Our Mission

To create healthier, stronger communities and more jobs in Indiana by encouraging and facilitating greater use of independent, Indiana-based businesses.

INDIANA ORIGINALS WAS STARTED ON A SIMPLE PREMISE:

SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES AND LOCAL NONPROFITS FASTER AND EASIER.

Once upon a time, in the spring of 2012, co-founders Lance and Mel (then engaged, now married) were walking around Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis while deciding on where to go for dinner. After finally settling on a restaurant, Mel asked: “Is it local?” That simple question became a much bigger conversation.

How do you know if a business is local? What does local really mean, anyway? Why are communities with local businesses more attractive? Where does the money go when you spend a dollar locally? How much money stays in your community when you spend your money at an independent business?

In the search to answer these questions, Lance and Mel discovered more than just the economic impact of spending your money locally. They also found a lot of people just like them–happy to support local businesses but didn’t always find it easy or convenient. They also discovered a lot of local business owners were proud of their Hoosier roots and wanted people to know they were local. Using their experience in promotions and business development (amongst other talents), Lance and Mel decided to simplify the search for local and launched IndianaOriginals.com in May of 2014.

What started out as a simple business directory is now a community of consumers and business owners working together to create healthier, stronger communities and more jobs in Indiana by encouraging and facilitating greater patronage of independent, Indiana-based businesses. Did you know that if Hoosiers spent 5% more on goods and services from Indiana, we would have $1.8 billion more for our state? That is just $35 per household per week. (Indiana State Department of Agriculture) The money that stays in Indiana goes to our schools, infrastructure, health and wellness resources, first responders, and more. Where you spend your money matters.

Indiana Originals helps consumers support local businesses faster and easier and helps Indiana business owners find the resources they need to be successful. Every business featured on IndianaOriginals.com has been approved for membership. That means the business is Indiana owned and operated, headquartered here, and not part of an out-of-state franchise. When you spend your money with these Indiana Originals, three to five times more stays in our local economy as compared to when you spend your money at a national chain.

Indiana has so much to offer. Lance and Mel are Hoosiers through and through and love sharing what is great about this state. Indiana Originals is a family owned and operated company trying to make life in our great state better for everyone. Please, explore the website. Sign up to be a community member and save your favorite businesses, take advantage of their deals, share them with your friends, participate in the forums, and patron our Indiana Originals members. If you are a business owner, look over our membership options, talk to our current members, and help those that want to support local businesses find you faster and easier. Our members want to stand out from their national competition. At Indiana Originals, we bring together the innovators, idealist, community builders, and business owners that create healthier, stronger communities and more jobs in Indiana. Join us.

Mel McMahon StoneCo-Founder

Mel McMahon Stone is an entrepreneur, radio and television personality, and local business activist. Mel is a board member of the Indiana Chapter of the TEARS Foundation, the Better Business Bureau of Central Indiana, and her high school alumnae association. She is currently heard on 93.1 WIBC and appears on WISH-TV8’s Indy Style and LifeStyle Indy on WFYI Channel 20. She also acts as a consultant to several nonprofits and local small businesses and is a proud member of the 2013 IBJ Forty under 40 class. The Chief Everything Officer of Indiana Originals, Mel travels the state to help local business owners find the resources they need to be successful and helps consumers find local, Indiana-based businesses faster and easier.

Funfacts:

Irvington, Indianapolis

Talking, Gardening, Road Trips

Steak and Bagels

Lance StoneCo-Founder

Lance Stone is an entrepreneur, project manager, and business analyst. His Master’s degree is in business administration with a concentration in accounting, and he is PMP certified. He works full-time as a project management consultant for a large Indiana-based company, and can't wait to run Indiana Originals with Mel full-time (or stay home with the kids while Mel works). Lance checks in with Mel multiple times a day to make sure Indiana Originals’ daily tasks are completed and she pays the bills.

Funfacts:

Warren County (on a farm)

Cooking, Woodworking, and Painting

Steak and Pizza