When a small business owner opens additional locations of their business, there are many decisions to be made and processes to navigate. How do you know if the new location will be profitable? Do you need to hire more employees? Can you expand your inventory appropriately?Read More
Starting a new business is about opening new doors. For Andrew Ellsworth, this isn’t an analogy. It’s his business plan.
Deciding to start your own business is one thing. Leaving a successful 25-year career in pharmaceutical research and development to do it is quite another. Yet that’s what Anita Russell faced in 2013.
Throughout her life, Story-Camp has been a temp, a waiter, a realtor, a journalist and a stage actor. A self-proclaimed “Soap Goddess” and successful boutique soap store owner? The birth of her son, Pip, set those wheels in motion.
With an undergraduate and graduate degree in sports science, Donald Robinson’s passion for coaching is undeniable. But when a job began to lead him in a different direction, he decided getting back on track mean starting his own business.
For more than 25 years, Chris Crytzer’s communication and fundraising counsel has empowered small nonprofits to sustain and grow. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Chris helped her clients connect with funding sources while they canceled in-person fundraisers, limited or pivoted their programs, and tightened their budgets.
Across the country, there is a vast entrepreneurial ecosystem that aims to support small businesses and their communities. Members of this network have their own strengths and assets (whether they are chambers of commerce, nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurial organizations, funders, community members, small business owners, and many others).
The entrepreneurial brain is a busy place that rarely stops stirring, and sometimes, it needs external feedback to ground its bright ideas and bring them to life. In an Entrepreneurs Forever (eforever) peer group where business owners share their business goals and take in new perspectives, they’re able to distinguish the good idea from their millions of other thoughts and stay accountable to pursuing it.
When a small business owner opens additional locations of their business, there are many decisions to be made and processes to navigate. How do you know if the new location will be profitable? Do you need to hire more employees? Can you expand your inventory appropriately?
How do nonprofit organizations stabilize and grow “profitably”? Nonprofit leaders may define success differently than for-profit business owners, but they can use similar decision-making processes and tools to meet their goals.
When small business owners make decisions about growing their businesses, they face many questions: Which opportunities align with my business’ mission? How do I integrate new offerings into my business model? How do I grow my business at a sustainable pace?
When a small business owner takes the leap from dreaming about her business to manifesting it, she steps into a whole new realm that can simultaneously feel fulfilling, exhausting, terrifying, and life-changing.
It would be an understatement to say that the Covid-19 pandemic created immense trials and tribulations for small business owners. Sadly, not every small business endured the pandemic (in fact, 66% of “all minority-owned businesses forced to shut down last year may never reopen”), but some found new avenues to thrive.
Every expression of entrepreneurship, whether solo-preneur, family business, or other, has its lessons. For Susan Walker, who co-owns the microbrewery Whitehorse Brewing LLC with family members and other business partners, one of those lessons is establishing clear organizational responsibilities.
Hiring an employee is a major milestone for any small business owner that can also feel intimidating. It takes time to find the right employee to bring into the fold; and, once they are a part of the business, business owners feel the extra weight of responsibility.
I want to give millennials a taste of the desserts that older generations grew up on. I want to introduce them to things they haven’t had and offer something new and interesting, besides cupcakes and cookies,” says Terina J. Hicks, U.S. veteran and owner of CobblerWorld.
People don’t often think about all of the benefits of having backyard chickens. In addition to producing fresh eggs (which are healthier than most supermarket eggs), chickens also naturally fertilize the ground where they roam and effectively control ticks.
"The biggest satisfaction to me is when I can solve a problem and allow someone to do their job without worrying about anything,” says Kyle Knapp. As the owner of Viterium, an IT consulting business, Kyle understands all of the technological demands that go into running a small business.
"I show my love by giving things to people,” says Casey Renee Shively, a two-time James Beard Semifinalist and owner of Confections by Casey Renee. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, she has designed and baked special desserts for people to celebrate in small and fun ways.
“I love getting to know people, making them feel comfortable, and then capturing images that they’re going to enjoy for years to come,” says Alice Pepplow.
In the CliftonStrengths assessment, a maximizer is one who “focus[es] on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. [She] seek[s] to transform something strong into something superb.”
At the Artsmiths of Pittsburgh Arts and Cultural Center, all are welcome in the appreciation and making of art. The mission of the Artsmiths is not a small one: “to address inequality…by providing access to high-quality arts education to individuals of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.”
In his caring relationships with clients, Calvin Sales supports individuals in building, protecting, and growing their financial assets. Calvin is a Financial Services Professional with New York Life and fluent in the many financial events that individuals encounter throughout life.
