Ranging from specialty retail stores in Virginia to decorative ironwork in Atlanta, there’s one thing that all five of these businesses have in common: the freedom to pursue their dreams of owning a business and doing things their own way.
1. Freedom to pursue a lifelong dream.
“Becoming a chef was a dream fulfilled as well as a second career for me. I trained for over three years, with some of the best chefs and at the top restaurants in my area. Eventually, I launched a catering business, which led to the opening of my first restaurant in 2015. Our fine-dining establishment is unique. It has a rotating menu that changes completely every eight weeks. Running a small business demands a lot of dedication, and not only in hours worked. There are so many decisions to make and so many hats to wear. Success means growing; you cannot stand still!”
– Chef Maria Walusis, Owner, Nibbles Culinary Entertainment Miamisburg, OH
2. Freedom to name your own priorities.
“Spark Plug Games came into being about eight years ago, when a team of industry veterans decided to get back to the core fun of making games for a living and focus on smaller, more approachable game development projects. We discovered that we could also leverage our gaming skills for non-gaming development needs, in creating training and marketing products that relied on the core fun that we design into our games. We are able to focus on projects that we’re best suited to complete and that we are most excited to work on.”
– Spark Plug Games, Cary, NC
3. Freedom to change course.
“After working for many years in the mortgage industry and going through the 2008 real estate meltdown, my business partner (who is also my son) and I were exploring other career opportunities to improve our daily work experience which was miserable during those times. My older daughter, who is an amazing nail artist, had been working at a salon for many years which was recently sold to a man who ran the business into the ground and alienated the long-time staff at that salon. I mentioned to some of the salon staff that maybe I would open up a salon. Within a week, the plan was laid and we opened up a full-service, fully-staffed salon two months later.”
– The LOFT Hair and Nail Lounge, LLC, Brandon, FL
4. Freedom to have a second act.
“We moved to Richmond, Virginia from St. Louis, Missouri to be close to our daughter and her family. We were both retired, and wanted to start our own business. We evaluated many opportunities and concepts and chose to open an upscale dog products store, because we could not easily find good quality products for our dogs. We felt that the market was ready for a specialty store of this kind rather than forcing dog-lovers to shop only at big box stores or online. We are very proud of our growth and the support that we have received from our customers. In 2009, we started with a small 1,000 square foot store. We have grown to a 3,000 square foot store in the same location and just opened a second store, also in Richmond.”
– Chris and Don Vondriska, Fido Park Avenue, Richmond, VA
5. Freedom to start small and grow.
“J&S SteelWorks began with one truck, a trailer and two welders. We initially launched the business as a service to travel around the metropolitan Atlanta area to repair security and ornamental gates located in residential apartment complexes and subdivisions. The company rapidly expanded into steel fabrication, design, and installation. J&S SteelWorks has now fabricated and installed thousands of gates, railings and ornamental steel around the Atlanta area. After four years in business, the company decided to bring its independent contractors on as full-time employees. This was an exciting and monumental stage in the growth of the company.”
– J&S Steelworks, Atlanta, GA
As we celebrate our country’s Independence Day, we’re proud to work with small business owners and their employees that capture the spirit of freedom every single day.
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