Friday, July 12, 2019

Don't Forget To Shop Local

Small Business Saturday is in November, but you don't have to wait until one special day to support local businesses. Today while buying my morning coffee, I realized I was basically a small-business billboard today. Almost everything I was wearing was purchased locally and I myself am the owner of a small business. It's easy to be lured to the big box stores or the online giants, but small business is a vital part of the local economy. Many small business invest back into the local community. Be sure to check out Team Smiley Apparel, Threshold Athletic, Mindful Supply, Green Bean Golden Gate, Omega Sports and of course RunnerDude's Fitness

Team Smiley Apparel is a family run, community based, and fitness driven apparel company established in 2017 in Burlington, NC. In 2007, the family moved from the Miami Valley of Southwestern Ohio to the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina, where they live today. "Team Smiley" started as a name they had given themselves. Something that united and bonded them in the adventure of living in a new state, outside of their comfort zones. With every passing year and every new sports endeavor, their bond as a "Team" grew. As they referred to themselves as "Team Smiley," other members of their fitness community would inquire what it would take to belong to the "Team Smiley" family. What they have provided through their family unit is for individuals to feel a part of something larger and bigger than themselves. "Team Smiley" provides an individual encouragement to achieve their personal goals both inside and outside of their fitness endeavors. Each purchase of a "Team Smiley" apparel item enables Team Smiley to reinvest back into the community. Be sure to check out the Team Smiley products at

Threshold Athletic was born out of their love of activity, fitness & sportswear. They are passionate
about being active, sharing experiences and motivating other individuals to achieve the best version of themselves possible. Therefore, they wanted to develop and produce products that support their customer’s experiences. Whether it’s hitting the road, hitting the trails, or hitting the gym, Threshold Athletic is dedicated to providing effective & quality products that exceed the expectations of their customers. Threshold Athletic Products are Sold and Distributed exclusively by Genesis Textiles, LLC in Gibsonville, NC. Be sure to check them out at

Omega Sports began when two friends who dreamed of creating a new kind of sporting goods store 
founded Omega Sports in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1978. Since the very beginning, Omega has been a family-run company committed to local community, quality gear, and outstanding customer service. They are still a family-run company, and their foundational values are as important to them today as they were in 1978. Omega has grown steadily, and they are now part of 14 communities across North Carolina. They’ve helped two to three generations of North Carolinian’s. Be sure to check them out at one of their area stores and online at

The Green Bean opened their doors in 2002. Now owned by Joe Van Gogh, they are still an 
awesome part of the local Greensboro community with their cafĂ© at Golden Gate Shopping Center on Cornwallis Dr. and their downtown coffee shop on S. Elm St.  I’m a frequent customer at both, but I bet if you go to the Golden Gate location and ask anyone who works their if they know Thad, they’ll probably say, "He’s the Green Bean Bowl guy, right?"  If you haven’t had it, man, you need to get there quick! Delish! Be sure to check them out at

The Mindful Supply Co slogan is “From Dirt to Shirt.” That’s because they literally are involved from the growing of the cotton to the finished product sold in their store or online.  The cotton for their shirts is gown in Stanley County in Richfield. The cotton is ginned in New London, it’s spun into yarn in Thomasville, and knitted into fabric in Lumberton.  Those are all NC towns!  The fabric is finished in Gaffney, SC and cut and sewn in Hemingway, SC. The graphics are created by the Mindful Supply Co owners Derek Glass and David Grubbs. TS designs in Burlington, NC take care of the dying and printing. Every step of the production process happens in NC and SC businesses employing over 700 people. Be sure to check them out at their store front location at 335 S. Davie St. in Greensboro, nc as well as online at

RunnerDude’s Fitness is a running coaching and fitness studio in Greensboro, NC. After I was laid off from a career in educational publishing for 
13 years back during the Great Recession in 2009, I had to reinvent myself. Being held to a non-compete contract, I was not able to work in my field for 18 months. I know, crazy, huh? So, instead of trying to fight it, I decided to pursue my passion—fitness and running--and I went back to school. I got my RRCA running coach certification, my USATF running coach certification, my American College of Sports Medicine certification, and completed a 500hr diploma program at the National Personal Training Institute in Raleigh as well as competing 100hrs of nutrition education. Then on blind faith, I opened RunnerDude’s Fitness. Almost 10 years later, I’ve worked with hundreds of runners from beginning running to ultra marathons. I’ve also worked with hundreds of clients improving their personal fitness levels. I’ve also had the awesome opportunity to work in corporate fitness, providing running and fitness classes to VF Corp, Syngenta, and Volvo Group. If you’re looking for customized fitness and/or running plans, boot camps, other group fitness classes, a in-depth video running stride analysis, running related workshops, personal training, small-group personal training, and more, be sure to check us out at