Small Business Profiles
The simple need to put food on the table is what drove Dylan Kelly to start his window-washing business. Now nearly 20 years later, it’s his team’s ability to adapt and provide high levels of service that has kept his business thriving.
After a 30-year career as a litigation paralegal, Cassandra Allen-Brown decided on a less conventional retirement, opting not for a sunny beach in Florida—but for a little yarn shop in downtown Denver instead.
In 2010, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted, Sadie Tuescher’s office at her county job in Milwaukee, Wisc. was flooded with people looking for help enrolling in coverage through the new marketplaces created by the law. She was overwhelmed by the influx of clients but quickly adapted and learned everything she could about the new healthcare law. It wasn’t long before her insurance agent husband was calling her daily with questions about the ACA.
Biome, headquartered in Riverside, Calif., encourages its clients to root their beauty routines in nature with plant-based organic beauty products including soap, shampoo, essential oils and more.
Owner Melissa Vrba explains “Without Mother Earth we are nothing. I want to remind people that all we need is what comes from her.”
Zach Martinucci sees bread as much more than the bookends to a sandwich—he views it as a way to connect with his neighbors, friends and family. Before opening Rebel Bread in Denver two years ago, Zach used his unique recipes to make loaves based on his friends’ personalities. One friend, who he describes as “sweet, spicy and a bit nutty,” was delighted to receive a sourdough loaf made with cayenne pepper and candied pecans.
West Branch Veterinary Services in West Branch, Mich. was the winner of our 2019 Small Business Saturday photo contest.
For over 40 years, patients of all shapes and sizes have been greeted with warm smiles, friendly scratches and yummy treats at West Branch Veterinary Services. Dr. Timothy Eyth first opened the hospital’s doors in 1976 with the hopes of providing exemplary care and comfort for pets and pet parents alike. Current owner Dr. Scott Smith, who acquired the practice in 2009, has worked tirelessly every day since to continue his legacy with great success. The 15-employee hospital serves a massive region due to the fact they are in a rural area that caters to both year-round residents and vacationers who come with their pets to enjoy the outdoors.
Fran Bonner is not your average small business owner: She has been a caregiver for more than 67 years. When she was just 11 years old, her grandmother and great aunt both suffered from strokes, and Fran would spend her days going back and forth from school to home in order to make sure her loved ones were fed and taken care of.
Since opening his market 10 years ago, Alap Vora is proud to say 80% of his employees from his opening day are still working for him, and his business boasts an overall employee retention rate of more than 70%. These numbers are virtually unheard of for hourly-wage jobs in Brooklyn, N.Y., but Alap’s personal approach to business may have something to do with it.
When you think of a harpy, you may picture a mythological half-bird, half-human creature. However, Harpy Information Technology Solutions in St. Louis is named for a very real bird—an eagle—found in South and Central America. Co-owner Laurie Calkins describes the harpy eagle as an incredibly majestic bird and says she was drawn to it because of its unapologetic hunting techniques.
“They go for what they want and they get what they need, no questions asked,” she says.
While many 13-year-olds dream of becoming firefighters or football players, 13-year-old Johnathon Bush not only dreamed of being an entrepreneur but was already becoming one. While growing up in Toledo, Ohio, he realized the only way he could make money at a young age was through entrepreneurship, so he started baking cookies and selling them to friends and family. But, his bake sales evolved into something bigger than his middle school self could have expected.