"(My SBDC advisor) had been a banker his whole career. He had worldly experience in banking and a quick understanding of manufacturing. This made him very easy to relate to and work with. "
John & Karma Rouse and Juston & Lisa Rouse
RENTON, Wash.—The irony is not lost on Gordon Alvord or his business partner Bradley Donaldson. They lost their jobs as pilots because of the recession but ended up founding a flight school that is thriving today. “People told us, ‘You guys are either insane or geniuses,’” Alvord said. “Who starts a flight school in a … Read more
PULLMAN, Wash.—When Adam Jones, founder and president of Pullman Marketing, enrolled in a Be the Entrepreneur Boot Camp course in 2017 hosted by the Palouse Knowledge Corridor, he was working 12 hours a day as a sole proprietor and had about six clients, nearly all of whom were from outside the state of Washington. Today … Read more
PORT ANGELES, Wash.—Customers who show up at A Better Pawn Shop looking to buy a power tool or an electric guitar might just be looking for a good deal, but those who show up with a power tool, flat screen TV or heirloom watch in hand are often desperate for quick cash and a fair … Read more
"(Our store's growth) is result of the plan we created with Lew. You have to have a plan, but more importantly, you need to stick to the plan. "
Doug Isler, & Rose Grosche-Isler
MOUNT VERNON, Wash.—For a dozen years, chocolatier Karen Neugebauerhas been perfecting her craft while running her own small business, Forte Chocolates. “Chocolate doesn’t back down,” she said from her production kitchen on Riverside Drive in Mount Vernon. That means chocolate is a fantastic medium for a self-described “control freak” who loves both science and art. … Read more
EPHRATA, Wash.–When a healthcare provider in a small town retires, patients are often left scrambling for care, either doing without or traveling long distances to find new providers. Fortunately, when Dr. Bill Davis, one of three chiropractors in Ephrata, retired after 36 years in practice, Dr. Tashauna Devine was able to take over the practice … Read more
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Ana Seidel had been experimenting with developing and selling nail care products since 2012. When her husband, Cory Seidel, got laid off from his IT job a few months after she started selling her homemade nail oil, the two decided their best opportunity for supporting themselves and their four children, then ages … Read more
"One of the things I enjoy the most (about working with the SBDC is that I don’t feel like I have to go in all put together. I’ll be real about what’s going on and (my advisor) lets me do that. "
Grandview, Wash.—David Ruelas was working in agricultural fields near his home in Sunnyside, following in the footsteps of his parents and older brother, when a door opened and he became an apprentice to a diesel mechanic in Yakima. Within a year, at age 21, he was a lead mechanic at the shop. The 45-minute drive … Read more
BELLINGHAM, Wash.—When cases of COVID-19 started emerging in the United States, Washington state was the epicenter of the emerging public health and economic disaster. When Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued his Stay Home, Stay Safe order in mid-March, Andi Vann, owner of Pure Bliss Desserts, was alarmed, but not panicked. February had been their biggest … Read more
AUBURN, Wash. — Joshua Wilke had been a successful one-man tree removal service for more than a dozen years when he started working with a Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) business advisor at Highline College in 2016. Since then, he has transformed what was essentially self-employment into a business of value that supports not … Read more