Business Profiles

Case Studies of Successful Small Businesses

beer class

A Brooklyn Homebrew Shop’s Innovative Recipe for Business

When Douglas Amport and John La Polla conceived the business now known as Bitter & Esters, they simply wanted to provide space where enthusiastic homebrewers like themselves could produce larger …

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ed desoto olives

A Retiree’s Second Act as a Small-Business Owner

The word “entrepreneur” typically conjures images of professionals in their 20s and 30s. But that stereotype often misses the mark, because baby boomers engage in more entrepreneurial activity than Millennials …

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JCPenney

Pricing Lessons Learned From J.C. Penney’s

The Ron Johnson era at J.C. Penney’s has ended, leaving behind an important lesson for retailers of all sizes: Customers love a sale. Johnson took over as CEO of Penney’s …

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Jake Director and Riley Goodman

Two Students Find Startup Success Selling Socks

Two college buddies in high-tech Seattle are striking it rich in the very low-tech industry of socks. Yes, socks. Jake Director and Riley Goodman (pictured) make crew socks with stripes …

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pay rent

How SparkRent Helps a Property Manager Track Payments

Time is limited for Kevin Hanks, who holds down a full-time sales job at a major software company while also managing a fourplex in Santa Cruz, Calif. And he has …

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lori cheek

Online Dating Site Uses Offline Tricks to Stand Out

Lori Cheek, an architect by trade, aims to turn online dating upside down. Her bootstrapped venture Cheek’d sells decks of “calling cards” to its members, designed to be used as …

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arlene lynes photo

Bookstore Owner Turns a Page by Asking Customers to Spend More

Arlene Lynes, owner of Read Between the Lynes in Woodstock, Ill., knew her independent bookstore was in trouble and needed to start a new chapter. It was the summer of 2011, …

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moxie jean

Moxie Jean Finds Success in Used Baby Clothes

Anyone who’s been around babies knows that they quickly outgrow every item of clothing. One cost-effective strategy for keeping a kid well-dressed is recycling, either by accepting hand-me-downs from family …

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Sheila Cluff

Spa Pioneer Sheila Cluff on Living Her Dream

Sheila Cluff, founder of The Oaks at Ojai in California, is known not only for starting America’s first real spa in 1977, but also for helping to create the International …

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ducky made in the USA

It’s Just Ducky Manufacturing in the U.S.A.

The Rubber Ducky is an American icon. As such, Craig Wolfe believes that its future descendants should be made in the United States. “The rubber duck was actually invented in …

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coupon shopping experts

How 4 Busy Moms Make Their Small Businesses Work

Moms who run small businesses often lead double lives, managing both a company and a household with kids. Although it can be tough to keep everyone — spouses, children, partners, …

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kai flache

How Gaumenkitzel Tickles Its Customers’ Palates

In 2011, after working in the construction business for 20 years, Kai Flache and his wife, Anja Voth, opened the restaurant Gaumenkitzel in the San Francisco Bay Area. Flache handles …

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Koorosh Zaerpoor

From Corporate Engineers to Sustainable Farmers

Tales of corporate executives who dream of transforming their passions into small businesses are common. But those who are able to realize their dream while maintaining a career and a …

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Bryan Burkhart

Flower Service Cultivates Managers and Revenue Growth with SEED

Just three years ago, Bryan Burkhart knew nothing about flowers. But now Burkhart (pictured) spends his days as CEO of H.Bloom, a floral service that sends fresh-cut bouquets to more …

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Monica Bhide

Cookbook Author Turns a New Page with a Line of Chocolates

Despite three cookbooks, an illustrious food-writing career, and being recognized for her social media savvy, engineer-turned-entrepreneur Monica Bhide was hungry for more. So she’s developed her own line of chocolate …

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