Dori: “Small town Simbiosis”

The following story is written by Dori Mondon, a member based in a small town called Mount Shasta, CA. Dori is a mother and wife, and is passionate about knitting, jewelry-making, and nature. She’s an owner of a small business called Abundant Content, where she creates and manages content for small, creative, and ethical businesses and non-profits.


Mount Shasta is a pretty tight-knit community. It’s a quaint little town of 3,500 that sits at the base of a fourteen thousand foot mountain. It’s a place of spiritual pilgrimage, less expensive ski adventures, and our yearly influx of PCT thru-hikers and transient forest dwellers. It’s got a really strange mix of old, Christian conservatives, aging liberal hippies, young families, all manners of New Age practitioners, and several purveyors of crystals (at the point of this writing, our downtown has eight crystal shops — even those of us with a fondness for pretty rocks find this somewhere in the middle of entertaining and annoying).

Progressive thinkers here have really been brought together by environmental issues, especially. We have some of the best water on earth, and have been working collectively toward protecting our most precious natural resources from privatization and water bottling companies. United in this cause, we’re realizing what a force of change we truly are (we’ve kept Crystal Geyser from setting up shop here for over three years now) and we’re starting to organize in other areas, too, in order to bolster our local community in areas of prosperity, networking, outreach, skill and resource sharing, etc.

Because it’s a small, rural town, jobs are scarce here — a lot of what is available is unskilled labor at minimum wage. Land-wise, our town is in one of the largest counties in the state of California. Siskiyou County also happens to be of the “poorest” and least populated, but Mount Shasta is full of people who are creative and resourceful. Barter is something many of us are already intimately familiar with, as is self-employment.

I was invited to Simbi by a friend and neighbor, a woman who is very active in our community and has helped to spearhead many collective endeavors. My work revolves predominantly around social media, so I saw right away how amazing something like this can be on a wider scale. It’s also apparent how some of Simbi’s benefits will really only be seen when we can get our local communities more actively involved (as is evidenced, already, by the activity you can find happening between participants who live in larger cities). Here is an alternative currency and a method of equal exchange already in place without any need to reinvent the wheel. We’re working hard to recruit more of our friends and neighbors to Simbi, since they’ve done all the hardest work for us already!

For those starting small businesses, Simbi is a great way to build a client list and testimonials.

I’ve found people who need exactly what I’m offering as well as people willing to do exactly what I need, either in exchange for the simbi I’ve accrued or for a service that I’m offering in exchange. I’ve also consulted someone who’s more experienced than I am in my field and was willing to share their expertise with me so I can grow my business. Phenomenal! Currently, I’m thrilled to join forces with a great young graphic designer I met on Simbi who is building her client list, too. She’s designing a new logo for me, and when she’s done, we’ll start cross-promoting each other — maybe even working on some projects together!

Simbi is also really fun for treating yourself to things you might not have if you were still stuck in a cash mentality.

I mean, really, despite where I live, I’m generally not one to ask for a tarot reading. And I never thought I’d be so excited to relearn how to play Magic the Gathering, but I am! As it turns out, I am perfectly willing to edit someone’s LinkedIn profile for the honor of being reintroduced to one of the nerdier aspects of my twenties (for what it’s worth, I’m 43 now).

I’ve also enjoyed getting an amazing and knowledgeable lowdown on what went wrong with my first attempt at glycerite tinctures (and how to do a proper extraction next time), doing SEO consults for new little businesses, answering interesting surveys for people, and chatting about life as a left-hander.

People are one-of-a-kind and beautiful, and Simbi has created a very easy and streamlined way for people to look at themselves and the unique things they have to offer, and put them out there in the world.

Everything offered with kindness, creativity, love, and passion has value and purpose, and Simbi’s platform is reintroducing that concept to a world that desperately needs it. Thank you!

Dori M.


Simbiotic Stories are real anecdotes told by you and other Simbi community members. Tell us about your Simbi deals and experiences with other members. If your story is published, we’ll credit your account with 150 simbi. Submit your entries by starting a conversation with us via this link.

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