We’re always hoping to make a good first impression, and that first-time readers of The Scout Guide will put the publication down feeling inspired to learn more about the featured businesses—and, if they’re out-of-towners, to seek out (or start) a guide in their own hometown. In this series, we talk to our owners about their TSG “firsts,” from their first encounter with The Scout Guide to the first business they approached to be in the guide and more. Read on to learn about how The Scout Guide Charlotte owner/co-editor Lisa Sherrill and co-editor Scottie Akins discovered the brand, and what it was like to launch their first volume. 

When did you first discover The Scout Guide? 

Lisa discovered TSG when the first Charlotte owner launched Volume 1. A close friend told her to grab one and she ran to Reid’s Myers Park to scoop one up. She still has the first copy! Scottie first discovered The Scout Guide in Richmond, Virginia, where she grew up, but it was not until her move to Austin in 2013 that she really began to use TSG as a guide to shopping, entertainment, and living life like a local! 

What made you decide to become an owner? 

Lisa has been part of the Charlotte community for over 16 years, serving on boards, investing in local projects, and participating in local fundraising events and initiatives. She had always wanted to own a small, local business and when the opportunity to own TSG Charlotte arose in 2018, she knew it would be a perfect fit. It was a great way to support her friends with small businesses of their own, bring awareness to new small businesses, and celebrate her community.

Tell us about the first business you approached to be in the guide? 

The first business Lisa approached for Volume 8 (her first Volume) was Stephen Wilson Studio. He had insisted on not renewing for the newest volume, and his recognition was a little intimidating. Lisa persisted and continued to sell him on the perks of being a member of TSG and explaining how she was going to elevate our local guide through networking, events, and more. This first client interaction has blossomed into a close friendship and collaboration of many exciting things.

Launching our first guide together was such a sense of accomplishment. Seeing the product that began as an idea—grow into a beautiful book—was an amazing feeling!

What was it like to launch your first volume? 

Launching our first guide together, Volume 8 in 2019, was such a sense of accomplishment! Seeing the product that began as an idea—grow into a beautiful book—was an amazing feeling. Not only was it a labor of love, but we created so many lasting friendships and new relationships along the way. Each year we feel the same excitement surrounding the launch.

What’s the first thing you would tell a prospective owner? 

Trust your instincts and enjoy the process! There will always be parts of the job that come more naturally than others, but it is amazing to watch yourself grow in the areas that you feel less confident. Every year, while it looks the same, it feels different and we love all seasons in the role of owner/editor!

Feature photo by Olly Yung. To learn more about Lisa Sherrill and Scottie Akins and The Scout Guide in their area, follow The Scout Guide Charlotte on Instagram and visit charlotte.thescoutguide.com. Learn more about starting The Scout Guide in your city here.