philosophy

We believe in the shop around
the corner
, the longevity of quality goods & the art of customer service.

What is The Shoppe Guide?

The Shoppe Guide is an online resource, shoppe, and community built to educate, champion, and support small businesses. 

Here you’ll find educational guides and resources crafted by real-life experts, opportunities for one-on-one brand consulting, and an online shoppe that features some of the best small business products on the market. 

Whether you’re a small business owner who’s ready to learn how to implement proven marketing strategies, or a small business supporter looking for more ways to shop independently owned brands, we couldn’t be happier to welcome you to our corner of the internet. 

Meet the Founders

Well, hello! We’re Natalie Borton and Stephanie Trotta, co-founders of The Shoppe Guide. We met online, eat chocolate every day after lunch, and are obsessed with little shops. ⁣

“The Shoppe Guide was founded with a passion for connecting small business owners to their most loyal customer base—the ones who will value their products, spread the word to friends and family, and become lifelong supporters.”

—Natalie Borton & Stephanie Trotta, co-founders of The Shoppe Guide

MEET NATALIE

I’m the founder of Natalie Borton, a minimalist, California-inspired jewelry brand that started with $1,000 in 2015 and has since collaborated with household names like Madewell, as well as thriving, up-and-coming small businesses like ABLE. 

Over the last several years I tapped into the power of organic digital marketing to grow my mid-six figure business by way of Instagram, email, and text message marketing. 

I call San Diego home with my husband, two kids, and 150 lb Great Dane rescue, who answers to “Hank.”

the short story

THE WHOLE STORY

It was my draw to fashion that led me to launch my own minimalist, California-inspired jewelry business, Natalie Borton, in 2015. Though I started my endeavor as a new mom with a baby and just $1,000 to invest in getting it off the ground, my eyes were opened to how effective organic, digital marketing can be for small businesses. I’ve personally grown my jewelry business solely through Instagram, email and text message marketing, and am proud that my brand has gone on to collaborate with household names like Madewell, as well as other incredible small shops, like ABLE.⁣  

Over the last several years as an influencer and blogger, I’ve collaborated with brands like Clare V, Jenni Kayne, Everlane, Madewell, J.Crew, and more, crafting targeted content that aligned with their goals and resonated with their target audience. I love the creative process of producing content that connects with an audience, and was an early adopter of both IGTV and Instagram Reels. Since then, I’ve shared 60 original, style-related videos that have gone on to garner nearly 6 million views, collectively. 

MEET STEPHANIE

I spent the better part of a decade at Ralph Lauren and Theory, where I deepened my knowledge of building customer loyalty and creating a memorable client experience that turns into repeat business, honed skills in merchandising, product presentation, and styling, etc.

During those 10 years I turned my connections into a personal styling business, working for both individuals and brands.

I founded The Girl Guide in 2011, partnering with brands like Tory Burch, J.Crew, and Kate Spade, Jenni Kayne, and Ba&sh, to increase brand awareness and drive revenue that met (and exceeded) campaign goals.

I live in a historic home in Connecticut with my husband, Frank, and our two boys. Fun fact: my first language is Flemish!

the short story

THE WHOLE STORY

The common thread to every passion I’ve ever had is the desire to help people get closer to becoming who they really want to be. As a kid I thought I’d follow in my mom’s footsteps and work for the United Stations (or maybe the CIA—I was a weird teenager!), but style has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember (I draw a lot of inspiration from my mom’s Belgian roots). Eventually that passion pushed me to take a detour from the path I initially planned. 

I turned my attention to styling at Ralph Lauren, where I spent the better part of a decade honing my retail knowledge and deepening my appreciation for the art of customer experience. That was the chapter that taught me how to truly connect with customers, deliver beyond their expectations, and establish repeat clients. ⁣Alongside that, I launched The Girl Guide in 2011, where I’ve partnered with brands like Tory Burch, J.Crew, and Kate Spade, Jenni Kayne, and Ba&sh to create and deliver targeted content for digital campaigns and bring new products to market. I also share style inspiration, home goods that will stand the test of time, wellness tips, and, of course, little shops I’ve fallen in love with and think you need to know about. 

Now we want to get to know you!


If you’re a small business owner or have an independent shop that you think we need to know about, head over to our Small Business Submission Form and share it with us. We periodically review these submissions to reach out to small businesses to be featured in our weekly newsletter, or to interview and feature shop owners in our journal. (Plus, we’re always looking for new shops to support!)

See you on Main Street,
Natalie & Stephanie

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WORDS TO LIVE BY:

“You have only scratched the surface of what you're capable of. There are decades of victories ahead of you.

— RUPI KAUR

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