Despite evidence to the contrary, there's still a widespread belief that you can't start a business that's sustainable and supports its workers and roots out social injustice...and actual sustain your business.

Freelancers Union member Valerie Costa's business is working to change that.

Her story also reminds us that when we go freelance, we should always remember our old friends (and make sure they're permanent contacts!).

Name: Valerie Costa

Occupation: Founder of Aril Consulting

Website: www.arilconsulting.com

Mug Story: My special mug was given to me as a going-away gift from my co-workers at Senior Services, my last staff job. I started Aril Consulting as a way to sustain myself while I took classes in Vermont. Now Aril Consulting is two years old and we are a small group of fundraising consultants working with inspirational nonprofits around the country. I use this mug everyday—it reminds me of all the love and encouragement I had from my friends at Senior Services to follow my dreams. Lucky for me I still get to work with some of them—they are one of my clients now!

Want to share your mug story with our members? Email us at lvanthoen [at] freelancersunion.org with your name, occupation, website, and mug story, and we may feature you in our blog!