What is a Mensch


This week I’m celebrating National Small Business Week. I’m going to take the 5 “work” days of the week and give 5 “shout outs” to local small businesses. John Donne said that “No Man is an Island,” and this is more than true in business. Even a solopreneur (an entrepreneur who works alone) needs a support team; collaborators, brainstorming partners, or someone to tell them to keep on keeping on when they’re staring at an empty cup of coffee and a blank idea sheet.

Today we’ll meet Lisé Schleicher, owner of Basketworks.

Back in 1997, with one in diapers (and one close to on the way), Lisé left corporate America and started up a gift basket company. This was a natural fit for Lisé because she was always the person that knew all the “crafty” stuff, cross-stitch … crochet … no baby was without a blanket if Lisé was around (and why yes, she could crochet AND square dance at the same time).

Lisé makes AWESOME gift baskets for any occasion, new moms, sports fans, she’ll even have stuff for Stanley Cup Champ items. (I wonder if she has something special for someone suffering from caffeine withdrawal??)

But more important that her business is how she conducts her business. Lisé has always given a some of her income back to the community (whether it be her Shul (Shir Hadash) or the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation or …) and she is a fabulous mentor to other businesses. Before there was such a thing as small business coaches Lisé was (and is) always willing to help other business people in her community.

When you help a small business, you are helping that business, but you are also helping the community around that business.