Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalia Beley.
Hi Natalia, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
About two years ago I read a book called “Overdressed” by Elizabeth Cline and that in conjunction with my own experience working in the world of fashion really set me on a path to relook at how the things I was purchasing were being manufactured and the true cost of the things that I was consuming. In the town where we used to live in PA there was a great fair trade store and there was also another store that sold all locally made items. I loved to shop in those two places and look for unique gifts. My family moved to Roswell in 2019 and I noticed that there wasn’t any local stores where I could buy ethically produced items and I really felt like there was a void in the community for something like this. Fast forward to 2020 and I finally convinced my husband that I really wanted to open a store in Roswell that could promote local artisans, hand makers and small entrepreneurs here in the states and then also bring fair trade and ethically made products to sell as well. Most if not all of me. artisans and biz owners are women. I work hard to not only promote me. business. but to promote the work of my makers as well.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Haha! I don’t think any small biz owner would say it’s been a smooth road. Retail is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. I think some of the struggles have just been starting a business a few weeks before a global pandemic. Not as many people are out and about shopping so just making people feel comfortable and getting the word out about a new store has been challenging. I think also on a personal level as an entrepreneur and new business owner just not getting discouraged or impatient with the growth of the business can be hard.
As you know, we’re big fans of Evimero Marketplace. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I own a fair trade and artisan market in Roswell and online. I specialize in carrying handmade goods from local makers here in GA and around the states and carry a good assortment of fair trade brands that are working to give people in developing countries opportunities to create sustainable jobs that pay well and can support them and their families. Everything we carry is ethically sourced or doing some sort of social good in the world. Every time I am sourcing a new vendor for the shop I ask myself; Are they doing something restorative in the world? Are they doing something redemptive? And/or will this encourage another small biz owner or promote them in some way. A big part of my business is storytelling and sharing the stories of my brands with my customers and audience. I want every customer to feel like they are coming into a unique, warm and welcoming space where they are going to find a special gift for themselves or their loved ones.
What was your favorite childhood memory?
One of them is reading aloud to my dad. He always loved me to read to him, I think because English wasn’t his first language so he appreciated how quickly and smoothly I could read. I am an avid reader myself and have loved doing read-aloud with both my boys when they were younger.
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Katya Vilchyk Photography