Good Neighbors – Andie Hines
Jan16

Good Neighbors – Andie Hines

Andie Hines – Supporting Women Entrepreneurs, Supporting Fort Wayne “The number one thing that makes businesses thrive is a strong peer community.” In Fort Wayne, there is an entire network of women entrepreneurs who are killin’ it in their field and making invaluable contributions to our community. Andie Hines is one of those people—she started Red Tree Pro in 2014 as a print brokerage, but soon realized that she had much more to offer her clients. Now, Red Tree Pro provides services in event planning, brand development, and marketing consulting. Her client list includes a wide range of organizations and businesses, including Tolon, University of Saint Francis, and Berne Apparel, to name a few. On top of this, Andie is the founder of Own Your Success, a non-profit dedicated to empowering and supporting female entrepreneurs in the area. Recently, I had an opportunity to sit down with Andie to talk about her journey through entrepreneurship in Fort Wayne, and her contributions to the community through both her business and non-profit. What were some of the first jobs you had that led you to start Red Tree? I sold paper for the first 10 years of my career, very much like in “The Office.” My job was to work with graphic designers in the community to help them find the best paper for their project, more of the fine art aspect of paper. That was a sales and marketing role—I did that for ten years and I loved it. Part of the sales aspect was that I would do ‘Paper’ lunches and invite graphic designers in the community to come learn about new products or new print techniques. That was really the launch into all of this. I was on the board for the Advertising Federation for around eight years and did programming most of that time. I planned the ADDY awards two years in a row and was president for two terms in a row. So, I was really active in that and that was all sales, marketing, and events. I worked for a couple ad agencies, but in early 2014 I found out I had cervical cancer. That was a big wake-up call that I didn’t want to keep doing what I was doing. As soon as I was well I wanted to start my own company. When I started, I was just a print broker, but I quickly found that my clients wanted more from me and just continued to shift from that. Now, Red Tree is essentially a full-service marketing firm, plus events. Tell me about your non-profit—how did it come to fruition? About six months...

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Planting Wholesome Roots with Cooking
Oct01

Planting Wholesome Roots with Cooking

  When I was growing up, (we won’t say how long ago that was), we only had a few cooking shows. From The Frugal Gourmet to Yan Can Cook and, of course, Julia Child, we sat and watched them make one delicious meal after another. I remember one particular episode of The Frugal Gourmet where Jeff Smith had characters from Sesame Street on. They cooked kid-friendly meals and played around a little. Fast forward to the late ‘90’s and we get an entire tv channel dedicated to cooking and baking. Shows like Great Chefs showed us the professional side of cooking and baking in restaurants, hotels, and theme parks. Emeril came on prime time with a Bam! The Two Fat Ladies taught us that no amount butter was too much. Then there was Iron Chef. The Chairman chose a high-qualified chef who, in return, got to pick an Iron Chef to challenge.   I believe that having family that cooked from scratch and access to these shows helped to grow my love of food and cooking. I love trying new foods, cooking in new styles, with new tools and creating my own recipes for my family to pass down. My kids love to cook, too! They’re interested in what dad and I are doing in the kitchen and often want to help. Sometimes, though, life gets busy. I don’t always have time to let the kids cut veg or help flip the pancakes. It gets hard to teach them everything I want to pass down. Also, I believe in having other influences to teach them. That’s where Wholesome Roots Cooking comes in. Wholesome Roots Cooking has cooking classes for kids. Meghan Hauser, owner and certified Healthy Hands cooking instructor, teaches kids hands-on cooking skills and that eating healthy can be simple! Her goal is to “plant wholesome roots for a healthy lifestyle.” “One of the best parts about my job is to watch students become inspired to create new food and feel proud of their accomplishments!” says Hauser. Wholesome Roots offers kids cooking classes publicly and also privately in schools, birthday parties and co-ops. They also offer a Homeschool Cooking Club where homeschoolers have a monthly class during the day on Tuesdays. Do you want to take a cooking class? Well, Wholesome Roots offers classes for adults, too! Just contact them via their website at www.wholesomerootscooking.com. While you’re there, you’ll find their class schedule as well as the types of classes they offer. Getting your kids involved in healthy cooking as young as possible will set them up for a healthy life so check out some Wholesome Roots Cooking...

