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Start Fort Wayne Annouces $90,000 in Support

Posted by on October 21, 2017 | 0 comments

Start Fort Wayne Annouces $90,000 in Support

From Start Fort Wayne Start Fort Wayne announced support from local organizations on Thursday, October 19. The announcements were held at the Atrium, Start Fort Wayne’s coworking space, while celebrating the space’s one year anniversary. Greater Fort Wayne Inc. announced $35,000 of support for Start Fort Wayne. “Entrepreneurs are the risk-takers, innovators, and job creators that can fuel us toward becoming a nationally recognized economy,” said Eric Doden, CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. in a prepared release. “We’re thrilled that Start Fort Wayne is helping startups succeed. The Atrium provides a tremendous collision space for entrepreneurs, and we look forward to seeing those collisions turn our innovation economy into a powerhouse.” Additionally, Elevate Northeast Indiana announced their support of Start Fort Wayne. Mark Michael, President and COO of Fort Wayne Metals and board member of the Elevate Northeast Indiana board says in a prepared release, “The Elevate Northeast Indiana board, in an effort to enlarge and elevate our region’s entrepreneurial culture, is providing Start Fort Wayne $35,000 to grow its support of entrepreneurs.  When we formed Elevate Northeast Indiana this month, our first order of business became the support of the entire entrepreneurial culture, beginning with this grant.” In addition to the announcements at the Atrium event, Fort Wayne Metals yesterday announced a donation of $10,000 a year for three years to Start Fort Wayne. Also, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne granted Start Fort Wayne a $10,000 Agency Support Grant on Thursday. Start Fort Wayne Executive Director, Rhonda Ladig states in a prepared release, “We’re thrilled at these announcements of support! We view the partnerships with these organizations as a stepping stone to collaboratively strengthen the entrepreneur infrastructure and startup community in our region.” Additionally last evening, Start Fort Wayne announced a new annual award named for local entrepreneur coach Steve Franks (read more about Steve Franks). The Steve Franks Award for Entrepreneurial Effectiveness was awarded to it’s namesake. The award will be given by Start Fort Wayne annually to recognize and individual who is doing extraordinary things to support entrepreneurs in our region. Start Fort Wayne began in 2015 with a mission to strengthen the infrastructure that supports entrepreneurs in northeast Indiana, supporting a long-term vision to attract outside tech and innovation companies to launch their venture in northeast Indiana. Some of Start Fort Wayne’s programs include entrepreneur coaching services through Steve Franks’ LevelUp program and youth coding education through a partnership with the South Bend Code School. Start Fort Wayne also started the first chapter of the Kauffman Foundation’s “1 Million Cups” program in Indiana in 2015 and the chapter is one of the most active chapters in the country, meeting every Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at Sweetwater with 40-60 entrepreneurs attending each week. The Atrium launched in October of 2016. It is a 5,500 square foot coworking space that offers a space for entrepreneurs to launch their startup. Since opening, the Atrium has had over 140 members, with the current membership hovering around 100. In addition to the coworking and conference spaces, the Atrium is the home of Start Fort Wayne, it’s parent organization. To learn more about Start Fort Wayne visit www.startfortwayne.com. To learn more about the Atrium coworking space,...

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This Week in Entrepreneurship – 10/17/17

