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Small Business Profile

How Digital Tools Bring Companies and Consumers Together

When Jason Needleman’s mother started Peacock Alley nearly 50 years ago, the internet was nonexistent. They worked out of their garage to sell their luxury linens and bath products to independent sales people and wholesalers who then sold their goods to retail stores who sold them to consumers. After more than 40 years, Jason and…

Tech Shakes Up the Memphis Property Market

Amber Hayes started her Memphis-based technology startup after realizing the traditional property management industry was overdue for a shakeup. “I didn’t plan to start a company, but when I saw an opportunity, my excitement got the best of me, and I dove right in with my co-founder,” she recalls. After spending several years as a…

E-Commerce Sets a Local Florist Apart

When Molly Meulenbroek bought Studley’s Flower Garden in 2008 with her husband Jeffrey and brother-in-law David, she inherited the 80-year reputation of the Rochester community staple and the pressure of a family business — Studley’s has been owned by a member of her family since 1971. Immediately she encountered her first big challenge –  online…

Digital Tools Light up Evergreen Applied Technologies

Chris Lewis is a self-proclaimed “data and analysis freak” who loves to dissect projects. After graduating from college, he started working in the commercial lighting industry, designing, building, and selling custom lighting fixtures. Lewis recalls how companies were strictly regional, only serving a relatively small area. But one of the first companies Lewis worked for…

Harnessing Digital Tools for Healing

Branch Basics was started in Austin, TX by three women who were on a mission to help people remove toxic chemicals from their homes. Today, the company is based in Minnesota and operates entirely online, using many free and affordable digital tools to sell its products and find customers. Starting their website proved much easier…

A Family Doctor Becomes a Family Business Woman Through Digital Tools

When Wei-Shin Lai created SleepPhone®s headphones in the early 2000s, she didn’t plan on leaving her successful family medicine practice. She just wanted a good night’s sleep. Uncomfortable laying down in traditional headphones and unable to sleep without them, Wei-Shin and her husband Jason invented the bed-friendly headband and ultra-thin speakers out of necessity.  Wei-Shin’s…

Member Highlight: Beddy’s

Betsy Mikesell and Angie White used to be jogging partners. Today, they run one of Utah’s fastest-growing small companies. The path that took them there is anything but typical—which of course, for most small businesses, is typical.  Here’s the Beddy’s story: Betsy was desperate for a way to motivate her twin boys to do a…

Member Highlight: Peninsula Party Rentals

As Feliciano Zavala writes in the San Francisco Chronicle, he is amazed that his Palo Alto-based party rental business is going so strong nearly a year after COVID-19 almost knocked it out. Following a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and loan and a revised focus on smaller events, Peninsula Party Rentals is finally getting back to…

Member Highlight: Akorbi

Akorbi helps organizations connect with employees, vendors, and customers in over 170 languages. Digital tools have long been critical to the success of this translation, workforce solutions, and technology business. “It’s what allowed us to compete with the big boys,” CEO Claudia Mirza says. Akorbi utilized social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and marketing…

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