Photo of Graphic Ideas Staff

Corning Business Perseveres

Perseverance pays off!  Veronica Damewood and Michelle Birt have learned this fact first-hand after facing adversity, followed by success, as small business owners. 

It was June 2008, just two months after Veronica, Michelle, and their spouses acquired Graphic Ideas and the Vanishing Point Car Wash, when flood waters poured through the streets of Corning and into their businesses.  

"Our neighbor at Corning Rental called us at 5:30 in the morning," Veronica explained.  "By the time we (my husband and I) got here at 6, the water was already in our shop and coming up.  Within an hour to an hour and a half there were townspeople here and we just started backing up trailers and loading stuff out." 

Graphic Ideas and the Vanishing Point Car Wash are located in the same building on the east side of Highway 148, which runs north from Highway 34, on the east side of Corning.  By the time the flood waters stopped rising, the car wash was six feet under water.  The new business owners had no flood insurance and FEMA immediately denied them because they were business owners and not home owners.

Photo of Rosanna Brammer

Custom Jewelry Business Growing on Family Farm in Osceola

Rosanna Brammer turned her artistic talent into a productive business on the family farm outside of Osceola.  Brammer started small, in 2004, selling Christmas tree ornaments made from costume jewelry.  She has expanded her merchandise line since that time and now operates Rose's Beads to Bangles, a manufacturer of custom jewelry, and has a retail shop at her farm, 1862 180th Avenue, Osceola (4½ miles west of Osceola on US Highway 34 and 1/8 mile north on 180th Avenue). 

It was April 2007 when Brammer learned of the South Central Iowa SBDC Smart Start class.  "I was making plans to grow my custom jewelry business by building an on-farm custom jewelry shop and reaching out to new customers," stated Brammer.  "The Smart Start class was excellent and more importantly, it was the beginning of my relationship with the South Central Iowa SBDC."  

Photo of Pat Loudon

South Central Iowa SBDC Assists Owner with Purchase of Paper Distribution Company

Pat Loudon was in search of a business opportunity in early 2008 when he initiated discussion about the acquisition of BM Sales, a privately owned paper distribution business.  Loudon had lost his job after the closing of his former employer, Wausau Homes of Corning. 

Ironically, when Loudon headed to meet with Dave McLaren at the South Central Iowa SBDC office in Creston about becoming a small business owner, he had no idea that the previous owner would also be contacting McLaren regarding his potential sale.  

The owner was interested in selling and Loudon was interested in purchasing, but neither party felt qualified to name the purchase price.  In the end, following confidential individual meetings with each party and a joint meeting to make everyone aware of the others' intentions, McLaren was able to act as mediator between the two parties who soon entered into a purchase agreement.