Posted by on October 17, 2017 | 0 comments

This Week in Entrepreneurship – 10/17/17

  Click here for this week’s Q&A with Aaron Robles of Reactiv Social. Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner interested in participating in our popular “Entrepreneurship Spotlight” survey? Visit our Entrepreneurship Spotlight page for more information about how to submit your information. New Q&As will go up weekly at the top of “This Week in Entrepreneurship” as they come in. Click here for a complete listing of past spotlights.   Last Week at 1 Million Cups Fort Wayne 1 Million Cups is an event for local entrepreneurs to meet and present their startups to the thriving peer network of founders in Fort Wayne. The events occur every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. at Sweetwater. Check out their website for information and to learn about more area entrepreneurs. Last week’s presenter was Crossroads Kombucha. Notes from Around the Region Upcoming Events 1 Million Cups Fort Wayne Recurs Weekly on Most Wednesdays The presenter for Wednesday, October 18 is Thomas Eggleston of M25 Group. 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Accelerating the Growth of Greater Fort Wayne’s Startup Community  Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM “Launch Your Dream: The Thrill of Entrepreneurism” with Jamal Robinson Thursday, October 19, 2017 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM Get Local: Atrium Turns One Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM SCORE Chapter 50 Intro to Business Workshop – Warsaw Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:30 PM Lunch & Learn: Overcoming the Six Unique Challenges of Emerging Businesses Friday, October 20, 2017 Starting at 11:30 AM SCORE Chapter 50 Intro to Business Workshop – Angola Tuesday, October 24, 2017 5:00 PM SCORE Chapter 50 Lean Canvas/Business Idea Evaluation Workshop – Warsaw Wednesday, October 25, 2017 3:00 PM Business Start-Up 101 Thursday, October 26, 2017 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Social Media & Marketing Breakfast Fort Wayne Tuesday, October 31, 2017 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM Announcements Start Fort Wayne Celebrates One Year of Coworking From Start Fort Wayne New Social Innovation Microlending Program (For select Indiana college students and alumni) From Indiana Campus Compact   Submit Your Entrepreneurship Events and Announcements Do you have an event coming up? Submit your details to our Living Fort Wayne calendar here. All other announcements may be directed to...

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Atrium Coworking Space Celebrates First Anniversary

Posted by on October 17, 2017 | 0 comments

Atrium Coworking Space Celebrates First Anniversary

LoadingCenter mapTrafficBicyclingTransitGoogle MapsGet Directions From Start Fort Wayne Start Fort Wayne, a nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurs and startups in northeast Indiana, is planning a one-year anniversary celebration for their downtown coworking space, the Atrium. The event is this Thursday, October 19th from 5:30-8 p.m. Coworking is using shared office space and resources with other individuals who may work in a variety of industries,  who would have otherwise been working from home offices, the library, or coffee shops. The Atrium launched in October of 2016. It is a 5,500 square foot coworking space that offers a space for entrepreneurs to launch their startup. Since opening, the Atrium has had over 140 members, with the current membership hovering around 100. There are three membership levels for the coworking space: general, shared membership areas for $50 per month; dedicated desks for $150 per month; and private offices with two desks for $350 per month or four desks for $700 per month. All memberships are month-to-month, so there is no lease commitment for startups but they get a desirable downtown business address. The space also has conference spaces for members or non-members. In addition to the coworking and conference spaces, the Atrium is the home of Start Fort Wayne, it’s parent organization. Start Fort Wayne began in 2015 with a mission to strengthen the infrastructure that supports entrepreneurs in northeast Indiana, supporting a long-term vision to attract outside tech and innovation companies to launch their venture in northeast Indiana. Besides the Atrium coworking space, Start Fort Wayne also provides entrepreneur coaching services through Steve Franks’ LevelUp program and youth coding education through a partnership with the South Bend Code School. Start Fort Wayne also started the first chapter of the Kauffman Foundation’s “1 Million Cups” program in Indiana in 2015 and the chapter is one of the most active chapters in the country, meeting every Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at Sweetwater with 40-60 entrepreneurs attending each week. The Get Local event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will include a short program that will highlight several entrepreneurs, in a “pitch-style” presentation, sighting the impact that Start Fort Wayne’s projects and programs have had on their venture over the past year. There will also be exciting announcements of partnership and support from other local organizations and recognition of entrepreneurial impact. Following the event, there will be free food from Calhoun Street Soup, Salad, and Spirits, a cash bar from Mad Anthony’s, and locally made cupcakes and cake. There will also be a free art display and live, local music from Jess Thrower. The event concludes at 8 p.m. To learn more about Start Fort...

