Small Business Profiles
There are many reasons to start a small business, but for longtime entrepreneur Letha Pugh and her wife, Wendy, their gluten-free bakery was born because Wendy’s Celiac disease prevented the family from going out for meals.
As a twenty-something woman in business with her parents, Molly Leadbetter often finds herself trying to convince customers that she is an equal partner in the family-owned Meriwether Cider Company in Boise, Idaho.
This Veteran’s Day, we want you to meet veteran and small business owner Michael Taylor of Michael Taylor Culinary Solutions in San Diego. In honor of his fellow veterans, Michael shares his story with us about how he addressed his struggles with mental health and how his service helped foster his entrepreneurial nature.
When Maritza Gomez couldn't get a job, she took matters into her own hands and started a business.
Maritza, who owns MG Custom Printing in Riverside, Calif., moved to the United States from Mexico when she was nine. After starting her business, she decided to study business at California State University San Bernardino. While she was in school she became involved with the business programs on campus that further developed her entrepreneurial spirit.
Plenty of entrepreneurs like to think of their business as one of a kind, but for Dr. Heather Nelson it might actually be true. Heather owns Heather Nelson Studio in Springfield, Mo. Heather’s unique musical training certainly qualifies her as a piano and vocal teacher, but she primarily works with those suffering from vocal injuries. While her typical clients range from novices to professional vocalists, Heather also provides vocal regimens and techniques to those who have damaged their vocal cords or been diagnosed with nodes or polyps to help them sing again.
Spills are an inevitable part of life for a mom with two toddlers, but Cara Brzezicki of Littleton, Colorado, needed a way to minimize messes after her sixth-month-old son’s favorite game became throwing his sippy cup on the floor.
After trying to no avail to find a product that would prevent her son’s cup from falling, Cara decided to take matters into her own hands. She bought a clamp from a hardware store, drilled a hole in it, attached a cord and hair tie, and the Sippie Clippie was born.
Kateri Gutierrez co-founded Collective Avenue Coffee in Lynwood in 2016 with big dreams of what the business could do for her community. As her business has grown, this commitment to community has become the foundation of Collective Avenue Coffee, from it business structure to its mission and even how its funded its growth.
Ink Link Marketing has a unique approach to boosting the health and wellness of its employees. This includes monthly programs like “fitness-fat Friday,” where staffers are encouraged to come to the office in workout gear, exercise together and reward themselves afterward by visiting a local cupcake shop.
Armed with a cosmetology license, two bachelor’s degrees and a love for organic hair care, Mariatu “Tu” Browne is on a mission to unlock the natural beauty of every client she encounters. She discovered her passion for hair at the early age of nine while braiding hair for her friends and family in her native home in Sierra Leone.
Elizabeth James has a soft spot for small businesses.
“I understand that the small businesses of this country are not only a place to work, but are the culmination of someone's dreams and aspirations,” she says. Elizabeth’s family owned businesses and she attended University of California’s School of Business, so starting her own company seemed like a no-brainer. After garnering a unique expertise in tax and controller services, Elizabeth decided to open up her own bookkeeping and tax prep firm, Rincon Controller and Tax Services, Inc., in 2012 in Carpinteria, Calif.
Elizabeth says, “I realized that small businesses need the services and guidance that are available to larger companies, but often beyond small business' pocket books. Tax and controller services in particular are typically exclusive corporations, and I wanted to change that.”
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