About - The Scout Guide

what is The Scout Guide


Guided by the belief that small businesses are the cornerstones of our cities, The Scout Guide (TSG) connects people with local makers, experts, and one another. In print and online, and on national and local levels, The Scout Guide celebrates small businesses, supports local entrepreneurs, and helps readers enjoy their communities to the fullest.

In our print guides, which are produced by local editors/owners on an annual basis, we feature excellent independently owned businesses and business owners that both locals and travelers should know about in more than 74 cities.

Here and on our local digital platforms, we share tips from our vast network of experts on everything from creating an inviting guest room to selecting personal stationery; offer inspiration for creating beautiful interiors, having a well-edited closet, giving thoughtful gifts, and entertaining in style; provide travel recommendations from in-the-know locals; and tell in-depth stories about talented artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs.

We also offer you access to our Scouted artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs through our extensive TSG Directory, allowing you to easily discover architects, boutiques, event planners, florists, interior decorators, medical professionals, restaurateurs, and more in your hometown and favorite destinations.

A Community. A Collection. A Lifestyle.

Who We Are

Launched in 2010 by Susie Matheson and Christy Ford, The Scout Guide began as a locally focused website and city guide dedicated to Charlottesville, Virginia. Since then, TSG has expanded nationwide, with editors/owners in each city serving as curators, storytellers, and small business advocates.

At our headquarters in Charlottesville, our national team shepherds our print guides through design and production and produces our online editorial content as well as our weekly newsletter, The Scouted Life.

As a network, we’re more than 3,000 small business owners, artists, artisans, dreamers, doers, and makers; over 74 editors in big cities and small towns; and a team in Charlottesville, Virginia, dedicated to discovering, sharing, and supporting the talented individuals who make up our TSG community.

How To Use The Scout Guide

A resource for living well. Our print guides and online directories showcase excellent independently owned businesses in a variety of categories. Whether you’re a longtime resident, newly relocated, or just passing through town, our city guides can help you find the experts and experiences you’re seeking. From artists to architects, dermatologists to doggy day care providers, florists to financial planners, stationery to spas and so much more, we have you covered.

A source of inspiration. Here and in our weekly newsletter, The Scouted Life, we offer regular doses of inspiring and informative content on topics such as entertaining, home décor, travel, fashion, and culture. In addition, our editors provide updates on what’s happening in their cities and introduce you to the faces behind the places featured in their guides on various social media platforms.

A way to connect with potential customers or partners. The Scout Guide exposes TSG members to high-potential clients, customers, and partners through our beautifully produced print guides, which are published annually and strategically distributed throughout the year; placement in our online local and national directories; targeted online promotion; and creative marketing efforts designed and executed by our editors. Learn more about advertising with The Scout Guide here.

Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

The purpose of The Scout Guide is to capture and highlight the creativity, passion, variety, and vibrancy of a city’s small business community. The guide is meant to be a celebration of the artists, entrepreneurs, and artisans who make each town unique, and to inspire readers to connect with the featured advertisers the next time they’re seeking out a new product, experience, or service.

In order to introduce and celebrate more diversity throughout our company, our guides, and our online platforms, we have taken the following steps, and are continuing to explore and develop additional ways to share the stories and perspectives of diverse business owners. If you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

  • The Scout Guide Headquarters hired advisors to assist the company in identifying opportunities and creating a roadmap for fostering diversity and inclusion across all facets of the business and brand
  • The Scout Guide Headquarters created a Diversity and Inclusion working group comprised of headquarters staff and franchisees
  • The Scout Guide Headquarters offered Unconscious Bias Training for HQ employees and franchisees, and will continue to provide Unconscious Bias Training resources for future staff members and new franchise owners
  • The Scout Guide Headquarters is committed to hiring more diverse staff members at the corporate office and fostering an inclusive work environment for all current and future employees
  • The Scout Guide Headquarters is currently researching relevant diversity statistics for franchisees to use as a benchmarking tool


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