By Patrick Luensmann, UNI Center for Business Growth and Innovation
The team at the Center for Business Growth and Innovation loves the opportunity to highlight and support businesses throughout Iowa. One way that we get that chance is through Dream Big Grow Here. Dream Big Grow Here is a grant platform that can be used by local groups to host business competitions in their area – if you are interested in hosting one in your area, please let us know -- email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In Fall 2017 we had the opportunity to host a contest in Northwest Iowa and are taking this opportunity to show case five rural entrepreneurs working on awesome businesses and supporting their communities.
1. Small Batch Bakery – Lester, IA. Breann White is the owner/operator of Small Batch Bakery. She focuses on creating elegant and design inspired cakes and deserts for her clients throughout Lyon County. She is working on building out her own home-commercial kitchen. Breann had this to say about her experience in DBGH: “The DBGH competition was a great opportunity for me and any small business looking for a start-up boost! The experience offered collaboration with a pitch-coach and other small businesses and also gave my small business great exposure. I encourage any small business to put themselves out there and dream big through this great program” Check out Small Batch Bakery!
2. Creative Edge – Rock Rapids, IA. Leann Kruger is on the cutting edge of design with her firm Creative Edge. Using advanced design and printing techniques, she can hook you up with the sweetest decals, stickers, signs, prints, and the list goes on. Nowhere is too far to get a design from Creative Edge as they serve customers in all states and even overseas! Recently, they moved in a storefront and continuing to expand. On her experience with DBGH, Leann said: “That all of the hoops and things that the DBGH contest requires of the participants is very worth it. The exposure I received just from the voting was amazing. As for someone starting out or has an idea/dream, never stop working towards your goals. It might take years but it will be worth it.” Keep up on the latest company news over on Facebook at Creative Edge.
3. B Fierce Boutique – Hull, IA. Nicole Rozeboom started B Fierce Boutique doing ‘pop-up boutiques’ all over Northwest Iowa. Also their customer base grew – so did B Fierce by moving into a showroom. Now, she is in her moving into a bigger storefront location in Hull. B Fierce carries the newest fashions and trends form women 18-45 in every shape and size. Head on over to Hull, Iowa and check out B Fierce today.
4. Carroll Street Treats – Rock Rapids, IA. Meredith Vander Zee and her husband Joe already had their hands full with five kids before they added to the mix with Carroll Street Treats. The kids: Reece, Liam, Ayda, Blake, and Nora all take a vital role in producing the beloved ice cream treats in Rock Rapids. The company is more than a hobby and the kids have been saving their profits while also giving back to the community. According to Meredith “Through the risks and successes of entrepreneurship, the kids are learning to be confident, courageous and brave.” We are glad to support them on their entrepreneurship journey and you can to by visiting Carroll Street Treats Facebook page.
5. Twin Flames Wellness Center – Akron, IA. Tambrey and David Groves are working to make life a little bit more healthy in Akron, IA. Twin Flames Wellness Center is inspired out of their own health battles and they want to bring the benefits to the whole community. Starting in a building provided by Akron, Tambrey and David are looking to expand their wellness offering beyond massaging to saunas and beyond. By creating a cluster of wellness companies, they are bringing in customers from all over the region and even travelers from other states. Next time you are sore in Akron, swing by Twin Flames to take the first time towards wellness. Follow all the updates on Twin Flames Wellness Center here.