Small businesses are best positioned to make a difference in their communities. They understand the local focus or mission and can identify creative ways to give back. Establishing Foggy Bottom Cabins has been one of Khaled and Megan’s greatest joys. When the husband and wife relocated from Washington, DC to Western NC, they carried with them the goal to make a small difference in the community in which they live. “We didn’t know that it would be through cabin rentals, and we didn’t know it would start off during a pandemic, but what we did hold true was our value of building community through hospitality,” said Megan.
The original mission of their cabin rental business was to offer “an escape from the city for a slice of Western NC mountain bliss.” Their business venture presented an unexpected and unique opportunity to give back. “Our mission is simple, to offer our cabins as a place where these deserving folks and their families can come, put their feet up, unwind, and breathe in our Land of Waterfalls,” said Megan.
Like many small businesses, their journey had plenty of obstacles. Opening their business in March 2020, in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was their biggest challenge and greatest blessing. They immediately decided to give back to front line essential workers by offering free relaxing escapes in their peaceful cabins in Pisgah National Forest. They reached out to the Western Women's Business Center (WWBC) for coaching on how to donate cabin rentals as well as ideas to grow their new business in the pandemic. “The team at the WWBC not only embraced our vision but also helped shape our idea into achievable action on a pathtowards successful growth,” said Megan.
Foggy Bottom Cabins’ owners did not aim for recognition when they decided to offer free cabin space to front line essential workers, but the community appreciated how they selflessly gave back even during a challenging pandemic year. In May 2021, WWBC presented year Foggy Bottom Cabins with the Change Agent Award. This award is presented to small businesses that have creatively given back to their community in a way that addresses a local need. Since opening their business, Khaled and Megan have provided free accommodations to essentials workers at many businesses including Mission Hospital and Walmart.
Foggy Bottom Cabins is a great example of how small businesses can make a world of difference. Khaled and Megan are living examples of what it means to be change agents in our Western NC community by showing that even a small staycation can bring a smile, make a difference, and create positive change here in WNC. The couple shared, “there is no limit to how much each of us can give, and we encourage all of you to reach out to us with any ideas on how we can grow from here. You can never truly know what any personis navigating in theirlife, but you can always offer comfort and hospitality.”