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Want them to stay? Invite them to leave.

Smash Mike Draper relays great information about smash, a wholesale and retail clothing, graphic, and web design shop, located in Des Moines' East Village. He is young, insightful, and business savvy. MikeD shares ideas on how to start and sustain a business working with the more eclectic communities.

Also, a special note to Governor Culver and all of us helicopter parents, a counter-intuitive notion on how to really invite our young people to come back to Iowa to live....someday. Take a listen when you have 30 minutes somewhere in your day.

Download smash_interview.wma

Thanks for stopping by!

What is your peeve? Interview with Jan Davis of Grounds

Groceryline Recently I've received feedback regarding a blog or two. It is exhilarating and frightening at the same time to learn that I have real people who are taking a few minutes of their time to read what I write. I'm honored and I feel responsible too. Thank you.

So today just because I am curious about you.I'm going to share a little idiosyncrasy--a pet peeve of sorts and see what you think.

Here is the scenario. I'm standing in a line waiting to check out with purchases, usually at the grocery store. So my turn comes along and I stand talking with the cashier and listening to the bleep, bleep, bleep as products make their way across the scanner. Then the final piece, the swipe of my card and the submitting of my precious pin.   

Now here is the point where I always wait to see what my line neighbor is going to do. Will they saddle right up next to me as I finish with the cashier or wait back giving me space to gather my bags? I'm a space person and my personal preference is that the person behind me should wait until I'm at the end of the counter grabbing my bags. That is what I do when I'm the line neighbor, I wait. I like the distance because it makes me feel comfortable and recognizes my claustrophobia issue.

The point is that if I feel my "space" is being invaded I will sometimes do silly things like turn my back to the person or linger. I told you it was silly. Other than protecting my pin and recognizing some sort of perceived etiquette I know this is more about personal preference. That's why when I was chatting with some guy the other day on the line and he said he goes crazy waiting for the person in front of him to move along I thought, "Okay, this is really my personal pet peeve.

So what about you? What little thing do you prefer that sort of rocks you when it goes askew? Glasses up or down in the cupboard or vegetables totally isolated from the meat on your plate? Isn't it wonderful to have the luxury of even thinking about such things? What is your peeve?

Yesterday I had a terrific interview with Jan Davis of Grounds for Celebration. Nice lady, great attitudeCupofcoffee  and some lessons there for those looking to start such a business or wanting just to get to know Jan. I don't know if it is helpful to you but you can listen here or just head over direct to blog talk radio via the button on the side panel.

Download grounds_for_celebration.wma

Finally just a few other things to share. Do you ever compare your work style with others and feel apologetic? I know I do. Mine is scattered, frantic, high energy for me and I like it that way. But I always compare myself against the left brain, methodical person and find myself lacking. Take a look at at Tony D. Clark's Success From the Nest post on creative process. It is really okay to be different and I'm learning that a lot these days.

Now just to perk you up no matter what you do to earn your keep. Timothy Johnson of Carpe Factum has an awesome short post on finding the purpose of it all each and every day. Take a read and be inspired. I know I was. I like your writing style Timothy. His posts are worth a read.

Thanks for checking in! Knowing there is a true "you" out there inspires me to keep working to improve.

grocery photo by DCE, coffee by Brenda Anderson, powered by flickr

Diaper Du-Dee

Owner: Andrea Foley, phone 440-3690, web site: www.desmoinesdiaperservice.com

Diaperdudeelogo_2 I started Diaper Du-Dee Diaper Service in order to provide more Des Moines parents with the option to cloth diaper. A lot of families choose not to because of the need to launder the diapers, and the initial investment of the diapers themselves. A diaper service eliminates all excuses for parents NOT to use cloth. Plus, every major city has multiple diaper services and there are none available in the state of Iowa! I wanted to help get Des Moines on the path to being greener. I am passionate about helping people and being an entrepreneur.I am a huge do-it-yourselfer and just finished my first year of Graduate school at Iowa State for Interior Design.


The ups and downs of promotion

VjfarmersWe're on the standby list for the Valley Junction Farmer's market. I got my call on Tuesday a couple of weeks ago for the opening Thursday of the market. I was positioned between veteran merchants who knew how to set up a table with displays. My table had cards and some newsletters but nothing enticing.