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Aaron Robles of Reactiv Social – Entrepreneurship Spotlight

Posted by on October 17, 2017 | 0 comments

Aaron Robles of Reactiv Social – Entrepreneurship Spotlight

This week Living Fort Wayne spotlights Aaron Robles, Creative Director for Reactiv Social. Robles and Al Linsenmayer started Reactiv Social, a social strategy agency that specializes in digital marketing, social media marketing and management. What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana? We’ve called Fort Wayne home for a long time and have seen the incredible growth that’s been happening in our city for the last few years. We’re excited to be a part of that growth. Our focus is to help businesses grow to the next level and for us to bring that to a reality here in the place we know best is a no brainer. Throughout the years we’ve met incredible people who are making a difference in our community every day and we wanted to be a part of that change. Together we can continue to develop our city into the thriving community we know it can be. What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community? There is a special camaraderie in Fort Wayne that inspires people to get involved and create positive change. The connectedness of the entrepreneurial community in the city has helped us bring our aspirations into fruition. Resources such as our local 1 Million Cups meetings and co-working spaces such as Atrium have fostered a sense of belonging and have given us the support to thrive. The more people we meet and get to talk to the better sense we get of what we’re doing and how we can do it better, it’s something key to our success. What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business? By far our biggest challenge has been to really refine in a clear manner what it is that we do for our clients. As a company that focuses on social media and digital strategy a lot of the benefits can be easily misunderstood. So it was crucial for us to be able to explain the benefits of these services to our clients in a clear and concise way that resonates to our clients. Ultimately, we focus on providing results that matter, that’s to say helping our clients become more profitable, not just growing their social media presence. Business owners are result driven, so it was important for us to focus on the results we were going to provide for our clients, rather on spending too much time on the strategy of how we would achieve it. What person has helped you the most in your journey? That’s a really difficult question to answer because we’ve gotten so much critical insight from our friends in the city. We’re proud to say that we’ve created a company based on the sound advice of community influencers who really understand what they’re doing. Given that our business is a partnership we’ve been lucky to have one another to lean on. We have a lot of similarities as well as key differences that help us keep a healthy balance. We’re able to brainstorm ideas together and keep one another focused on our goals when we stray. We both love big picture thinking and get excited about new ideas, it’s great having someone else who can not only relate to that but also keep the other on...

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This Week in Entrepreneurship – 10/10/17

Posted by on October 10, 2017 | 0 comments

This Week in Entrepreneurship – 10/10/17

Living Fort Wayne has been a supporter of local entrepreneurship in Fort Wayne since 2014. As part of our continuing efforts to curate timely information about events, resources and business owners, we are introducing our first weekly “This Week in Entrepreneurship.” If you or your organization has anything you would like to add to the next “This Week in Entrepreneurship,” please email us at info@livingfortwayne.com. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on in the area. Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner interested in participating in our popular “Entrepreneurship Spotlight” survey? Visit our Entrepreneurship Spotlight page for more information about how to submit your information. New Q&As will go up weekly at the top of “This Week in Entrepreneurship” as they come in. Click here for a complete listing of past spotlights. Last Week at 1 Million Cups Fort Wayne 1 Million Cups is an event for local entrepreneurs to meet and present their startups to the thriving peer network of founders in Fort Wayne. The events occur every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. at Sweetwater. Check out their website for information and to learn about more area entrepreneurs. Last week’s presenter was Open Sign Productions. Notes from Around the Region Upcoming Events 1 Million Cups Fort Wayne Recurs Weekly on Most Wednesdays The presenter for Wednesday, October 11 is Crossroads Kombucha. 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Accelerating the Growth of Greater Fort Wayne’s Startup Community  Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM “Launch Your Dream: The Thrill of Entrepreneurism” with Jamal Robinson Thursday, October 19, 2017 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM Get Local: Atrium Turns One Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM SCORE Chapter 50 Intro to Business Workshop – Warsaw Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:30 PM Lunch & Learn: Overcoming the Six Unique Challenges of Emerging Businesses Friday, October 20, 2017 Starting at 11:30 AM Announcements Business Notes – Cat People Press Launches in Fort Wayne  From Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center Business Notes – In Touch Salon Breaks Ground on Second Location From Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center Business Notes – Capable Sensory Products Advances in Business Challenge From Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center Submit Your Entrepreneurship Events and Announcements Do you have an event coming up? Submit your details to our Living Fort Wayne calendar here. All other announcements may be directed to...

