Marketing Magic

It’s an unlikely success story – almost like a fairy tale. If you pitched it as a movie plot the producers would tell you it’s not realistic. It goes something like this: You start making handcrafted paper products in your basement and they’re a huge hit at the art fairs and the next thing you know you need a larger working space for your wholesale operation, so you rent a building in a sleepy little town. Next, you pop a little retail space and counter in the front of the building, just to make a little extra cash to pay the building rent.

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Crafting Michigan’s Future

When you think of small businesses that benefit our economy, both on a national and local level, it's easy to overlook some of the smallest businesses of all. Many artists and artisans are solo-entrepreneurs. They handle the design, production, marketing and sales of all their products. They are the creative team, the sales team and the administrative staff - all in one.

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Engineering a Better Life

Sean Simpson was a bright young engineering grad who stepped out of college and into the corporate world, just like he was supposed to. It didn’t take him long to realize he’d gone through the wrong door. “If you are a small part of a huge machine, it’s hard to see the change you are making. I want my work to have impact. The only way I could think to do that was to start a company. You take the risk … but you control the results.

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Laundry – The Mother of Invention

Carson Lyons used to be content with laundry detergent that “didn’t suck”. If it got her clothes clean she was happy. But then she had a child and her brother got cancer. She couldn’t help but think that little things like laundry detergent are more important than we realize.

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Going It Alone

There’s a strange double standard in the world of business. We accept, and expect, that every professional requires some sort of training and specialization. Somehow, we tend to leave entrepreneurs out of that equation. The common misconception is that people just get a good idea, then go into their basement or garage and create a product that makes them rich.

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The Unexpected Path to a Fresh Start

You've heard the story a hundred times before; a little local restaurant decides to go big and franchise their concept. This isn’t that story. This story begins with “If you’d told me ten years ago I’d be doing this, I’d have said you were nuts.” John Bornoty sold his successful tech business and was in New York looking at another business opportunity when he stopped for lunch at a little deli in Manhattan.

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