Business and politics rarely mix. Small-business owner Jenna Sheingold learned this the hard way early in the Trump era.
A dinner party she was invited to shortly after the 2016 election quickly soured when the discussion turned to politics. Conversation became heated, almost confrontational, and her host refused to change the topic, despite Sheingold's insistence.
The party was meant to celebrate a successful project between Sheingold, a 28-year-old owner of a Portland, Oregon-based interior design firm, and her host, a contractor. But Sheingold, who describes herself as "left-leaning," stopped doing business with the contractor because she could no longer trust the contractor's ability to respect other's feelings. "If I recommend someone, that is saying a lot to my clients that they should be able to trust and feel comfortable working with someone," she said.
Sheingold's approach has sometimes worried friends and family. "It's something I had to discuss with my husband and close friend of mine. They both voiced concerns that being very outward with my political views, I would lose clients or not have clients. And I told them I have a choice with whom I work with and the values of people I work with."
She continues to remain open about her and her company's politics. "If you don't carry your values through every aspect of your life, what do you stand for?" Sheingold said.