While on vacation, we stopped at Isabel’s Market + Eatery. I assumed that the name came either from the owner or someone special in the owner’s life, but I was wrong. Isabel was long gone before the market opened but her life’s story epitomized the community-centric mission the owners were trying to achieve so they adopted the name to inspire them.

Isabel Graham was a teacher and principal in Chicago for her career, but when she died in 1954 she gave $5,000 to the church her father built in Michigan where she was born. Today, the gift is valued at over $1 million and funds many charities every year.

The Market + Eatery dedication reads: “We chose the name Isabel because of our deep respect for her commitment to our community. We will continue to try and honor her by setting a good example, teaching those who want to learn, ‘planting seeds’ in the community she loved, bringing people together, creating memories, and always expressing gratitude for where we live.”

Who can you look to for inspiration? We often think of people we know personally or those who are famous and known by many, but maybe the best role models are the “Isabels” in your orbit. Think about the values you wish to preserve and find someone who lived them to bring your story to life. Remaining true to your “Isabel” is much more tangible and likely to occur than if the values you aspire to follow are only from a nameless poster on the wall.

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