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This Small Business Saturday, I'd like to spotlight two local women-in-business who made my own small business beginnings possible.

It was really important to me when I was starting my private practice that I set up everything the way I wanted and needed it for many years to come - I didn't want to be unhappy in the near future and have to start again. DIY is great, but it's definitely not my strong suit. So when I was brainstorming where to invest in the beginning, I knew that branding and web design was what I needed most.

At the time, my favorite succulent shop, BUDS Plant Boutique, had just opened and shared the graphic designer of their brand identity, Lisa Gorham of Lisa Gorham Creative. As soon as I took a peek at Lisa's portfolio, I knew that I had found my creative partner for this project.

Over a handful of emails and just one introductory call, Lisa took a jumbled idea from my brain and brainstormed what is now the beautiful masterpiece that you see before you. Lisa created my brand identity suite and my website.

Not only did Lisa create my logos with tradition and meaning behind them, she also a custom color palette to match the down to earth aesthetic of ocean, sky, and land. She enveloped my favorite herb into my logo (rosemary!) and somehow made "Down to Earth Nutrition" in my primary logo perfectly symmetrical, which is so appreciated.

Since Lisa knew the complete ins-and-outs of my brand identity and it's attributes, of course I was going back to her when I was ready to create my website. We divided and conquered; Lisa on all things web and tech-related and myself (with the help of Copy by Steph) writing copy for the site. The end product is a website better than I ever could have hoped for or imagined, and truly portrays the essence of my virtual nutrition practice.

There are so many other nuances of my brand and business that are near and dear to me thanks to Lisa. It is safe to say my Down to Earth Nutrition wouldn't be ready to be open right now if it wasn't for Lisa Gorham Creative.

If I was going to have a beautiful new website and would be much more present on social media, I couldn't rely on my iPhone for headshots. That is where Jessica Neumann of Jessica Neumann Photography comes into the story (again). I say again because Jessica is co-owner of BUDS, another client of Lisa's, and she also took Lisa's headshots!

Pause to reflect on the effect and importance of shopping small and local.

After chatting with Jessica and her business partner, Lindsay, throughout the summer at various farmers' markets (and utilizing their expertise while becoming a new plant mom) I reached out to Jessica for professional headshots for the fall.

My vision was outdoor photos because I wanted the down to earth vibe to shine through, but at the same time I wanted to ensure professionalism. Well, that's all I had to say and Jessica delivered. I loved that she introduced me to the New Market wildflower patch behind Main Street, and that we also got some photos in and around the scenery near Fit2Shine Studio, where I practice yoga. It made the whole adventure even more special.

Jessica was able to convey in my photos everything I had hoped - a fun, warm, caring, patient, trustworthy, and of course, down to earth dietitian.

As you can tell, I am incredibly grateful to both Lisa and Jessica for their time and expertise in the start of my own small business.

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