our community and for our nation – and why you should patronize them this holiday season?

Small businesses are the fabric of America and the foundation of a healthy economy in the United States. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), more than half of all Americans either work for or own a small business. These are companies like Pet Connection Magazine and your favorite local “mom and pop” shop or bakery. Small businesses fuel the economy with job creation – the SBA notes that small businesses create two-thirds of all new jobs in the country annually – but they also fuel the soul with their ultra-local focus and their heart to support their own communities.


In 1982, Rosanna Bowles ventured into the business world with a $15,000 loan secured by her Seattle bungalow and a dream to create beautiful dishware and décor. In the ensuing decades, Rosanna built a business that became known worldwide as a purveyor of fine, unique dishware. Rosanna’s business was borne from both her youthful travels in Europe and her educational pursuits: she earned a bachelor’s degree in art history and literature from Portland State and a master’s degree in Italian language and literature from the University of Oregon. Today, Rosanna’s dishes are proudly displayed in shops in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, including small businesses – a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of a woman who had a vision to create beautiful dishware, support the local community, and embrace the traditions that bring us all together.


In 2007, Pet Connection Magazine began as a four-page periodical based out of Olympia, Washington. The magazine’s mission was to focus on the people, pets, and community of the region, with a special emphasis on fellow small businesses. Graphic designer and photographer Sarah Bous-Leslie was with the publication from its early days, nurturing relationships with local businesses and organizations and helping the magazine expand with a North Sound edition, as well. I was a writer for Pet Connection for several years before becoming co-owner of the magazine at the end of 2015, and today, PCM is two 28-page sister publications, one based out of Olympia and one out of the greater Seattle area. We focus on small businesses, just like us, and we continue to nurture the connections that we all share. And our holiday mantra is always “Shop local” – because we support the underdogs, the trailblazers, the trendsetters, and the dreamers.


This holiday season and beyond, please patronize your local small business. Your purchase at a small business contributes directly to your community and your economy. But don’t let the title “small” fool you – small businesses are doing big things, and with your support, we will continue to strengthen the fabric of our nation, one dream, one dish, one article, and one job at a time.