It was a beautiful night. Smells from food merchants wafted all around and people (including me) grazed. David even stopped by on his new recumbent bike (he jokes it is his "babe magnet mobile") and visited. He helped me set up my banner so that passersby actually saw something to capture their attention. It was fun to visit with people and I even sold a few memberships. There will be some cool canvas bags soon that will be great to have for this sort of thing.

Rejection is tough. I asked a business that I like in East Village to join the dsmbuzz network. They considered it and then got back to me with a polite no. The owner explained that they have a methodical approach to their marketing that they maintain. Okay. I sort of understand but thanks for being nice with your no.

I also asked another business in East Village to join, one I have not gone to myself but someone recommended I should contact. It was a "cold call" really though as I had no introduction. My process of inquiry usually starts with a letter and then a follow up call and/or a visit. In this particular situation there were two business owners. I met one of them briefly when I dropped off my card. A couple of days later I called and ended up speaking with the other business owner who sounded prickly. I went ahead and mailed them some information and followed up with one more call. This time, I could feel the bristle in the owner's voice. He was simply not receptive to joining dsmBUZZ. Even worse though, he said they looked at dsmBUZZ and just were not interested. ouch. okay.

I had a segment in the "You should know" portion of the Register. Through that piece, and a referral, I got a call from a gentleman who was sort of elusive as to what he does and who he was. He quasi-explained himself and then proceeded to make a series of suggestions as to where I should focus and who I might contact. He pointed me toward options such as a TV station advertising deep coupon discounts of locally owned restaurants. He also suggested some network marketing team program. Somewhere in the conversation he bragged that he never pays full price for anything. I got off the phone and felt immediate frustration. dsmBUZZ is not all about discounts. It is about a gift of thanks and community building.

At first I was angry but then I realized that this was an opportunity smacking me in the head. If I'm not clear I have to fix it so that I am. If I'm being pegged for one thing, I need to re-focus and make sure my message stresses what dsmBUZZ is REALLY about.

There were also some fabulous businesses who responded with interest and joined the network due to the article. Once down I found myself up and high with enthusiasm again.

I believe that a lot of individuals care about the importance of locally owned business and if I continue to do what I can, offering my efforts for free, and asking consumers for only $10 that people will see the value not only that the merchants offer but the value of the collective voice of small business and consumers united.

As if to affirm my conviction, I got an email from a new member yesterday and she says, "Either way.... the $10 alone is worth supporting locally. I try to go locally on everything that I can. I am very happy to see people like you and a support system for Des Moines!"

Thank you new member! It is all very good, both no and yes.


Owner Mary K. Evans, 3200 Ingersoll Ave. Suite B, phone 277.1120, squiggleme@mac.com

Squigglesmary_2 I am Mary Evans, the “shoppe keeper” at Squiggles, the store featuring original art and gifts to share with a whimsical flair. It has been a long-time dream of mine to have a place “in the neighborhood” where people can pop in and find wonderful little gifts to share with someone special, or a something fun and pretty just to enjoy for themselves.

The original art theme at Squiggles goes along with my philosophy about people: we are all individual works of art. The items we select reflect what is unique and wonderful about each of us.
There is no better feeling than to give a little something to a dear friend or family member “just because.” I pride myself on the fact that at Squiggles, anyone can experience that “gift of giving” feeling with the range of small and large items for purchase. Gift certificates are also available so that people can select the gift that suits them.Squigglesbug_2

My husband and I are raising our three children in the neighborhood. Two of our kids are at Roosevelt and Central Academy, and one is at Callanan middle school. Working, living and playing in this area of Des Moines is a dream come true for me, and I share that joy in Squiggles.   

Angie's Kids Zone

Owners: Angie and Brian Sweeney, 228 5th St. W.D.M., 277-6832, www.angieskidszone.com

AngieslogoFounded in 2006, Angie’s Kids Zone is dedicated to providing high quality wooden toys and games, puzzles, plush animals and other fun items to stimulate imaginative and educational play.  Our collection includes items from Melissa & Doug, Kid Kraft, Guidecraft, Gund and others.  You can find toys and puzzles based on recognizable characters including Veggie Tales, Sesame Street and Thomas and Friends, just to name a few.

