As a lifelong Arkansan, there are few things I enjoy more than supporting Arkansas-based businesses. There’s a certain pride that comes with spending a dollar helping your neighbors pay their bills and feed their families. Honestly, sometimes I pay more for a product that’s made in the Natural State than one made elsewhere. Maybe you can relate.
But it’s not just the pride and community connection—#MadeInArkansas products are also really good.
Some of my favorites, just to name a few:
(The list above also doubles as a Christmas wish list for me, if any of you are needing ideas.)
But it’s not just about products or the bigger companies that you’ve heard of. It’s also about the local Arkansas service providers: the handymen. The barbers. The local, independent street vendors, artisans, and mom-and-pops.
The single Arkansas mom who’s started a side hustle selling homemade jewelry via social media, to make ends meet.
The Arkansas dad who’s working all day as an apprentice plumber and going to school at night so he can get his full license.
The college student doing freelance graphic design to help pay their way through college.
The youth pastor who started a tree service to try and get ahead.
These are the Arkansans I most admire. They’re taking risks–financially and socially–to not just put food on the table but also provide value to their neighbors.
They aren’t waiting on the government to figure it out or send them another check; they aren’t waiting around on the perfect job to fall into their laps.
They’re making their own way. They’re pursuing their American dreams—their Arkansan dreams.
And way too often, they have to fight their way through the fog of government regulation. Sales taxes. Fees. Licenses. Permits. Insurance. The list goes on and on.
When the pandemic hit, they found a way. They had to. But now they’re having to dig their way out. They’re desperate to find workers who will show up and stay on. But at every turn of the corner, government gets in the way. And I for one am tired of it.
So we're going to tell their stories, right here on this site. Because by telling them, maybe we can inspire government to remove the boot from their necks and let them do what they do best—work and contribute to this great state that we all love.
And maybe, hopefully, we’ll inspire more Arkansans to take that courageous leap into self-work as well.
Because one thing is for sure: we need more success stories that are #MadeInArkansas.
If you’re an Arkansas small business owner or entrepreneur, we want to tell your story. Please reach out to us here.