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Business Notes – CapeAble Sensory Products Advances in Business Challenge

Posted by on October 9, 2017 | 0 comments

Business Notes – CapeAble Sensory Products Advances in Business Challenge

From Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center Two Northeast Indiana entrepreneurs have been selected to compete as finalists in the national InnovateHER Business Challenge sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Marna Pacheco of Winona Lake and Susan Hickok of Fort Wayne and their company CapeAble Sensory Products, LLC will compete for $70,000 in prize money at the National Pitch Competition on October 26 in Washington, D.C.  The announcement of the 10 finalists was made last week on October 5. CapeAble Sensory Products, based in Fort Wayne, produces weighted blankets for better sleep, fashionable weighted wearables and sensory-enrichment tools.  “In today’s overscheduled and hectic world, CapeAble’s innovative products provide something that everyone needs: comfort, focus, and hope,” said Pacheco in a prepared statement. “We refer to our exclusive, patent-pending design as ‘the science behind the comfort’.” The InnovateHER announcement comes on the heels of CapeAble being named the Outstanding Innovative Business of 2017 at the national SCORE Awards gala on September 14 in McLean, Va.  In their acceptance speech, Pacheco and Hickok shared their belief that “every person deserves to feel capable.” CapeAble also won a state award on May 3 from the Indiana Small Business Development Center for Economic Development and Growth through Entrepreneurship (EDGE), in recognition of the firm’s initial success as a Hoosier business. For InnovateHER, CapeAble Sensory Products was named the regional winner in April after competing against five other companies in a local competition at the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC) in Fort Wayne.  The local competition was hosted by the Fort Wayne Chapter of SCORE in partnership with The NIIC, the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center (Northeast ISBDC), Brightpoint, the Community Development Corporation (CDC) of Northeast Indiana, and the Women’s Economic Opportunity Center (WEOC). After CapeAble and all the 120 regional winners were chosen, an executive committee of SBA officials evaluated the semi-finalist nominations and chose 10 finalists to participate in the National Pitch Competition.  InnovateHER was developed by the SBA to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families.  Judging criteria for the InnovateHER Business Challenge include the product’s potential for commercialization, its impact on the lives of women and families, and its ability to fill a need in the marketplace. CapeAble Products and the other InnovateHER Business Challenge finalists have been invited to conduct a marketing pitch before a team of expert judges at the National Pitch Competition on October 26 in Washington, D.C. They will be competing for the top three awards totaling $70,000 in prize money, provided by the Sara Blakely Foundation, with their trip expenses being paid by all of the local sponsoring organizations. Local InnovateHER Committee Chair Steve Rinehart, a mentor with the Fort Wayne Chapter of SCORE, remarked in a prepared statement, “This is a tremendous achievement for CapeAble. I would like to thank all of those who participated in the local event and helped make it a great success. To me, Marna and Susan are excellent role models for any entrepreneur, as they have sacrificed much and fought long and hard through adversity to bring this level of success to their company and their dreams. The awards and recognition are more than well deserved.” Pacheco and Hickok recognize the support they have received along the...