For Laura Totin Codori, worms are the heroes of her vermicomposting business, Worm Return. Worm Return enables individuals and businesses to put their food scraps to good use with their popular composting services and ‘worm workshops.’
Using all-natural ingredients, Del Sur creates healthy, flavorful food for families to easily bake at home. Del Sur currently offers delicious empanadas that have gained immense popularity at local farmers’ markets and can be ordered frozen and prepared at home.
Since 2015, Civic Mapper has helped nonprofits, water and sewer authorities, and local governments interact with geospatial data. Civic Mapper is a geospatial technology company that specializes in map and software development.
Inside garbella’s cozy studio, Amy Garbark designs and screen-prints a variety of handmade apparel, accessories, home goods, and gifts. In recent years, garbella has attracted national press for all of its fun products.
“This year, we all were forced to look at the good, bad, and ugly in ourselves and the world. Those of us who were paying attention know the value of loving thy neighbor. It’s that love that makes grace effortless,” says LaToya Johnson-Rainey.
Using a traditional family recipe, Beulah’s Bakery dishes out caramel rolls with “ooey gooey” caramel sauce, walnuts, and cinnamon that make mouthwatering treats. Ronda Polleys founded Beulah’s Bakery (named after her grandmother) in 2019 to share the classic Midwestern treat that her family always enjoyed around the holidays.
“Using handset type is a way of preserving this age-old craft. It’s a way to preserve history while still making contemporary things that apply to daily life,” says Lindsay Schmittle.
“We’re always trying to educate shoppers as to why it’s important to shop small, shop local, and shop handmade. So we’re doing that along with our virtual events…as we approach the holidays, we will be sharing the impact shoppers can make locally when they shop handmade,” says Carrie Nardini.
With a large team of professionals, The Vieras takes care of business owners’ back-office needs so they can focus on their business growth. Administrative, accounting, HR, safety, IT and marketing services save entrepreneurs in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors valuable time and energy.
With Jireh Mobile, small businesses can affordably use the same technology as companies with larger budgets to reach their audiences via text message marketing. Since 2005, Curtis Brown and his wife, Cassandra, have been helping small businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities in the Pittsburgh region stay in conversation with their customers. In 2020, Jireh Mobile expanded to Columbia, SC as NTENT Marketing.
“All organizations typically need to transact, analyze, share, and publish data. We help people who have strong data but aren’t leveraging it in meaningful ways,” says Josh Sager.
“Many architects are theory-focused and they tell clients what something should look like. Eos Studio Architecture has a different take. We try to problem-solve and think about what a client needs and how we can get them there,” says Lisa Whitney.
Many parents are asking themselves how they will continue working when it’s time for their children to go ‘back’ to school, whether that is online or in a classroom. For parents who are also entrepreneurs, how do they keep running their business and embody the role of teacher, nurse, cafeteria worker, and playmate for their children?
When Shawna Solomon styles professional women, she doesn’t just create their physical look—she fashions their whole brand. Shawna refines an image for her clients’ persona, helping them step fully into their confidence to earn the clients and income they desire.
With combined photography, writing, and graphic design services that enable artists to take off professionally, Porter Loves is a unique business that directly supports artists to build their businesses from the ground up, or refresh, retool, or rehash an existing business.
“There’s no one size fits all. When it comes to therapy, everybody’s experience is going to be different…and I like to get my client’s philosophy on how they think healing happens. While we may be the experts on the theory, they are the experts on their lives. So, we rely on their experiences to guide treatment,” says Sharise Nance, co-owner of HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC and founder of Vitamin C Healing.
When social distancing measures prohibited large gatherings and forced restaurants to close their doors, Jordan Robarge had other ideas for putting his food truck, Revival Chili, and sister restaurant, Nancy’s Revival, to good use.
Before businesses in Allegheny Co., Pa were ordered to shut their doors, Thrive on Health was a central health and wellness hub for Brookline-area residents. Owner Kelly Bender and her practitioner partners offered services such as massage therapy, energy work, and group meditations.
When Pittsburgh families celebrate their happiest moments–bridal showers, baby showers, their child’s first birthday, grandma’s 90th – they rely on Encore Event Design. Encore seamlessly organizes their event and designs décor that their guests will love.
Lawrenceville, PA– All of KLoRebel’s architectural drawings begin as ink on paper. Through various scanning and printing processes, the drawings are transferred onto items big and small: pillow-cases, pouches, coasters, jewelry, aprons, and more.
