America’s SBDC Iowa is an outreach program of Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
HomeGrown Junk, Missouri Valley
After working as a corporate graphic designer for 22 years, Shannon Hanna decided to leave her job to pursue her side business of selling reclaimed vintage “junk” full time. Now, Shannon is celebrating the ten-year anniversary of her business, HomeGrown Junk.
Shannon had always loved repurposing junk in unusual ways and had been selling her creations for several years while still working her corporate job. While she loved her side business, she didn’t think that she could make a living off of it, until she spoke with a radio DJ at an event. The DJ convinced Shannon that if she put 110% of herself into her passion, she could make it work. So she quit her job and began working on HomeGrown Junk full time.
Shannon attended various vintage trade shows as a vendor to gather clients and really worked on building her presence on social media. Shannon emphasizes the importance of social media for small businesses and believes it is one of the best ways to build your brand. She likes to think of her social media page as an extension of her store and advises other small businesses to think of social media as another aspect of visual merchandising.
Shannon has been an SBDC client for five years. Shannon and her SBDC counselor, Michael Mitilier of the Iowa Western SBDC, were actually close friends for several years before she started her business. Shannon says that Michael was a great resource to her as she built her business, “I’ve been able to ask him questions about anything I need and he is just always helping me learn.” In addition to being an SBDC client, Shannon has helped the SBDC with one of our programs that helps high school students learn about starting their own businesses.
While Shannon has already built a thriving business, she is excited to work on expanding her inventory and start new projects. She wants to tell any aspiring entrepreneurs that “if you want to have a small business, you have to develop an amazing work ethic. It’s hard keeping yourself in line, but if you can do it, it’s so worth it.”