WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky (WYMT) - Starting a small business for some entrepreneurs is about freedom. Whether it be freedom to be your own boss, spend more time with loved ones or bring something innovative to your community.
That is what the owners of 2nd & Main and Moonbow Mercantile in Corbin had in mind when creating this space in 2017.
The old JCPenney building vacant for more than a decade in downtown Corbin and was for sale. Geoff and Sky Marietta started from scratch. They renovated the three story building, making it an event space and shop featuring local artists.
"It's this excellent thing that not only can you come here and get a unique item that's maybe a souvenir, but when you do that you're also supporting an artist, a real person that lives here locally," said Sky.
Providing an economic boost to the community, they grew from one store to three. One in Williamsburg and just recently the 'Moonbow Tipple Coffee and Sweets" in Harlan.
"It only takes a spark to get a fire going," said Sky. "Every weekend in October is taken for a wedding."
But weddings are not the only events being held.
"Have dinners here for people who are close to dying and having going away celebration dinners. You see the lights, you see the space and it just makes you feel special that you can be apart of someone's life in that way," said Geoff.
Sky still says being a business owner is not easy and not about the money.
"These things are hard and they do take a lot of sacrifice."
Yet it is a reminder of the support they receive.
"The beautiful thing about small towns is people see you, they know who you are and they are right there with you cheering you on."
The Marietta's said living in each town they have a business in allows them to connect to the community; helping them see what is needed and wanted. Their advice for anyone who wants to start a small business? Be involved.
"Find an entrepreneur in your local community and have them take it up," said Geoff.
And remember, when you help build a barn it is hard to burn it down.