Inside A Hair Boutique, a young woman sits in a cosmetic chair while LaToya Johnson-Rainey, the shop’s owner, slips a curly, shoulder-skimming wig over her head. Toya adjusts the wig and starts snipping straggles of hair that float down to the floor.
Inside her sunny studio, where the window gives a view to thick woods, Jennifer Verdun strings together a careful assortment of Czech glass and semi-precious gemstones. Her jewelry company, Magnolia Bough, explores the colors and themes in natural landscapes and literature, and transforms them into new artforms.
Inside the Three Rivers Village School, delighted murmurs of students playing games and scurrying between classrooms fill the hallway. Standing quietly among the school’s twenty-five students is Jason White-Wiedow, one of three staff members and a parent to two TRVS students. Unlike traditional school teachers, Jason and his colleagues manage the school’s finances and administration, and work alongside the students to govern the school as a democracy.
As an architect, Gerrod Winston designed buildings for clients for more than 20 years. Now, with his own business, Winston Design + Development, he combines his experience and passion for design with his knack for recognizing the potential of under-appreciated buildings.
When Nikki Manns bought a lip gloss with an applicator that could only reach the top fifty percent of the product, she knew she needed a tool that could actually reach the bottom of the tube. With support from her best friend and business partner, Bre Abbensetts, the pair designed Nikki’s Magic Wand–a tool with a sleek and flexible applicator that can swipe every ounce of lip gloss, serums, and creams out of their containers so that men and women get the most out of their beauty and healthcare products.
Carrie Parker, co-founder and chief creative of Sorcery Science, is fusing art and science into molecule necklaces and earrings, cosmic candles, and science-inspired apparel. Attracting customers from both the science and art worlds, Sorcery Science jewelry invites people to consider science as beautiful art and as a creative way to express themselves.
On the second floor of Una Biologicals, expert makers pour homemade, organic lip balms and face creams into dozens of jars and store them away for cooling. Sweet fragrances fill the production room and float down to Una’s retail space, where customers also find body butters, facial cleansers, herbal salves, natural deodorant, soaps, and aromatherapy sprays that are packed with natural ingredients that look, smell, and feel amazing on their skin and contribute to their overall wellness.
When Gary Britcher goes to coffee shops, museums, and malls, he can’t help but notice the lights that illuminate those spaces. Inside a small café in Aspinwall, PA, he looks up at the lights mounted above his head, MR16’s, and knows that their 50-watt bulbs are turning 90% of their electricity into heat. He’s already thinking that if the lights were LEDs, 90% of their electricity would be transformed into light and only 10% into heat, resulting in saved energy and money.
Although it started as a side gig, by June 1st, 2018, Shannon Gregg was consulting enough companies on best sales practices to establish her own viable full-time business–Cloud Adoption Solutions. Her highly popular speaking engagements at Dreamforce (2015), the SBI podcast, and universities naturally led to establishing her own company, where she continues steering businesses through their Salesforce challenges.
Before Wallflower Frames opens its doors at ten o’clock, owner Rhonda White turns on the radio. Soft music fills the workroom where customers’ artwork wait to be paired with new frames, and mats, glass, tools, and wood splay on Rhonda’s table.
After several years in the making, Gabrielle Haywood displays the first prototype of the Kneekini—her company’s premiere product—on her work table. Exploding with color and bold patterns, the Kneekini’s design provides an alternative, modest style that’s just as vibrant as a bikini. Customers are highly anticipating the refreshing new swimsuit that’s making big waves in the fashion industry and beyond.
From her home office in Pittsburgh, PA, Paula Franetti consults one of her clients about an upcoming knee replacement surgery. She designed her business, Rebound Planner, LLC, as a health recovery and patient engagement program that coaches ordinary people through common surgeries like knee, hip, and shoulder replacements, ligament repairs, and spinal surgeries, as well as accidents, injuries, and acute illnesses.
In a short walk through Wilkinsburg, PA, you’ll see a few different things: beautiful murals; three-story houses with chipped paint and boarded over windows; iconic diners that locals love; class war graffitied in black spray paint on someone’s front door. But in the polarizing mix of vibrant and vacant spaces, Wilkinsburg’s transformation is palpable.
laire Schuchman, a gardener turned landscaper, always felt closer to the dirt than to the indoors. When she walks through her wild backyard, watching shadows dance on the trees’ rough bark and catching a flash of purple clematis, she finds a new space to think creatively and breathe deeply.
From the corner of Leona’s kitchen, an entire orchestra of people and machines working in tandem to mix, bake, scoop, and assemble ice cream sandwiches is visible