Why Small Businesses Matter in Stamford: Talking Changes


Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!

You're IT Talking Changes!

Three questions with Mara Gottlieb, founder of Talking Changes.

Why did you start your business?

There’s that saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” I knew I was good at creating environments where people felt safe and respected, and due in part to my upbringing, I also knew what it was like to have assumptions made about me that boxed me in and limited my ability to be authentic and to thrive.

I wanted to create something that would help others from experiencing that; to help us find opportunities to hear each other’s stories as we would like them told. I had 14 years of university teaching experience and went full-time with Talking Changes in 2018, creating and facilitating training around diversity, inclusion, and social justice for a broad range of organizations.

What is your best-selling product/service?

Probably either my training on Cultural Humility, which addresses our own unconscious biases and how they impact the way we see ourselves and others, or my “LGBTQIA+: Understanding Sexual and Gender Identities” training, which explains those concepts in fun, clear, relatable ways and offers tools on how to be an ally and advocate to these communities.

Have you "reimagined" your small business?

COVID forced me to reimagine my business: I had to pivot, quickly, to a virtual format and learn how to create safe, respectful, attention-holding training online. It has worked better than I could have imagined: 95% of my training and supervision sessions remain online, which allows me a much broader reach.

As a white European, cisgender lesbian, I’ve also continued to grow in my understanding of how racism, sexism, and homophobia impact me and those with whom I interact, which has in turn changed the content of my training and the ways that I address certain subjects. I cringe a little when I see footage of myself from many years back, but as Maya Angelou wrote, “When you know better, you do better.”

Mara would like to nominate Donn Reid’s Domus Kids to be featured next!

Visit Talking Changes online here, and make sure to check out their Facebook, and Instagram pages as well!

HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!

Submitted by Stamford, CT

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