Exceptional Health & Weight Loss Solutions, Hiawatha

For about five years, Dr. Linda Hodges contemplated opening a weight loss clinic in Hiawatha, Iowa. As a physician, Linda already had other professional duties, but once she was confident enough to handle new responsibilities, she decided to pursue the idea. The first place she turned to was America’s SBDC Iowa (SBDC). “Once I decided […]

Bella Ragazza, Burlington

One day, Wendy Klein was walking around downtown Burlington, Iowa when she realized the city was missing a women’s lingerie boutique. From that moment on, Wendy began developing an idea that would eventually become Bella Ragazza, a specialty shop in downtown Burlington. “I’d always wanted to be a small business owner,” Wendy says. “And my […]

Char-Mac Assisted Living – Lawton, Holstein & Manning

Jeanine Chartier is a rare combination of compassion, skill and tenacity, plus she’s a fierce advocate for the elderly. A lifelong resident of Lawton, Iowa, Jeanine is a savvy, caring entrepreneur who has helped improve the quality of life in three Northwest Iowa communities while taking time to mentor others. Jeanine Chartier had a full-time […]

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 […]

Precast Concrete Company, LLC, Creston

As Darian David and his wife, Jamie, were considering buying Precast Concrete Company in Creston, Iowa, they had no idea what steps were needed to get the ball rolling. The previous owner wanted to sell his company to someone local he could trust and that he felt would run it the same way he had […]

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 […]

Sister’s Home Style Entrées, Humboldt

Sister’s Home Style Entrées is the pride and joy of owner Deb Davis. The company makes frozen meals at its headquarters in downtown Humboldt, Iowa. Deb initially approached the North Central Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in April 2011 to get help with the business she had recently started. SBDC Regional Director Lisa Shimkat […]

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 […]

East Mill Bakeshop & Catering, Dubuque

Emily and Nick Puls started their life together in Dubuque, Iowa but moved to Napa Valley, California so Emily could attend culinary school. Emily graduated and she and Nick sold their freshly baked goods at area farmers’ markets. Business was good, but when they wanted to start a family, they decided to move back home […]