Hello AL!

My dad was a small business owner and entrepreneur, working with the Detroit automotive industry for nearly 50 years. His plant did vacuum metalizing and injection molding for the Big Three, cranking out tens of thousands shiny silver Chrysler logos for sedan dashboards, long plastic swooshes for exterior trim on Ford station wagons and occasionally working with a pal to design, manufacture and market some cool gizmo or gadget. They weren’t called “start-ups” back then. They were just guys with good ideas, a building full of tools and machines, a list of customers and a copy machine.  As a kid, I would ride my bike up to the plant and make five bucks mowing the lawn (which was actually a field of crabgrass and loose rocks) or organize his desk for him. One summer when I was in college, I  helped him market his latest invention, a plastic flag that fit on the end of a rural mailbox with a flag that would flip up when the mailman opened the box to leave the mail. We lived in the country and being able to look out a window and spy the little neon orange tab on the Mail Boy (patent pending), saved us fruitless treks out to the mailbox. Dad was a Rotarian, contributed to local fundraisers and gave jobs to my siblings and their friends, no matter their skill level or hair length (I had four brothers, teens in the 70s). Long Live Sparling Plastic Industries!

This magazine is all about locally owned businesses.  We love to shop locally, depend on referrals from neighbors, and frequent advertisers who invest in the community (and its magazine). This month, we proudly bring you stories of products made here and businesses that make our community home.

Meet the dynamic mother-son duo, Karen and Alex Vernon who scoured sales, met with collectors and built their business selling records (that’s vinyl, kids) so that we may all remember the rewards of touching, feeling and reading as we listen to our favorite albums. Their store will transport you to a musical wonderland. Open yourself to new genres, pull out turntable and ride along the deep tracks.

We hope you pause to recognize the entrepreneurs among us, the mom and pop businesses and start-ups that make Alpharetta so special.

If you know any engaging entrepreneurs, busy local business or local cottage industries with a story to tell, DO introduce me.

Thanks and have a rewarding February!