Grand-rapids-women-in-business-GRBOSSBABES

The Vendor Exchange, LLP

What is your name? Hey, my name is Eleanor Rigby and I’m the cofounder of The Vendor Exchange, LLP. I started because after working in the luxury fashion corporate world I felt like we could be doing more with the power of our businesses to make positive change. Our slogan is “changing tomorrow with the emerging businesses of today”. Fundamentally, TVE assists in instilling ethical and responsible practices into the foundations of today’s emerging businesses. We do this by focusing on three initiatives. The Indie Flea Grand Rapids, a local makers market which was designed to give Responsible Businesses a chance to grow, collaborate and get immersed in their community. We are environmentally responsible and working towards a zero waste and plastic free process. I also host monthly seminar/networking groups incorporating critical thinking and covering a different innovative Responsible Business practice topic each time. It's a chance for business owners to think intentionally about where they are, what they are doing and where they want to go. Our seminars are called Pioneering Entrepreneurs! Meet and Reimagine Responsible Business. Another initiative we focus on is: www.msmerchantmagazine.com which is a platform to bring female entrepreneurs together who are looking to make positive change through their business. We link new insights to ideas and encourage diversity as a way to spark innovation. We have three objectives for the magazine. Bring together a cohesive community of women entrepreneurs, sparking collaboration. Be a resource for small and emerging businesses of all types and in various stages, to grow and achieve success through dynamic articles and fresh ideas. And Provide a catalog of local or small businesses as an opportunity for continued growth and exposure.

How long have you in business? I will have been in business for two years this summer.

What would you tell someone who wants to start a business? Really self reflect on your passion and purpose and make that be known. We all have the inherent wisdom to make our businesses a great success, we just need to listen and develop our thoughts. And, find a support person, mentor or join a women's business group. Ms. Merchant Magazine offers the Women In Business Mentor Program to help match women seeking mentors or support teams. It's invaluable to have someone who is invested in your success and there to remind you of your purpose and accomplishments.

What is unique about you that helps you be successful in business?
I build community among people in each area of my business. I encourage and create intimate and trusting atmospheres for people to express themselves and share their passion. Such as with the Indie, through coming together they have created their own beautiful culture. I also do a ton of research and share my knowledge with others. I ask for and absorb people's feedback, using it to further develop better opportunities for them based on their individual needs.

What sets you apart from every other businesses in your field?
I don’t just host events, I create communities and lasting relationships. I am exclusively focused on helping people to create positive change through their business either locally, socially, environmentally or socio-economically.

What is one major thing you learned about business?
I learned that you attract what you put out there. I shared my values and passions and have been surrounded by amazing people on a similar path wanting to support one another.

What is the one thing you attribute to your success?
I believe in people, I see their value, how much good they are already doing and I try to nourish that. I’m successful at helping people because I listen and I care. People don't always realize it but listening is a skill that is developed, it really is an art that people can master and help transition them into leadership roles so it's beneficial to find opportunities where you can practice that.

What are your social links?
Instagram is IndieFleaGR and MsMerchantMagazine.
Facebook is The Vendor Exchange, LLP and Indie Flea Grand Rapids pages.

What are your website?
Www.thevendorexchange.org and www.msmerchantmagazine.com

What is ONE thing you would like to tell others?
That they don’t need a special skill or fancy degree. We are all inherently wise and all we need is passion and purpose to accomplish amazing things. Remember that you are Worthy! You make a great contribution to society by just being you.