Women in Business: Know your values

AUTHENTIC: "There aren’t a ton of women who offer both photo and video services, but we refuse to let that lack of representation hold us back," says Erin McGrady, right, co-founder of Authentic Asheville. Also featured is McGrady's wife and co-founder, Caroline Whatley. Photo courtesy of Authentic Asheville

Editor’s note: For our Women in Business issue, we invited women in our local business communities to share insights they’ve gained through their work in Western North Carolina. 

Erin McGrady and her wife, Caroline Whatley, are the co-founders of Authentic Asheville, a camper van blog that focuses on travel in Western North Carolina and beyond.

Xpress: What is the best advice you were given about launching your business? 

McGrady: Know your values and do your best to carry them out in the ways that you interact with your customers, your community and within your own team.

What is the best advice you’d share with someone just starting out today? 

Learn as much as you possibly can about your craft, and when you learn something new that’s in conflict with an old practice, be willing to change. It’s these ongoing adaptations that will keep you nimble and ready when the next opportunity shows up.

As a woman, what unique challenges have you experienced within your industry, and how have you overcome these obstacles?

There aren’t a ton of women who offer both photo and video services, but we refuse to let that lack of representation hold us back. We help businesses with their branded storytelling in the outdoor gear space as well as the food and beverage space. While we don’t see a whole lot of other people like us — we’re a queer, interracial woman-owned business — we have the mindset that together we can do just about anything. Creativity, integrity, hard work and grit know no gender.


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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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