Co-founder of local small business United State of Indiana (USI), Graham Brown talks about the importance of keeping businesses small and his insight into entrepreneurship on Firebelly’s latest episode of #GotTheFire.
Like most entrepreneurs, Brown started out with an idea and made the jump hoping to succeed. Succeed he did. Brown went from wanting to design t-shirts for metal heads and the grunge kids but ended up going where his customer base demanded.
The common theme? Indiana.
Here are three ways Brown found success for his Indianapolis small business.
1. Keep it small
USI is a four person operation with two full-time employees and two part-time employees. Brown believes keeping a business small puts an emphasis on employees being treated well and a high level of customer service for consumers.
The larger you go the more employees become simply generators of profit and their humanness becomes lost.
2. Pursue your passion
Brown’s creativity is fueled by tapping into what the Indiana community needs and resonates with. His hope is that people will want to make Indiana more weird and creative by feeling inspired by USI’s products. USI is more than just t-shirts. You can find home goods, stickers, posters and more.
Most importantly, Brown emphasizes pursuing your passion without a focus on making money. If you have a great idea, don’t try to get financing. Just go do it!
3. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing
For Brown, the celebration of local, togetherness and accessibility remain the forefront of USI. In a world where there is division, you can find true community and connectivity in Indiana. They have a loyal following throughout Indiana as well as Hoosiers who have created new roots outside of their hometown. Brown makes sure to take care of their advocates and supporters.
Brown is an avid proponent of all things local and accessible. You’ll find these values woven into USI—as a small business providing consumers with products that bring people together and puts smiles on their faces.
Catch the full interview with Duncan Alney and Graham Brown below.
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