O’Leary’s Kitchen, Des Moines

  In June of 2016, Valerie Singer went to visit her mother in Montana. Little did she know this trip would reshape her career and stir the entrepreneurial spirit within her. While eating lunch at a local farmers market, Valerie was amazed at the quality and authenticity of the vendor’s Irish Flatbread Sandwiches.  Later that […]

Kids in Harmony, Des Moines

“I am passionate about improving peoples’ lives through music.” Shelly Peterson knew she wanted to be a music therapist after graduating University of Northern Iowa with a degree in music. To make her dreams a reality, Shelly obtained a master’s degree in music therapy, became board certified, and started her own business from the ground […]

818, LLC, Des Moines

Having spent several years working together in a corporate environment, Melissa Carlson and Rachel Abel found they had a great working relationship, similar work ethics, and professional goals. In 2013, the pair decided to carry their partnership on to the next level, forming a small graphic design business together, which they named 818. They intentionally […]

CLenz Designs, Des Moines

Cody Ritz, originally from the Des Moines area, moved to Dallas, Texas to attend college. While there Cody fell in love with fashion and the industry as a whole. When he moved back to Iowa, Cody struggled to find a job in the fashion industry that allowed him to hone his creative abilities. Finally, after […]

Adore Your Walls and Liz Lidgett Fine Art, Des Moines

After attaining a Master’s degree in public art, Liz Lidgett wanted a career based around exposing people to artwork, who otherwise wouldn’t be. When Liz moved back to Des Moines after college, she worked as the corporate curator for Kum and Go’s art collection. Through this position she realized the high demand in Iowa for […]

Eco Blast, LLC, Indianola

Janel Crowe’s husband, Chris, worked for 12 years as a union plasterer. After the 2008 recession, he found he had a passion for restoring cars. While working to redo the body of a 1937 Chevrolet, he began searching for a faster way to strip metal during the paint prep process. Janel and Chris, along with […]

FarmHer, Inc., Grimes

In March of 2013, Marji Guyler-Alaniz was watching a commercial about agriculture when she noticed that there was a significant part of the industry missing – it did not represent women in agriculture. Marji found that there are nearly one million women farmers in the nation, accounting for nearly one-third of all farmers, and that […]

Happy Medium, Des Moines

Katie (Stocking) Patterson never expected to be the head of a company, but when she was working as an account executive for a local TV station a client sought out her help with their advertising. Seeing a need for honest marketing help amongst Iowa businesses, Katie created her own agency—Happy Medium—to cater to the needs […]

Lil’ Sidekick, Polk City

Inventor and entrepreneur Amy Vohs received great advice and business assistance from America’s SBDC Iowa, plus expertise and the use of a 3D printer from the Iowa State University Industrial Design Department, in order to successfully manufacture her all-Iowa made product, Lil’ Sidekick. A hard road and one less traveled by most entrepreneurs, and even […]

Table 128 Bistro + Bar, Clive

The Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for Mid Iowa helped Lynn and Sarah Pritchard buy out their business partner, restructure the business, devise a new strategic plan for the company’s growth, create cash flow projections, and secure funding so they could make numerous changes and have complete ownership of their existing restaurant and bar. […]