Angie’s Kids Zone began as a home based internet retail business so Angie could continue to be a stay at home mom.  The business outgrew the house in less than a year and in the process of making plans to move the business out of house, we decided to create a location to not only for order processing but also to serve local customers with a retail storefront.Brian_and_angie_2

We believe that Valley Junction is an ideal location for our store.  It’s a family friendly environment with events and attractions for all ages.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

Get to know Brian Sweeney of Angies kidszone. What they do, Their customers, memories of Des Moines, why buy local

Music for audio "What do you mean by that?" from his new Skywalk CD, by Scott Davis.

Internet Solver

Owner Dave Weis, 11308 Aurora Ave, Urbandale, IA  phone 224-9229

Internet_solver_logogreen200_2 Located in Des Moines, Internet Solver is the one-stop-shop for all your technology needs.  We specialize in Internet Service, Telephone Service, communications systems, web hosting, network security, network and system administration and onsite consulting.
Internet Solver offers three types of DSL service to meet the differing needs of our clients:  Premier, Standard and Extended area coverage—with speeds up to 25 megabit per second!
All of our packages include these great features:
• Free Installation
• Free Technical Support
• Spam Filtering
• 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee

Contact us today to qualify your area!   Office (515)224-9229  Fax (515)224-0829
And be sure to check out our website:  www.internetsolver.com

An interview with Rita Perea - The Business of Change

SpringflowersWith the foilage of spring comletely sprung one turns their attention to thoughts of change. Is that how the saying goes? Everyone has stuff to work on and finding the right advocate to help you find your way can be tough. Rita Perea, whose vocation is all about finding the successful path to where you want to go shares her process. She also helps enlighten us on how to find the coach that best fits for our needs. Take a listen to this really excellent and insightful interview with Rita. You can also hit the blogtalkbutton on the side panel.

Download rita_perea_help_to_change.wma

image by trancemist powered by flickr


Sarah Reid owner, Des Moines, contact at sarah@wallypop.net, phone 274-4676

Wrap1_2 I own a small business from my home called Wallypop. I sew cloth diapers, diaper covers, baby slings and carriers, and lots of neat items for non-parents, as well, like reusable grocery bags, Sweet Sweeper floor cleaning cloths, and reusable fabric gift bags.

I started making diapers and carriers for my own little one, then for some friends, before deciding to start a business selling them. Cloth diapers are so soft, so healthy, and so much more economical than disposables, so the decision to use cloth was a no-brainer for me. Then I discovered the wonderful world of baby slings - so much more comfortable than the widely-available baby carrying contraptions, and definitely easier on the back than carrying a baby in an infant seat or even in arms. Cloth carriers keep baby close, without bulky padding between you. The carriers enabled me to tend to my baby's needs while also getting other things done - like the dishes, cleaning, or even just going for a walk. I just love sharing these products with other parents, because they truly make such a difference!

I have slowly added other items over the years. I generally just add new items that I myself use. I was using cloth grocery bags, and thought my customers might like them, for example.

This is my husband and son using one of the carriers.

Sarah Reid owner, Des Moines, contact at sarah@wallypop.net, phone 274-4676


Teal Cakery

Contact Jen Griffin at Jen@tealcakery.com, phone 202.0976 Des Moines

Tealcakeryone_2 I remember as a child making cookies every Valentine"s Day, Halloween and Christmas with my dad.  There were always cakes around the house and sweets.  We were definitely a sugar family.  My love of baking comes from my father he was the one that made those holiday sugar cookies with us.  We'd mix up the dough, roll them out, and frost them.  I was a bit of a perfectionist, not too much icing or it will run all over and the colors needed to be just right.  This led me to take on a cake decorating class back in 1998, I'd do cakes for fun, just family and friends.  They tasted good and looked good.  I then went on to graduate from The Cooking and hospitality Institute in Chicago in 2005 with a degree in Baking and Patisserie.  I graduated at the top of my class and moved back to Des Moines to spread my love of sweets.  I do weddings,Tealcakerytwo  cheesecakes, layer cakes, etc.  You name it, I'll bake it.  I love giving people want they want, not only looking good, but tasting great.  We all eat with our eyes first, but it's the taste of the product seals the deal!


or call 515-274-6703.


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