One summer that I stayed with my grandparents I got the chance to work at their vineyard in Washington. It was one of the best summers of my life and even though I was only 13, I learned more than I did through my schooling. I went back each summer to help because to me it wasn’t a job, it was something I truly enjoyed.
In the summer of ‘98 we lost my grandfather to cancer. I knew that she would need some help so I decided to stay with her and run the family winery. It’s funny that you can find what you love to do at such a young age but that’s exactly what happened to me.
What does the photo represent? That is the cart that I put the crates on to collect the grapes in the vineyards. So for me, that represents the start of who I am today. I feel like I have only begun my journey and I have so many more things to accomplish for my grandparents legacy. My hope for anyone wanting to follow their dreams is that they just go for it. Life is going to pass you by if you don’t take advantage of opportunities that are put right in front of you.
I Am A Mom and Pop.
- Tyler Pritchard
This may look like a simple tool to you but it’s where my entrepreneur journey first started. My grandmother handed me this when I was 13 and said, “get to work.” My parents passed away when I was 3 and I lived with my grandparents and little did I know that they would be the ones who completely shaped my life and inspired me to do what I do now.
My grandmother owned an arts and craft store that sat on the corner in small town of Rhode Island. When my grandfather passed away, I started running the store with her to make her mind feel more at ease and to help out anyway that I could. I saw the hurt in her eyes and I wanted to do anything I could to take that look away. She really let me become a part of the store, learn how a business functions and how to really speak to the customers. She was such a joy to be around and everyone that came to the store would come back the next day just to say hello to her. As I became more involved in the business, I realized how much I grew to love crafts that soon led me to design and then to remodeling homes. My grandma passed away right after I got out of college. We had to close her shop when she became ill and since I was so busy with school. The last thing she said to me before she passed was, “what are you waiting for, go out there and be amazing.” What she was referring to was that I was using school as an excuse as if I didn’t know what I wanted to do or I wasn’t good enough to do my own thing. I did use it to hide behind and wasted 4 years before I could face that truth.
Right after that I launched my own business and have never looked back. I get the chance to travel and remodel homes across the country. If it wasn’t for my grandmother taking the time to teach me when I was young and believing in me then I would not be where I am today. I am proud to be a small business owner and would much rather support local any day over the corporate big guys. Let’s continue to inspire each other and take the stand.
I Am A Mom and Pop.