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Pasjion Daniels, Force Community – Entrepreneurship Spotlight
Aug03

Pasjion Daniels, Force Community – Entrepreneurship Spotlight

The “Living Fort Wayne Entrepreneurship Spotlight” series returns today with a spotlight on a unique boutique public relations agency. Pasjion Daniels, owner of Force Community, answered our small business questionnaire recently. Ms. Daniels operates her business from the Atrium co-working space in downtown Fort Wayne where she also serves as supervisor Here’s what she had to say about her journey as an entrepreneur in northeast Indiana. What is Force Community? Force Community is a boutique PR agency that focuses’ on community engagement, and event planning and designing. Force is owned by Pasjion Daniels, who desires to host and bring “un ordinary” events to Fort Wayne through Force Community. It all started with the “When Life Hands You Lemons Brunch” event dedicated to creatives and bloggers. The brunch gave them skills to get over sore spots in business, and provided a safe place to network. From there, Daniels took her desire for planning, designing, and career in PR to the next level. Force Community was birthed. Feel free to follow them on Instagram & Facebook at : @forcecommunity What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne? The vision that I had for my business was something that Fort Wayne lacked. I was tired of having to go to Indianapolis, Chicago, or Ohio to attend trendy and amazing events. Fort Wayne is growing, and there was no greater place to launch. What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community? The Atrium! The Atrium is a coworking space downtown which has offered me the greatest connections and a greater network. It’s truly all about your network and the Atrium is the best place to grow in that area. Not to mention, I get to work a cool 9-5 there as well. 🙂 What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business? Being a one-woman-show has so far been the biggest challenge. I am the content creator, creative director, accountant, social media manager, etc. It takes time, but it all gets done. What person has helped you the most in your journey? I would hands down have to say that Jesus himself has helped me the most on this journey. This journey of being an entrepreneur is no easy thing at all and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When I’m overwhelmed or don’t have the knowledge in an area, I’m always free to go to him. What is some advice you would have for new entrepreneurs? The advice I would give new entrepreneurs is to take the vision and run with it. Everyone doesn’t have to believe in it, but if...

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Waiter on the Way: Growing a business by ‘doing the right thing’
May31

Waiter on the Way: Growing a business by ‘doing the right thing’

This story was originally published in the May 23, 2018 issue of Input Fort Wayne as Waiter on the Way: Growing a business by ‘doing the right thing’.    Have you ever wanted delivery service from a restaurant that doesn’t offer it? That’s the idea behind Waiter on the Way. The process is simple. Visit the website, and you’ll find a list of local and national restaurants you can order from with detailed menus and weekly blog stories. Simply call or place an order on the mobile-friendly interface, and the food you’re craving will be delivered to your home or office. While other delivery services have come and gone in northeast Indiana over the years, Waiter on the Way has remained a community staple. Based out of downtown Fort Wayne, it continues to grow its influence in the region. When the owner, Derek Berkes, purchased the company in 2001, he had a staff of 20 people and delivered from 20 restaurants. Today, he has more than 110 employees, delivering from more than 140 restaurants, including local favorites like Casa, Coney Island, and Shigs In Pit. “When we started, we were averaging about 65 orders a day. Now, we average 265 orders a day,” Berkes says. He may have been honored with a 2017 Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly Business Excellence Award for “Business of the Year – Revenue Less than $5 Million,” but money was not always easily accessible for him. Instead, he says his personal failures and his ability to learn from them are what gave him the work ethic he has today. From debt to success Before Berkes turned 30, he accumulated massive amounts of debt as a result of trying to build a business, create cash flow, and hire a large staff. He wanted to take Waiter on the Way to the next level and believed that accumulating debt while doing so was the only viable approach. In his attempt to grow the company, the pressure of making money for the sake of making money become overbearing. He knew he needed to change something. “I used to chase money. I made the profit more important than anything else because I had so many people relying on the success of the business.” Berkes says. “That approach simply doesn’t work. I was very driven. I still am, but I changed what I allowed to drive me.” In his early 30s, he decided to reset his approach around creating value for the Fort Wayne community. “I focus on the quality and the relationships,” Berkes says. “I want to do the right thing every time and with every interaction. Those components...

