We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathryn Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathryn, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
My favorite affirmation is “Start somewhere.” When a project feels overwhelming in size, scope or timeline the challenge lies in knowing where to start. It is easy to get hung up on potential hurdles or lost among the unknowns. To me, “Start somewhere” means to do any single thing that gets you closer to a goal or even to a question. If the challenge is as straightforward as moving a mountain of rocks, starting somewhere can be as easy as picking one of them up. But when the challenge is a mountain of unknowns standing in the way of important business decisions, starting somewhere means researching similar challenges in one area (such as business) and comparing them to related scenarios from other domains (ex. politics, science, war, etc.) like David Epstein talks about in his book “Range.” This exercise usually provides some clarity or at least gives me better questions to ask. Getting started generates curiosity and momentum. “Start somewhere” is a simple and self-explanatory affirmation and an explicit call to action with the flexibility to choose the pace and direction. That is what I like about it.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Walton Birch was founded to help microbusinesses grow and increase sales through online marketing. But the past year of working with businesses as they struggled through a pandemic and economic recession showed me that we should not limit our services to marketing. Micropreneurs are hands-on in most aspects of running their businesses, and marketing skills are only a small part of their very complex challenges. I have expanded our coaching and consulting services to include business and growth strategies. Now business owners looking for eCommerce websites or email marketing can also get help managing business growth, including evaluating platforms to automate time-consuming processes or researching local fulfillment partners to meet increased order volume. Walton Birch has always prioritized small businesses here in Georgia, but I have taken that a step further and established a network of vetted local consultants and creatives with skills ranging from copywriting and paid ads, to accounting and employment law, to support clients during their time with us. Small businesses are a community, so it makes sense to help small businesses support each other. Every micropreneur follows their own path in business. We are the one-stop-shop helping micropreneurs at all stages take their online businesses to the next level.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Atlanta is a huge city filled with the best in food, shopping, and entertainment. You could easily spend several months going from neighborhood to neighborhood enjoying the cultures and attractions. As a proud native Atlantan, I always endorse seeing the World of Coke, the Georgia Aquarium, and the Civil Rights Museum downtown. As a life-long Cobb County resident, I also recommend visiting the Marietta Square and other cool local attractions like the Cobb Energy Center at Cumberland, the Viking Alchemist Meadery, and the Marietta Diner, both located in Marietta. My personal favorite food spots are Kuroshio, a sushi restaurant located on Cobb Parkway in Smyrna. Momoiro, a Ramen restaurant in the Marietta Square Marketplace, and Iron Age, a Korean Barbecue restaurant located on Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people and organizations that regularly provide support, mentorship, and encouragement and so many more things that keep me going in this mission. My wife Jennifer has been my biggest cheerleader for over 11 years and deserves a special shout out. Through three years getting an MBA followed by five promotions with three Fortune 500 companies within four years, (one of those years was spent planning a wedding!) Then nearly two years ago into the chaotic world of entrepreneurship, she has been a partner, supporter, and a shoulder to cry on (or more realistically nap on out of sheer exhaustion.) I would not have attempted this without the support of my parents who also demonstrated the values of early rising and hard work and instilled in me the values of entrepreneurship and an unwavering commitment to being the change I want to see in the world. I also want to shout out my incredible circle of friends who hype me up and celebrate wins with me in text messages, group chat, and socially-distant driveway and backyard gatherings. Lastly, as a queer woman of color, I have experienced many of the characteristic challenges women and minorities face in entrepreneurship. These organizations have helped clear the way by providing resources and generally being incredibly valuable partners to me as a rookie full-time entrepreneur: – The Metro Atlanta SCORE organization – The Cobb Chamber of Commerce – The OUT Georgia Business Alliance – The StartOut Mentorship Program – Lunchclub.ai
Walton Birch LLC