Uncorked Inspiration

Owned by Neal and Andrea Wollenberg, Uncorked Inspiration is a creative arts venue, offering "paint and sip" classes and more.  It opened doors in downtown Manhattan on May 1st.  Neal Wollenberg describes himself as having an entrepreneurial spirit. He says that he has always felt the urge to be his own boss and had the hope that someday he could turn his artistic interests into a business. His wife Andrea, who describes herself as the more business-like of the two,...

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Does Your Website Need an Update?

How do you know it’s time to update your website? Something to keep in mind is that when it comes to redesigning a website, there is no specific timeline that needs to be followed. According to Christian Riggs, president of Riggs Creative Group, a user-experience design and website development firm in San Diego, there are a variety of factors that may help a business owner decide whether or not to redesign their website. “You’ve got new branding and color standards,...

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This Tote Bag Shows Why Fonts Matter

When it comes to designing marketing materials, something I've noticed with a lot of small businesses is a disregard for using proper fonts. I get it. Thinking about fonts is probably not at the top of your list when you're trying to run your business and roll out promotions for your products and services, but it would surprise a lot of people to learn just how important it is to choose the right font. The following story exemplifies the reason...

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Happy 1st Anniversary, Sugar Creek Country Store!

Located, in a beautifully restored historic building on Highway 24 in downtown St. Mary’s, Kansas, Sugar Creek Country Store celebrated its first anniversary last week. The store carries a unique assortment of unusual, very high-quality foods, has a deli and sandwich counter – and just added an ice cream counter which is proving to be quite popular this summer! Around 6 years ago, Dan Hohman and his wife Jen were shopping at an Amish foods store in a tiny Minnesota...

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Primary Color: Exporter of Music

Earlier this year, Primary Color Music won the KU KSBDC Existing Business of the Year Award. The Kansas SBDC Business of the Year awards honor businesses based on their successful performance and good corporate citizenship.  I had the pleasure of interviewing PCM founder Sam Billen for this article. Lest anyone think that the only exporters in Kansas are either in the aircraft industry or agriculture, let me call attention to Primary Color Music. PCM is a music composition and design...

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The Man Behind The Winged Lion

The Winged Lion, LCC is a home décor and gift boutique located in downtown Manhattan, Kansas. Its loyal customers turn to owner Ralph Diaz for all kinds of decorating and gift-giving advice ... and advice on life as well!  Ralph opened The Winged Lion in August of 2014 to fulfill a dream that he had been holding onto since a trip to NYC in 1987. On that trip, Ralph visited a store that he loved everything about right down to...

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Goals, Success & Reflection

Often when I work with small business owners, we discover that underlying whatever problem brought them to see me is a lack of clarity about direction. Even motivated individuals can lack an understanding of what they want out of their business or lack a vision of where business ownership fits into the greater picture of what they want out of life. That makes it difficult to set goals let alone work through strategies for succeeding. I see this, for example,...

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Congratulations and Good Luck to Loretta’s Artisanal Bakery & Cafe

Congratulations to Loretta Lopez on the opening of Loretta’s Artisanal Bakery and Café Loretta came to the Kansas SBDC at WU for assistance with writing a business plan for starting her bakery and for navigating the logistics of starting a business. Loretta had a reputation as a great baker from selling her goods at farmers’ markets and knew that she could make her vision of owning her open business a realty if she turned to the right resources. Having just...

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Twitter Etiquette for Small Business

So you decided that your business needs a Twitter account. That’s great! Twitter is a pretty useful tool that allows you to send out meaningful content in short, 140-character “bursts” to the world in real time. There are a lot of organizations and small businesses that can benefit from Twitter, and yours could too. However, Twitter - compared to Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest - is a whole other social media monster. What do you do now? How do you use...

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Raking Leaves: A Lesson in Life – Work Balance

Last weekend, when we were enjoying the most pleasant mild weather, I decided to seize the opportunity to do some yard work. A good friend of mine has two tween-age daughters who are always looking for spending money, so I offered to pay them $2 a bag to help me rake and bag leaves and garden clippings. It was fascinating to watch the different approaches that they took and wonder what kind of entrepreneurs they would make if they ever...

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