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Atrium’s Highlight on Justin Sheehan / NEI Entrepreneurship Digest
May14

Atrium’s Highlight on Justin Sheehan / NEI Entrepreneurship Digest

The Northeast Indiana Entrepreneurship Digest is a recurring series of curated posts highlighting entrepreneurship, start-ups and small businesses in the Fort Wayne area. Contact Living Fort Wayne at info@livingfortwayne.com if you have stories or information to share. Atrium Member Highlight There are numerous ways to work in Fort Wayne outside of the traditional office space. Start Fort Wayne’s Atrium coworking space is highlighting its members. They have provided this “Member Highlight” on Justin Sheehan of Crown Jewel Marketing. This highlight is by Atrium Team Member Jack Cantey. Age: 25 Hometown: San Diego, CA Months/Years Lived in Fort Wayne: 22 years Business Name: Crown Jewel Marketing Year Established: 2011 (in high school) Atrium Member Since: Early 2017 Current Membership Type: Private Office In one or two sentences, can you describe what your business does? We know how hard it is for businesses to reach the right customers, so we become their marketing team by first creating a clear and compelling message using storytelling. Our clients have marketing that works, more customers in their doors, and the freedom (and less stress) to grow their business like crazy. What do you find most challenging about being an entrepreneur? What’s most rewarding about being an entrepreneur? Challenging: Capacity, time, multiple hats. What do I say yes to and what do I say no to? When I struggle with this, though, I think about that the fact Elon Musk has the same amount of time as I do. Rewarding: We get the opportunity to impact difference makers (like other entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders), who in turn impact other people’s lives. That’s why we’re in business. In what ways has your membership at Atrium helped you and your business? Atrium stepped in when we needed it the most. My previous office burnt down. I found that out at 6:30 a.m., called Atrium at 8:30 a.m., and had my new “office” unpacked there by 9:00 a.m. Without Atrium, I would have been attempting to work from my house or overpaying for average office space. Not only that, Atrium became a place for me and my team to have a community with other creatives and entrepreneurs. Whether it’s a random white board session or just having engaging and humorous conversations, community is something we really value, but it was missing at our previous office. Where do you see yourself/your business three to five years from now? I see Crown Jewel Marketing as a company that will help build other companies; every startup needs marketing, right?! I do have big visions for Crown Jewel and other companies, but I enjoy the journey way too much to just focus on...

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Farnsworth Fund launches with inaugural grantees / NEI Entrepreneurship Digest
May07

Farnsworth Fund launches with inaugural grantees / NEI Entrepreneurship Digest

The Northeast Indiana Entrepreneurship Digest is a recurring series of curated posts highlighting entrepreneurship, start-ups and small businesses in the Fort Wayne area. Contact Living Fort Wayne at info@livingfortwayne.com if you have stories or information to share. They brought out the big checks on Thursday, May 3 to launch a new entrepreneurship initiative at the former home of one Fort Wayne’s most legendary innovators, Philo T. Farnsworth. The Farnsworth Fund, powered by Elevate Northeast Indiana, plans “to make 50 $1,000 grants during 2018 to stimulate Northeast Indiana’s entrepreneurial culture.” Four inaugural grantees were announced today across several different industries. Ashli Pershing and Pamela Sprowl are registered nurses, Kyle Craig is an inventor and the founder of Apollo Dynamics, Chauntiel Smith of Capture Sports Agency (CSA) is a sports agent and Sean Rassavong is a 17-year-old filmmaker and a senior at New Tech Academy. #livingfortwayne A post shared by Living Fort Wayne (@livingfortwayne) on May 3, 2018 at 3:16pm PDT For more information on the Farnsworth Fund (powered by Elevate Northeast Indiana), visit their website at farnsworthfund.com.  Northeast Indiana Entrepreneurship Digest Living Fort Wayne provides this digest of entrepreneurship-related events and resources at the end of each entrepreneurship post. If you are an existing (or aspiring) entrepreneur, check out these resources to connected with who you need to be connected with to succeed in Northeast Indiana. 1 Million Cups Fort Wayne Weekly Presentations New Events and Resources on a Weekly Basis! 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 almost every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. at Sweetwater. Visit their website for more information on how to present and a list of upcoming presenters. Watch past presentations on Facebook. Down the River Podcast New Content on A Regular Basis! “Down the River is committed to bringing to light the amazing stories of the entrepreneurs of Fort Wayne and the surrounding areas. If you would like to be featured on our podcast please let us know! We would love to let the public hear your story.” Go to their website to listen to their latest episodes, which are released nearly every week. Input Fort Wayne Entrepreneurship Articles New Content on a Weekly Basis! News Resources from our news partner, Input Fort Wayne. Input Fort Wayne (inputfortwayne.com) is a news resource that has a “mission is to ignite passion and inspire innovation in northeast Indiana by highlighting bold startups, places, projects, and ideas.” New pieces on a variety of topics are released weekly. Subscribe to their weekly newsletter to have content delivered straight to your...

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