Business Notes – In Touch Salonspa Breaks Ground On Second Location
Oct09

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
Oct09

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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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 (Part 2)
Nov14

Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Northeast ISBDC (Part 2)

This is the second 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!  We are continuing our spotlight of the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center (Northeast ISBDC) with our second and final part of the spotlight on strategic planning and marketing research assistance available at Northeast ISBDC. Here’s a quick summary of what we covered in our last piece on the Northeast ISBDC: It 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 type of assistance given by the business advising team varies from client to client. In the last piece, we talked with Regional Director Wesley Shie and two business advisors, Mary Popovich, and Scot Goskowicz. Here’s what they had to say about how the Northeast ISBDC can help businesses in the critical areas of marketing research and strategic planning. Marketing research The team at Northeast ISBDC is available to consult with business clients about their marketing research needs. Consultations are available to help clients develop prospect and competitor lists, research their industry, or perform business to consumer (B2C) market research. “One of the common areas that people come in and have struggles with is in their ability to market themselves effectively when they are in business,” said Goskowicz. With access to ReferenceUSA, the team at Northeast ISBDC is able to pull market research, show how households spend, and what businesses are available to market to. “If you’re starting up, it’s critical to know who the other kids are in the sandbox with you so you know, from a competitive standpoint, where you sit from a price and a functional and quality standout.” said Goskowicz. With access to other leading databases, Northeast ISBDC can help businesses research their industry to learn market trends, best practices, current conditions, and other vital information to help them develop a solid plan. Northeast ISBDC can help clients access customer information with Esri Business Analyst Online to help them get a better view of market demographics. “Esri is really about the marketplace – will their business work in a certain geographical area based on data,” said Shie. Strategic planning Is your existing business at a crossroads and in need of a new vision? The team at Northeast ISBDC has been formally trained in a new strategic planning model...

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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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