Category: Business & Finance

Richardson Studio: Family Portraits Are a Specialty

Photographer Jeff Richardson has a philosophy about creating family portraits—he feels they should be an experience. He says there are plenty of competent photographers who can take a photo for the annual Christmas card. What he focuses on, he says, is capturing the really special moments.

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levitabl: Two Locals Invent a Sustainable Standing Desk

While using a standing table at an airport, Prashanth Jayaraman knew he could design a better, more sustainable option. Not only was the table not well-designed, the motor had broken and Jayaraman felt the entire desk would likely be junked instead of fixed.

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Sterling Real Estate: A One-Woman Success Story

Trish Sterling, owner of Sterling Real Estate and a licensed real estate broker with the state of Indiana, founded her company during challenging times. In the mid-2000s, not only was the housing market tough but, Sterling says, “I had to reinvent myself after a divorce when I was 50.”

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Loren Wood Builders: Where the Unusual Is Now Usual

Like a lot of people, Loren Wood, a native of Danville, Illinois, originally came to Bloomington to attend Indiana University, where he earned degrees in secondary education and math. But it was during his summers off, while working construction jobs, that he found his true passion.

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Startup Ladies, A Place For Women Entrepreneurs

Kristen Cooper founded Startup Ladies—an organization that, according to its website, “identifies, educates, connects, and increases investment in women entrepreneurs starting up and scaling businesses”—in Indianapolis in 2014. Her goal was to help women create successful businesses “from idea to market to growth.”

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Long Leather Works A Quiet Success Story

Forty years ago, Mike Long walked into a Florida leather shop and asked for a job. The owner asked if he knew how to make sandals. When he said no, the owner replied, “Yes, you do,” and, soon enough, he did. “I found it very easy,” Long says.

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Switchyard Brewing: Open for Business (at last!)

In May, after much anticipation and a few false starts, Switchyard Brewing Company officially became part of the Bloomington craft beer community. The grand opening, originally scheduled for last winter, showcased the extensive renovation of the former Jake’s Nightclub building at 419 N. Walnut into a brewery and taproom that is best described as rustic-industrial—polished concrete floors, limestone bar, rough-hewn lumber trim, stainless-steel brewing equipment, and plenty of natural light.

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Time to Sign Up for YMCA’s Annual Corporate Challenge

When the Monroe County YMCA hosted its first Corporate Challenge in 1985, it attracted 10 companies and a total of 200 employees. Last year, 27 companies brought 900 people to compete in 35 individual and team events. Among those participating were Cook Group, Baxter, IU Credit Union, Catalent Biologics, and Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation.

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A Little Spencer Candy Store Hits Big Time with Fudge O’Bits

One night five years ago, Kristi Risk woke from a dream with an idea and popped out of bed to write it down. That idea became Fudge O’Bits, bite-size pieces of chocolate-coated fudge. Today, the tiny treats are the centerpiece of Diamond K Sweets and More, 109 S. Main St. in Spencer. The business launched in 2015 and was named the 2016 Owen County Business of the Year.

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The Cade: A Place to Imbibe, Play Games, and ‘Geek Out’

A sign posted above the wooden bar at The Cade reads, “Play like a kid, but act like an adult.” That typifies the mindset of Jeremy Black, who co-owns the new arcade bar with his fiancée, Chelsea Long. Black says he created the bar to give people a place to enjoy a drink while they play arcade, board, and card games—and, essentially, “geek out.” 

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B-Start: Program to Help Local Tech Entrepreneurs Succeed

In March, 11 local tech founders—hoping to win cash and greater visibility for their startups—will pitch ideas ranging from long-distance ride-sharing to a personal carbon offset exchange to a panel of judges. Hyperlocal and much friendlier, Demo Day is kind of like Shark Tank—sans sharks and snark. The big day is also the culmination of Bloomington’s 22-week-long B-Start program. 

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