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Business Notes – In Touch Salonspa Breaks Ground On Second Location

Posted by on October 9, 2017 | 0 comments

Business Notes – In Touch Salonspa Breaks Ground On Second Location

From Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center Business is booming for In Touch Salonspa in northern Fort Wayne, so much so that the salon and spa facility, located at 939 East Dupont Road (just east of Coldwater Road), broke ground for a second, larger location. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Tuesday, October 10 for the new facility, to be located adjacent to the new 1st Source Bank building at 4005 East Dupont Road, which is just east of the Parkview Regional Medical Center complex. With 6,000 square feet of space, the new $1.6 million project will provide more than 50 percent more capacity than the existing salon. Like the original location, the new facility will offer beauty services, hair care, and Aveda retail products, along with “our extremely high standards of customer service and our top-notch technical abilities,” according to InTouch Salonspa owner Cindy Kirkland in a prepared statement. She notes that all of her guests “enjoy the ultimate experience during each visit, with up-to-date, high-end services and technology. Taking services one step further, however, Kirkland says that the new, state-of-the-art location “will streamline the beauty industry by also including an upscale barbershop.” The new salon/spa will have more than 50 employees, including hair stylists, barbers, estheticians, a massage therapist, a nail technician, a manager and guest service coordinators. Kirkland says that the original location of In Touch Salonspa, which opened in October 2003, currently has 30 employees and averages more than 150 new customers each month. The Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center created financial projections to secure funding for the project. While ground is being broken next week for the new salon, construction is estimated to take four to six months, with a tentative completion date of the Spring of 2018. For more information on In Touch Salonspa, call 260-410-0350 or visit www.InTouchSalonSpa.com. To learn more about the services of the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center, visit www.isbdc.org or call...

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Business Notes – Cat People Press Launches in Fort Wayne

Posted by on October 9, 2017 | 0 comments

Business Notes – Cat People Press Launches in Fort Wayne

From Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center Fort Wayne freelance artist Rebecca Stockert has combined her artistic talents with her love of cats to create a greeting card business for a very niche market that she calls “crazy cat people.” Cat People Press is a web-based business that went live on October 3. Stockert holds a bachelor of art degree with a concentration in ceramics, and a master of arts with a concentration in painting, both from the University of Saint Francis. She also is an adjunct instructor teaching art courses at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast, and the visual arts columnist for the Fort Wayne Reader. “Cat People Press offers quirky, artist-made greeting cards for crazy cat people and those who love them,” according to Stockert in a prepared statement. The products are 4-1/4 inch by 5-1/2 inch, folded greeting cards that can be purchased individually or in a package of six. “The cards express life with cats: funny, cute, and furry, with the occasional appearance of claws or small dead animals,” Stockert says, adding that “Cat People Press delivers correspondence perfect for cat lovers with a mix of comedy, dark humor, and absolute adorableness.” While the business mainly will exist online, Stockert plans to sell the cards wholesale nationally to boutique retailers. In Fort Wayne, customers can find the greeting cards at Fancy & Staple at 1111 Broadway and at Green Dog Goods at 3421 North Anthony Boulevard. In addition, Stockert will be selling her cards at a booth at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s Holiday Art Fair on November 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Thanksgiving weekend date has been set as a “Shop Local Saturday” and the event is a part of the Downtown Improvement District’s annual Holly Trolley tour. Stockert worked with Business Advisor Nicole Heffelfinger from Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center regarding business start-up assistance and industry research. For more information on Cat People Press, visit the firm’s website at www.catpeoplepress.com, its Facebook page or call 260-750-8652. To learn more about the services of the NE-ISBDC, visit www.isbdc.org or call...

