Entrepreneur Spotlight: Taber Olinger of Fancy and Staple
Feb09

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Taber Olinger of Fancy and Staple

This week’s Entrepreneur Spotlight features Taber Olinger of Fancy & Staple, located on Broadway in Downtown Fort Wayne. Here at Living Fort Wayne, we LOVE Fancy & Staple. The boutique-style shop is unique, and browsing around is almost as fun as purchasing the amazing, individualistic products they have to offer. Seriously, I get lost in there for hours. Fancy & Staple’s mission is “to bring smaller independent lines to Fort Wayne, support local artisans, promote shop small/shop local, and to make downtown Fort Wayne a better place to live, work, and play.” Sounds great to us. What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana? I’m from Fort Wayne and have always loved it here. For me, whenever something new comes this city, it’s REALLY exciting! Instead of taking it for granted because there’s already a bazillion other cool things, I feel more appreciative and connected to the progress. For the past 10 years (at least), I’ve wanted desperately to be part of that growth and offer something unique to Fort Wayne. Now that I’m finally there, I couldn’t be more thrilled!  What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community? Definitely the Downtown Improvement District. They put on awesome events, with downtown’s best interest at heart, and have graciously included me since I opened last October. I’d also like to give a shout out to Fort Wayne Living, Fort Wayne Magazine, WANE Channel 15, and WBOI. Their interest in Fancy & Staple has provided me an abundant amount of exposure which I’m incredibly grateful for. What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business? I believe the biggest challenge I overcame happened in the very beginning. It was taking the initial leap, from idea to reality. Getting started can seem over whelming, scary, and impossible. For me, I needed a little push. Even though I had been preparing for years and I was as ready as I was ever going to be. Once I started the process, nothing could stand in my way. It was an amazing experience that I would do over and over again. What person has helped you the most in your journey? The process of opening my own business was tedious and time consuming, but not difficult. Since I did it all on my own, I felt it a good idea to reach out to certain professionals throughout the process. First, I sought guidance from SCORE and then the ISBDC. They were both great! Then I connected with an attorney and accountant, which should be a must for every entrepreneur. If I had to choose one person that...

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Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Northeast ISBDC
Oct20

Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Northeast ISBDC

This is the first in a series of pieces on entrepreneurship in Northeast Indiana. Join us as we explore the resources available to you as a resident of this area and some of the new businesses that are shaking things up in the area. Let’s Startup Fort Wayne! (-Tim) ****** Hello, Northeast Indiana! Are you out there at your desk at your 9-to-5 job dreaming about controlling your own destiny? Do you even know where to start? Before you empty your life savings, put on the brakes, take a deep breath, take a deep breath (again), talk to someone, and do your homework! There are many resources out there in Northeast Indiana to help you on your way. Our first visit in “Startup Fort Wayne” is with the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center (Northeast ISBDC) where I met with Wesley Shie, Regional Director, and business advisers Mary Popovich and Scot Goskowicz, who are there to help businesses grow in the region. “We’re meeting here on a daily basis with either potential business owners or people that are in business,” said Shie, who was promoted to Regional Director of the Northeast Indiana branch on October 1. “We’re helping them with whatever facet of the business that they are having issues with, at whatever stage of business they are in.” Northeast ISBDC is one of ten regional offices of the statewide ISBDC, an organization funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration (SBA). All services except for workshops and business evaluations are free to clients. The local branch is hosted by Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) and is partnered with the City of Fort Wayne, area county economic development corporations, Greater Fort Wayne Inc., and others. “Clients use us in a number of different ways. Some folks meet with us once, they go back and do a bunch of homework and six months later they call us with a whole bunch of stuff done,” said Shie. “Other people like to meet with us every ten days to check their process and progress.” The type of assistance given by the business advising team varies from client to client. Some people ask for help with specific projects such as developing a marketing plan and others use the team to get feedback on business processes they are implementing. Potential clients starting a business for the first time should take the new business survey on their website to start a relationship with the organization.. “This lets [the clients] and us know where they are in the process, and that will either direct them to take a workshop called...

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