Marketplace Op-ed Series: The Answer Is Yes, I Did Build This.

by Patty Gattner, Harper Grace Boutiques

This column is part of our ongoing series of op-eds this election season from small business owners working with The Marketplace by TheBlaze. We often hear politicians talk about what small business owners want, and if elected, what public officials could do to help these entrepreneurs. But we haven’t heard enough from small business owners themselves. This series will feature small business owners discussing their business, ‘how they built that,’ and what it has been like trying to sustain and grow their business over the last 4 years. 

Did I Build This?  The answer is YES, I DID BUILD THIS.  And all by myself. I am the PROUD owner of Harper Grace Boutiques, which are 3 e-commerce websites starting,,  and I am a working mom of two little boys, 3 & 6. I have a career in the Medical industry and launched my websites to eventually be fully self employed. I would be afraid to not work, given the economy, I would never want to feel the stress of financial pressures as many do today.

My instincts as a mother tell me to be with my children, as it is difficult to leave them everyday, but it is something that I have to do. With that said, I do enjoy working, I just would like to be able to make up my own schedule to fulfill all of my boys needs and be home with them when they are sick, instead of having my mother stay with them.  Or between my husband and I taking turns using our sick days when my older son broke his leg –  I just wanted to be home with him. I feel very grateful to be employed, don’t get me wrong – but I just have a different vision for myself and family.

I grew up in a home of entrepreneurs, so it comes naturally to me, it in my blood. My mother and father were and are still very hard working people. They started many little businesses when they were young to save money for a down payment on their first home. So I understand the value of working hard and earning things.  And you know what, NOTHING is more rewarding than being able to say to yourself “I did this, I worked hard and earned all of this.”  You feel proud and want to be better and keep doing more. This mentality is something that seems to be going away. And I do NOT want my children to think they can be handed everything.

I want them to have that same proud feeling that I get when I open my computer every morning at 4:30am to squeeze in some work and SEO before my family wakes up and the rush of the day starts. Or that feeling that I accomplished so much that day – when my kids are in bed and I open my computer again and check and fulfill orders for my customers. Do I want to do that every day?  No I don’t, but it is something that I have to do, and am now obligated to do to gain and keep the respect of my customers.

We live in the GREATEST country in the world, one in which I feel proud of and respect deeply, and that as Americans we are offered the ability to prosper and fulfill our dreams. I don’t want to see that go away – and when the President of the United States of American is trying to appeal to the masses by saying “You didn’t build that” it really makes my blood boil. What is that message saying to our children? Not the one that I grew up with and believe in.

  • Anonymous
  • linlili
  • Caleb Deremer

    You built the internet?

    • john

      either you were just being a smart A#$ or you just don’t get it.

    • Carey Bandler

      Yes, ARPANET was government funded. The USG also built our roads, but it was individual/corporate innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that commercialized it and made it what it is today. The USG has a role, and it’s not to be in everything or controlling everything. Especially in terms of the economy.

      • Katherine P. Goddard

        @disqus_O13aSff6Mx:disqus I feel very grateful to be employed, don’t get me wrong – but I just have a different vision for myself and family. April responded I am impressed that any body able to profit $9556 in 1 month on the internet. have you read this

  • Anonymous

    funny, i read this as a story of dependency. how she depends on her family, her experiences in her upbringing, and the infrastructure that’s available to do what she does. put this women as a single mother of three, raised in a poor working class family with no history of entrepreneurship in a country that does not have the technology infrastructure or support systems that we have here and see if she has the same opportunities. i bet the answer is no. 

    we all rely on others, and the big lie is that we are all better off when we refuse to see ourselves as a community of people who rely on each other, and instead as individual maximizers of our own wealth and utility (the libertarian vision).

    when we help each other, yes, through the system of government, as well as private support systems like our families, we create more opportunities, not less, for people to be successful. 

  • Anonymous

    I think the part that gets me most about this article is that the model for a small business that is being held up as a model of self sufficiency is one in which a person buys a product from a supplier who makes a product in china (in the case of the product I looked up from the website), and then she “sells” them on her website. There is no evidence that she either designs, builds, ships or repairs the product. Is this the model for business in America? I think sadly, the answer is yes. We buy a product from china and sell it here for a profit. 

    someone else designs the product
    someone else builds the product
    someone else ships the product

    but… we did all by ourselves!! When all we really did was take care of the customer support and product management, which is a legitimate part of a business… but doesn’t even account for all of the other systems that have to be in place for this to work.

  • Kathy Hoffman

    I was hoping after he made that statement that the independant business owners would step up and give him some “feed-back” and they have.  I am proud of people like you who are willing to stand up for themselves and stick him bakc where he belongs.  NOT, leading this country!!!

  • landofaahs

    Everyone has choices to make and if the country votes democrat, they will see a ruined country they occupy and at that point some of us will rightly say “Yes, you did build that yourself”. 

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