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YLNI Farmers Market – M Bar M Leather Design

Posted by on August 25, 2017 | Comments Off on YLNI Farmers Market – M Bar M Leather Design

#sundayshoutout To whomever owns this door… it ends up in a lot of our photo shoots. #mybag #mbarm #leather #handmade #bag #downtown #fortwayne #dtfw #atelier #details #oneofakind #dtfw #atelier #custom #street #photography #picoftheday #capture #alley #moments #models #midwest #fashion #accessories #edc A post shared by M Bar M Leather Design (@mbarmleatherdesign) on Jul 9, 2017 at 4:55am PDT Emily Brown’s passion for leather craftsmanship has led her to create quality leather bags that much of the community now owns and recognizes. Emily’s journey to success started at just ten years old, when she first started working with leather. As she continued to perfect her craft, M Bar M Leather Design was born while Emily was working at a ranch in Colorado. She was building saddles and taking on projects for the staff. It has been six years since Emily initially launched M Bar M Leather Design, and she has received support and inspiration from people at every step of the journey. This inspiration embodies her goal to create bags that the strength and style of the people who carry them. When Emily started M Bar M Leather Design, she was working another job, while pursuing her leather designing passion in her basement. However, the success of M Bar M Leather Design has allowed Emily to pursue her business full-time for the past three years. Today, she will see her customers sporting her bags out in public. Emily loves when customers get excited to see her, because they are carrying something she created, though she doesn’t “know who gets more excited – them or me.” When Emily is not with her customers or making the next bag, she spends a great deal of time with her 28 nieces and nephews and being an avid Crossfitter. Adventure is out there. The Duffel #mybag #mbarm #leather #handmade #bag #downtown #fortwayne #dtfw #details #fashion #business #edc #atelier #lifestyle #style #duffel #mensfashion #photography #picoftheday #classic #craftsmanship A post shared by M Bar M Leather Design (@mbarmleatherdesign) on Aug 10, 2017 at 5:47am PDT Over the years of being a small business owner, Emily has learned not to try to appeal to everyone, and to just be herself, doing what she does to the best of her ability. This focus has helped her value her time. While a small business owner never runs out of things to do, she has learned that some things can wait. Emily feels that she has accomplished what she set out to do, and her adventurous spirit always is looking for the next challenge to pursue. Come out to the YLNI Farmers Market this summer to check out M Bar M Leather Design. Visit their website and follow them on Facebook and...

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YLNI Farmers Market: The Neon Cauldron

Posted by on August 11, 2017 | Comments Off on YLNI Farmers Market: The Neon Cauldron

YLNI Farmers Market: The Neon Cauldron

Kayla Gervais has always been crafty and found enjoyment in recreating her favorite bath and body products at home. Today, The Neon Cauldron sells an entire range of imaginative products from bath bombs, bubble cookies, soap cupcakes, and much more. Kayla’s products are made with a combination of oils and butters, so your skin gets a healthy pampering when using them. The goal is to provide an enjoyable and luxurious bath experience for kids and adults alike with simple ingredients that can work with many skin types. The kids get some fizzy fun and the adults get those few precious moments of self-care. After sharing some of her homemade bath bombs with family and friends who fell in love with them, The Neon Cauldron was born. When Kayla launched in 2015, her first group of loyal supporters was her fellow babywearers called the Cupcakes. Through her involvement with this group, she tested out the products, got an endless source of new ideas, and found her most loyal customers. Another important source of support is her husband. Despite working his own full-time job, he dedicates his evenings to assisting Kayla however possible and always gives her some encouraging words. Much of her success can be attributed to word of mouth advertising from customers that spread the joy of her products to others. When Kayla is not busy with her boy or The Neon Cauldron, she is getting her geek on with books, movies, and video games, cooking, or working with her crochet hook. As a small business owner and a mother of a three year-old boy, Kayla appreciates the need to take time for yourself and refresh yourself before and after a hard day’s work. You are the most important part of a business when you are the whole business, so taking care of the other facets of your life are just as important as the business itself. Come down to the YLNI Farmers Market this summer to check out The Neon Cauldron and their fun and creative bathing products. You can visit The Neon Cauldron’s website and follow them on Facebook and...

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