It’s tempting to rest on your laurels, especially when you’ve been in business for over 35 years. But complacency isn’t what enabled Jim Parker, founder of Warren-based Clear Water Filtration, to grow a successful business. Today, Jim’s children, Jen Fleckenstein and Steve Parker, continue his legacy of innovation and problem-solving.
The best business ideas solve problems. She Fly Apparel, founded by two recent graduates of Middlebury College and supported by a team of Middlebury students, addresses a dilemma every adventurous woman faces in the great outdoors: how to pee with privacy and comfort. Using innovative zipper and flap technology, the company’s line of layerable outdoor pants puts a feminine spin on the traditional fly, enabling women to “go on the go” without having to disrobe.
Cortney and Chris Keene are realizing their dream. In February 2018 they opened Keene Perspectives, PLLC. in White River Junction, a behavioral health center that offers individualized services to children with autism and other developmental disorders. When they first envisioned their new business several years ago, they weren’t sure how to turn their idea into a reality. That’s when they reached out to the Vermont Small Business Development Center for help developing, growing, and maintaining their business.
Ingrid and Franklin Chrisco, owners of Vermont-based True North Granola, have come a long way since they first started selling granola from a booth at the Brattleboro Farmers’ Market in 2006. The growth of their business can be largely attributed to their hard work and willingness to ask for help. But they’ll tell you that their VtSBDC advisor, Steve, had a significant hand in their success.
Two amazingly talented artists (Jessie makes exquisite jewelry and Michael makes eclectic furniture). A passion for their fellow Vermont artists’ works. Plus an incredible shared eye for all things beautiful. For Jessie and Michael Alon that means not just one gallery but two. One simply can’t contain their creativity and dedication. The downtown art boutique –DaVallia–features Jessie’s work combined with arts and crafts from fifty artists and on the way out of town –39 North Gallery– focuses on fine art, furniture and accessories for your home.
Megan Haygood and her family already had the land, hay and equipment needed to start a horse boarding, breeding, training and riding facility in Danville. But they knew they needed more in order to start a successful business. Enter Michelle Lemieux, an established equine trainer and manager and you have the makings of a quality small business partnership.
El Gato Cantina has quickly grown into a well-known authentic Mexican experience for northern Vermont diners. Their flagship Burlington location has long provided a wide variety of dishes and appetizers crafted from traditional Mexican family recipes. And that’s not including the fully stocked bar complete with seasonally-inspired house-infused tequila recipes like “jalapeno tequila,” “orange tequila” and “tricky kitty.”
When March rolls around in Vermont’s Green Mountains many large scale sugar makers are already hard at work tapping trees and boiling sap into the sweet syrup the state’s famous sugar maples provide. But there’s also a cadre of small scale home producers who focus on providing a gallon or two for their family and friends.