Inspired Stories

A resource for nature lovers, environmental stewards, explorers, sustainable lifestyle advocates & community activists. Enjoy this compilation of stories from our travels across the globe told through blogs, pictures & video.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead

We couldn’t be more excited to announce our first featured business for our #SupportLocal initiative, Mountain Made!

Mountain Made is a small business dedicated to providing a quality line of locally-made merchandise that allows you to bring home a piece of the mountains and support the local community through your purchase; founded and operated by lifetime Julian local, Eva Hatch.

1 Winner will receive 4 of our favorite Mountain Made candles: Hot Cocoa, Desert Bloom, Julian Apple Pie & Country Autumn! ($80 Value) as well as a $100 Glamping Gift Certificate!

What inspired the creation of Mountain Made? What’s your mission?

Growing up in a small town, I was prepared to find a career elsewhere, altough it didn’t make sense to me. Why are locals finding it difficult to make a decent living within our own community? If vested residents don’t fill the gaps in the local economy, others will. For example, I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked me where they can buy locally-made items. It took me a bit of time before I finally realized I was the “somebody who should do that.” After lots of trial and error, I used my tips to make a San-Diego-County-inspired candle line and established Mountain Made.

My mission is to help ensure the long-term stability of my hometown and prove that it is possible to be successful in a small rural community. When someone purchases a Mountain Made product they aren’t just supporting me. They are supporting local photographers, accountants, grassroots organizations, etc. Every dollar spent in the local economy multiplies as it makes a positive ripple effect through the community. The rising tide lifts all the boats.

When did you realize that you were destined for entrepreneurship?

School was (and still is) hard for me. Spelling and reading comprehension are not my thing. At the age of 11, I was told by my principal that I would never get into college. I remember thinking to myself “If no one will hire me, I’ll hire myself.” So for most of my childhood, I had a hunch that I would own a business. It took six years to figure out what product I would sell. I find it so compelling that my business is a blend of crafts (my go-to leisure activity) and writing (my biggest weakness).

What does being a business owner mean to you?

Being a business owner means that I have the maximum opportunity to leave a positive legacy. Entrepreneurship provides me the flexibility and freedom to pursue my passions. I have created Mountain Made out of nothing. To me, that’s the American Dream.

When you’re not working hard, what do you do in your spare time?

Right now I don’t have much spare time. I am making some short-term sacrifices, so that I can have my dream life in the near future. Working on the business creates so much joy for me. I do try to use every opportunity to enjoy the mountain lifestyle I rave about, by going on adventures with friends and family.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Just do it scared. In order to enjoy the fruit, you have to put in the labor. Procrastination hides in many forms. In the beginning, I felt like an amateur because I didn't have a formal business education. I have spent most of my entrepreneur years learning the same things over and over again because I was scared to implement the knowledge I gained. Give yourself permission to pursue your passion(s). You won’t regret it.

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