Sherri Powell
January 3, 2023
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

Sherri Powell

Changemaker: Sherri Powell, Yours Rurally


Intro To Rural America

What comes to mind when you think of a rural area? Small towns, cute red barns, neighbors saying hello? Well…it’s all of this and none of this. The fact is that there are 15 different definitions of what constitutes a rural area according to the U.S. government. It can vary from towns of 2,500 to 50,000 residents.

However you (or the government) define rural communities, in 2016 there were 47 million adults 18 years and older living in rural areas. Sherri Powell, founder of Yours Rurally, grew up in Alamo, Georgia — population of 3,362 and per capita income of approximately $7,613. Alamo is the county seat of Wheeler — one of the poorest counties in the United States.

Powell’s family and closest friends still live in Alamo, where the local hospital recently closed, the local pharmacy went out of business, and Main Street is filled with vacant, dilapidated buildings. Job opportunities are limited and economic hope is largely diminished.

“I am convinced that the only saving grace for our town and many like ours, is entrepreneurship at a micro-level and strong social capital to support it. Factories and manufacturing plants no longer sustain rural towns from an economic perspective and the high-tech industry is nowhere to be found,” Powell said. “Yours Rurally is a small way of supporting what I think is the near-term solution.”

The Launch Of Yours Rurally

With two decades of experience in corporate America, largely focused on external affairs and governmental and regulatory relations, Powell excels at understanding strategic priorities and then, in turn, achieving them by working with the appropriate stakeholders and advocating and fighting for the appropriate actions.

She has combined this experience, her personal interests, and a desire to make a difference to build Yours Rurally. The company, launched in February 2020, offers curated gift boxes – for all occasions – that feature premium products sourced exclusively from rurally-based entrepreneurs and brands throughout the USA. Powell has always loved gifting and works really hard to do so in a thoughtful, meaningful, and beautiful way.

“I care about how I spend my money – our spending is powerful and I want mine to support people and issues I care about,” Powell stated. Yours Rurally makes it easy and effortless for gift-givers to give in a beautiful way while spending their dollars in an impactful way.

Powell is proud of the fact that even the Yours Rurally gift packaging is made in rural Alabama. She sources the products, assembles and ships the gifts, and encourages customers to continue supporting the rural business directly. While her operation may be small in nature, the size of her orders isn’t necessarily small for the companies and entrepreneurs from whom she sources from and partners with. Every order is an effort to contribute to economic growth within a rural community.

The Importance Of Supporting Rural America

Powell started Yours Rurally with a focus on both personal and corporate gifting but also in order to be part of the dialogue related to policy issues impacting  rural Americans everyday. “I strongly believe that there are social and political implications to ignoring rural America—we do so at our peril,” Powell said.

As of this writing, COVID-19 has forced many states to enact stay at home orders, but rural areas are less likely to have access to the conveniences that urban areas do. Business models like Yours Rurally are needed now more than ever to provide economic opportunities and a little bit of hope for rural communities.

“We need companies with missions similar to Yours Rurally because we cannot continue to simply shake our heads when yet another rural hospital padlocks its doors, ending a community’s access to quality healthcare,” she said. “We cannot continue to simply sigh deeply about the fact that millions and millions of rural Americans are still waiting for access to high-speed internet. We have to do something.”

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