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Today’s Tidbits Birthday Girl is Shannon Bland, editor and owner of The Scout Guide Austin. Each month we celebrate a local business owner on her special day.

Happy Birthday! How many candles are you blowing out this year?
29 + 2 as my husband would say 😉
How are you celebrating?
This weekend on a staycation in Dallas. Yummy food and celebrating with the Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots game (a healthy rivalry with my husband). 
What’s on your birthday wish list?
The Ember coffee mug. I lose my mug constantly during a microwave reheat or the chaos of the kids in the morning so I am thrilled for this and a new piece of art from Carrie Shannon Fine Art.
You are the editor and owner of The Scout Guide Austin. Tell us about your background.
My background is in Public Relations, or as I call it…storytelling. I’ve always felt called to it, and it’s always been a space I’ve loved learning and growing in. Brand presence, crisis control, the communication with your audience or customer…it’s a form of art. I think being at various agencies prepared me to shift to the “other side” of media, where people pitch me now at TSG.
The Scout Guide Austin is celebrating its 10th edition. What’s important about this milestone?
Yes – we launched our 10th guide in May! We’re celebrating with major growth. For years, there’s been an editor who covers the Austin Proper area. These days, we’re following suit in Austin’s expansion and taking on small businesses in Georgetown. We also recently hired an associate editor, Helen Matheson, who leads the digital and social direction of TSG. It’s nice to have a second person on board to bounce ideas off of, be creative with and to get the to-do list checked.
What sets Austin small businesses apart?
They are by turns innovative and yet somehow also free-spirited. Almost every small business is open to collaboration and introductions and there’s most certainly an “anything is possible” vibe that reverberates in this town.
How do you “scout” new businesses to feature?
It’s a balance. We typically build out our perfect book from a “type of services” perspective and then begin researching and approaching businesses. We also get approached often which is flattering and comforting that we can continue to believe in the work we do. We want there to be a wide variety of businesses so that we can provide readers with a full look at the city (medical, design, art, makers, restaurants, events, non-profits)…but we also want the diversity of businesses so that our content remains captivating and so that we are forced to truly seek out the best of local. It’s not right for every business, but we love it when our book is a cohesive look at everything you need to live a beautiful life, locally.

Neighborhood you call home.
We live in Westlake Hills. I love being tucked away in the quiet and having the ability to see stars while also being a 10-15 minute drive from the bustling downtown area.
Where do you take out of town visitors?
Depends on the time of year, but usually Butler Pitch & Putt, South Congress or Jeffrey’s if it’s a fancy occasion.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, where are we most likely to find you?
Texas Honey Ham
Tiny Boxwoods
Your daily uniform?
Vuori workout gear (the best!), New Balances and my MomBrain hat!
Three apps you can’t live without in your job.
There’s 20 I swear…but my top ones: Google Keep, Canva, Instagram and maybe not “for work” but the EVLO app… when I consistently start my morning there, my work is immensely more productive.
New book you can’t wait to devour?
The Body Keeps the Score
Podcasts or series you’re addicted to.
Honestly by Bari Weiss or Dream Big Podcast by Bob Goff
Mantra you live (or work) by.
“The secret to life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
First thing you do when you wake up, last thing at night.
Last thing: Put an 8oz glass of water on my kitchen counter, First thing: Squeeze a lemon into that same glass and drink it swiftly before hopping on the EVLO app for my daily workout. I am weird and really don’t love my water ice cold.
First job ever.
Cart girl at a local country club in Lubbock during undergrad.
One thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
I just learned to ski 6 months ago! I snowboarded first, but my husband pushed me to make the switch!
What is your sign and do you identify with it?
I’m a “September Libra” so I think yes! I am *almost* an eccentric and powerful person like a Virgo, but not quite cool enough yet, so I cling hard to my Libra status.

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