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What’s the best part about being self-employed?

The best part about being self-employed is that it allows me to bring out my creativity and share it with others. It has also proven to me that I have even more creativity within myself that I did not know I was capable of. It allows me the freedom to do what I like and experience various things that I may not have otherwise done.

Elena Hines, Owner, Golden Leaf Café Menomonie, WI
December, 2014 Spotlight

How many employees do you currently have? Are you planning to expand the staff?

We have two full-time employees over the course of the farming season, a part-time bookkeeper and a part-time employee to help with harvest days, wine pourings and retail sales days. In the winter we drop to one part-time employee to help with continued sales and my time goes to the big, overarching infrastructure projects as well as repairing tools and equipment. We don’t plan for any new staff in the next year but as the Farm Stand/Tasting Room develops and our crop production expands we expect new field and order fulfillment staff.

David Mostue, President, Dunbar Farms, Medford, OR
September, 2014 Spotlight

When and why did you start your business?

I started Insight Garden, Inc. in 2004. My old agency FCB was one of the last relatively independent major agencies to be purchased by a holding company. The new holding company flushed out many fairly senior people upon taking control. At that time, I interviewed at many media companies, but also started to develop a business plan as another possible path. That interview process opened my eyes quite a bit. Everyone I interviewed with was so corporate and impersonal. It really felt that another job at a large company was just a path to immersing into someone else’s culture and beliefs. I decided not to go down that path and create a business that was definitely entrepreneurial and a real expression of who I was as a media professional and business person.

Mark Dominiak, Principle Strategist, Insight Garden, Whiting, IN
April, 2015 Spotlight

What does a typical day look like for you?

My days usually start with checking my inventory at the warehouse first thing. Once I check my inventory, I then make a plan on what we need to order, load the truck with supplies and head to locations. I’ll fill machines, collect monies, update item prices, rotate inventory and then make a list of what is needed for the next time. My days are a cycle of maintenance on my current machines and planning for what I will need in the coming weeks.

Bridgette John, Owner, Get Snackin Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
August, 2015 Spotlight,

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received from a client?

I know women feel great wearing my clothes; they are comfortable, flattering to the body, and have a distinct look. That is very rewarding. I was at a prestigious art fair showing and selling my clothes. A fellow artist told me I was a consummate professional in the way I dealt with my customers; it was very rewarding to receive that great compliment.

Marla Duran, Owner, Marla Duran Designs, Allentown, PA
July, 2014 Spotlight

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?

Research your business idea first! Ambition is essential, but glossing things over can land you in hot water. Do some careful exploration before taking the leap so you’ll know the ins and outs from every angle. Knowing that you are knowledgeable and prepared is often more than enough motivation to start a business with confidence.

Seneca Brookins, Founder, Jasudo, Chicago, IL
August , 2014 Spotlight

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