Local Businesses Supporting Local
Writer // Janelle Morrison Photos // Submitted
Small Business Week has been celebrated across the nation ever since President John F. Kennedy first officially introduced it. From Main Street to Wall Street, small business is recognized as the backbone of the U.S. economy. As of the 2010 Census, there were 27.9 million small businesses registered in the U.S. and just 18,500 companies of 500 employees or more. Communities rely on the viability of their local businesses, just like small businesses rely on the support of their local communities and the support of their fellow small business owners.
Advocating for small businesses and garnering the support of businesses from vibrant communities such as Carmel, Mel McMahon Stone and her husband, Lance Stone, founded Indiana Originals to better organize their efforts.
Indiana Originals’ mission is to create stronger, healthier communities and more jobs in Indiana by encouraging and facilitating a greater use of independent, Indiana-owned businesses. National studies have shown that independent businesses return as much as five times more money to their local communities than large chains based out of state. Indiana Originals is simplifying the search for local products and services through the promotion of Indiana products, Indiana places, and Indiana service providers.
Both graduates from Indiana University, Mel and Lance met each other in grad school at DeVry University. The couple’s interest in supporting local small businesses turned into a passion and led them to launch the company in May 2014.
In addition to growing a vast directory of Indiana-owned businesses, the two are parents to a young son and juggle the responsibilities of their “day” jobs seemingly effortlessly. Lance is a business analyst and project manager for NextRadio, and Mel is a radio and television personality and activist. The couple applies their knowledge of marketing and media to their business model. Mel utilizes her media
resources in the interest of Indiana Original’s members by providing on-air promotions and spots on popular local television broadcast shows. She is currently heard on 93.1 WIBC, Country 97.1 HANK FM and B105.7 and often seen on WISH-TV’s Indy Style and FOX59’s Morning News.
Today, Indiana Originals has grown to more than 200 businesses that represent all types of small businesses, including entertainment, restaurants, service-related businesses, health, retail, nonprofits and several more like its newest member, the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre in Carmel.
“At Indiana Originals, our mission is to create healthier stronger communities and more jobs in Indiana by encouraging and facilitating a greater use of independent, Indiana Originals’ businesses,” Mel emphasized.
“Shopping local and supporting local is more than just trendy – it’s necessary. According to a study carried out by the consulting firm Civic Economics, independent businesses put three to five times more money directly back into our local economy. Our Indiana Originals’ members are essential to a thriving economy. They create an identity for our neighborhoods and jobs for our neighbors. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen a big push to ‘shop local,’ ‘eat local’ and ‘buy local,’ but these campaigns are focused on general consumers. Sometimes, we forget that, as business owners, we are the customer too.”
Mel concluded, “At Indiana Originals, we are not only trying to help Indiana original businesses stand out from their national competitors, but we are also connecting our members, so we can become one another’s customer. The more we can use Indiana Originals’ businesses for our own needs, the more we are impacting our quality of life, and the more we are working towards our mission.”
As a value-add to the membership, members of Indiana Originals are encouraged to showcase their products, services, and goods at Indiana Originals’ Expo and Marketplace events and are invited to attend other Indiana Originals’ sponsored events. In addition to the promotional opportunities via Indiana Originals’ local media partners, other member benefits include local branding, listing in the Indiana Originals’ online directory and app and the Indiana Originals’ membership logo to use and promote membership in addition to other resourceful benefits.
For more information on Indiana Originals and a list of its current members, visit indianaoriginals.com.
Indiana Originals Carmel Business Members
• Keeping in Touch Solutions
• HR Partnerships Inc.
• Elevate Online
• Square Donuts, Carmel
• Jack’s Donuts, Carmel
• Clarity MD
• Hair by Leslie Donn @ MDG Salon Studio
• Vine & Branch, Inc.
• My Pretty Little Pretzel
• M2 Promotions
• Michelle Marocco Jewelry & Fine Art
• Comprehensive Retirement Solutions & CRS Tax Solutions
• Lilly Wearable Art Studio
• Shea BODYWORKS
• Vino Mobile Bar
• Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre