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Small businesses play a critical role in maintaining a thriving local economy. Our Small Business Partners are an important, growing family of donors, who are vital to helping us meet the needs of our community. Every month, we will feature a small business partner in this SPOTLIGHT section of the newsletter. Introducing Mosaic Marketing Studio & Natasha Ashenhurst, owner.

Tell us about your business; and what is your business philosophy?

Mosaic Marketing Studio provides smart communications to mission-driven organizations. We learn, discover and share stories creatively so that we can grow as individuals, as organizations and as a community. Our boutique marketing firm -- a team of five and growing -- is located downtown Olympia and we serve the greater Thurston County region. We work on small and large projects by the hour or by the project, but where we really excel -- and how we best serve our clients -- is when we embed ourselves within an organization and become your Marketing & Communications Department. We attend your weekly staff meeting and/or board meetings in order to stay up-to-date on what's going on in your organization so we can share your message with your customers, clients and stakeholders.

Why are you passionate about your commitment to United Way's Community Investment Fund?

We believe we can change our community by consistent giving translated into big impact. We hope other small businesses join us in channeling their philanthropy into United Way. Together, we can have a tremendous impact on United Way's focus areas of health, education and financial stability for every person in our community.

What is something interesting or surprising that most people don't know about you?

I was born in Alaska and lived there until I was 14-years-old. I was a political science and literature double-major at Western Washington University and thought business majors were boring. Now I have an MBA. Oh, the irony. I lived in Boulder, Colorado from 1995 - 2001 and, for a while, ran a vitamin company owned by Whole Foods Market.

What would your older self say to your younger self?

Live outside your comfort zone 75 percent of the time. It is the only way to learn and grow.

What's your favorite quote?

I love Theodore Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena" quote, but I made a few edits so it reads, "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong woman stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the woman who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again; who spends herself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if she fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that her place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

You can learn more about Mosaic Marketing Studio here.
You can learn more about the Small Business Partnership here.