I once heard it said that there are two types of people in business: the workhorses and the show ponies. The workhorses put their heads down and struggle toward their goals, resigned to a long, grueling trek. The show ponies, on the other hand, confidently trot out their accomplishments and their cleverness for anyone who will listen. One is too modest; the other too boastful.

        Here at Show Pony Magazine, we believe the most inspiring entrepreneur falls somewhere in the middle: the driven, business-savvy individual who makes a living doing work they love. It’s the BBQ chef who transforms a tiny Chicago rib joint into a neighborhood hot spot. It’s the pottery artisans who blend traditional techniques and local materials into unforgettable pieces. It’s the doll maker who sells her whimsical creations and the painter with commissioned works. 

These are the kinds of people you’ll meet in our pages. Not multimillionaire CEOs, not hedge-fund managers, not self-proclaimed business gurus, but creative entrepreneurs who have turned their vision into a livelihood. Of course, they’re too busy being amazing artists and living their passion to be boastful show ponies, but, as you’ll see, their work clearly deserves to be celebrated.

That’s where Show Pony comes in. Whether you dream of opening a diner, starting a fashion line, or pursuing your creativity some other way, you’ll meet trailblazing entrepreneurs who have turned their artistic talent into thriving business. Hear their stories. Learn how they did it. Avoid their mistakes.

Think of it as part education, part inspiration. 

Of course, it’s also a community. Every small-business owner faces challenges, and sometimes the thing that keeps you going is just hearing someone else say, “Hey, I’ve been there too, and I got through it.” The more we support each other, the more we empower ourselves as artists.

Those aren’t just empty words. This inaugural issue would not have been possible without the blood, sweat, and tears of like-minded artists and visionaries.  We look forward to cultivating that same support system for you. (Not to mention introducing you to amazing small businesses all around the country where you can shop, dine, and be inspired.)