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#54 Prosper.com interview with CEO Chris Larsen

Chris_larsen_prosper_2It was a privilege to speak with Chris Larsen about Prosper, especially in light of all the news about the banking industry these days. Chris offers compelling information to explain the power and direction of peer-to-peer lending and how it benefits both the investor and the borrower and will hopefully give the credit card industry a run for their money. Also, for those of us with web ideas there are loads of lessons on how to build and share an idea so it catches on with others. Enjoy this informative look at Prosper.


#54 Interview with Chris Larsen of Prosper

Mortgage Innovations, Capital Connection


Hello, my name is Charles Chedester and I am a Finance Consultant with Mortgage Innovations, LLC and Capital Connection, LLC.  I pride myself in providing Reliable and Responsible Financing Options for both my Residential and Commercial Customers.  I am the Vice President of Mortgage Innovations and Capital Connection with our offices located in Windsor Heights at 6900 University Avenue, Suite 115.

My background in Financial Advising and Accounting gives me the unique ability to approach your short and long term goals from different angles.  Depending on your specific situation, I can and will help you with credit education and repair, debt management, purchase of a new property, refinancing of your existing property or the building of your dream home.  I also make sure to work with your current accountant, insurance agent and financial adviser to help insure you are taking the most beneficial path to achieving your goals.

“Every person and business has their own comfort zones.  It isn’t my job to change them, but to make sure you understand the options available and the differences associated with each.”

Helping You Find Reliable & Responsible Financing Options!

dsmBUZZ perk: Free credit and debt analysis by appointment.

Charles D. Chedester, CRMS*, BFC**
Vice President
Residential & Commercial Financing


Mortgage Innovations, LLC
Capital Connection, LLC
6900 University Avenue
Suite 115
Windsor Heights, IA 50311

Trashy Women,

ThreetrashywomenMay 3, Pure Paper - Presents an exclusive trunk show featuring the recycled art of 3 Trashy Women. Saturday, May 3 from 3 to 6 p.m. these women will showcase their unique brand of recycled art. Meet the artists and see their wonderful greeting cards made from salvaged bits and pieces. Linda Mason Hunter, Gerrianne Jordan and Gail Ann Pace are 3 Trashy Women. Close friends and artists, these ladies joined their collective forces to create one of a kind cards. Each card is its own piece of art: perfect for sending or framing. Contact Barb for questions at barb@pure-paper.com or 255.3533.

photo by Perry Struse

Absolutely Clean Residential And Commercial, LLC

Absolutely Clean Windows * owner Chad Kovac Central Iowa based out of Ankeny. Voted Ankeny's Best! Serving Central Iowa.

*phone 515.771.9148 www.absolutelycleanwindows.com

Acrc_whiteonblack_withdesc  Chad Kovac of Absolutely Clean Windows offers window cleaning, gutter cleaning, driveway and sidewalk cleaning, building/home exterior power washing, and wooden deck and fence resurfacing. Services are 100% guaranteed. All window cleaning includes screens, sills and sashes.  We also provide housekeeping and janitorial services.

"Our window cleaning service includes screens, sills and sashes. We clean the entire window and when we clean the screens, that means we remove the screens, scrub them with our soap and water,  and rinse and dry them before reinstalling them into the windows. This is above and beyond what many of my competitors do."

A great gathering for quarterly April dsmBUZZers

Wow! What a great evening we had at B & B Restaurant and Bar with several people in attendance for the quarterly gathering of dsmBUZZ merchants! A sublime evening in late April with unusually nice weather and a room that opens onto a street-level patio. We sat in the back huddled over appetizers, fish tacos, and drinks and talked the evening away.

Thanks to Larry Lehmer of When Words Matter and his wife Linda, thanks to Angela Williams of The Great Frame Up, Andrew Schwarz of Infinity Financial Group, Christian Connett of eSolutions interactive, Brian Hobbs who made a guest appearance until business picked up, Mike Templeton of dosovo, and Sandy Eimers of balance yoga lounge. We had great discussions about what is working in marketing, a little tech talk about Twitter, and just some great relationship building time together. A shout out also to Curtis Malone ThinkMalone who was sitting at a nearby table and made an introduction.

It was great to see so many people and visit and learn some thoughts and ideas. Sandy and Angela both shared some great tips on things that have helped them build their business.

dsmBUZZers will strike again in June. Hope to see you there.


#53 Tea blending is good business

Desireenelsonlavenderloungetea This interview with Desiree Nelson of Lavender Lounge Tea Company tells a story of how to engage and delifght customers to return loyally for more. She owns two locations of her tea salon based in California and also a website where people can find unique blends and many resources all for the love of tea.

Desiree is truly passionate about loose leaf tea and blending but what is so interesting is the way she has built a base of return customers spreading across demographics. There is good information here for anyone who is looking to capture and keep the attention of others.

You'll notice that someone was desperate to call me a few times during this podcast and it runs a bit longer than usual but if you are all about the story this one is a keeper.

#53 Desiree Nelson Lavender Lounge Tea Company

The Coffee Barn donates coffee to our troops

CoffeebarnimageJust an additional heads up. I visited with Carl and his wife this past week at the Cofee Barn Roasterie. What a neat couple! Carl tells a terrific story that will be featured in the summer newsletter of Small Business Buzz when we'll be covering businesses based in Altoona for that issue.

In the meantime, Carl mentioned that he is providing free coffee to our troops overseas with a special interest in getting coffee to those folks stationed overseas but wants to get it especially to those local people. Please go to the Coffee Barn website to learn more.

Carl Fields
Buy your Great Iowa Wines here!
The Coffee Barn Roasterie
120 First Ave North, Suite G
Altoona, IA 50009

growth for merchants, civic deeds

BagEver After Bridal is Growing  and has to move: Susan Sutherland says: "Even though I've only been in business 6 weeks, I've outgrown my location and will be moving this weekend to 513 Elm St, West Des Moines.  Still in Valley Junction, but a more shopper -friendly locale.  I have over 450 items in the boutique, including wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, prom, mother of the bride dresses, flower girl dresses, veils, jewelry, and within the next month I will be getting anywhere from 100 to perhaps over 300 additional dresses from a closed business."

Angie's Kids Zone - Brian Sweeney reports that the store is expanding and he and Angie have created an enchanting area on the mezzanine level of their unique shop. Come and see the doll houses, doll house furniture, kitchen sets, toy chests, activity tables, and the other wonderful toys. The space will allow for little ones to play and sample the items. Located at 228 5th St. in WDM Valley Junction.

Michelle Hinrichs of Michelle's Maternity and Nursery Nook in Indianola has recently been awarded the Golden Key Award by the Indianola Fine Arts Commission. I've met this woman and she is truly a dynamo. Michelle is involved in many projects including the PTO for her son's school, facilitates the children's fashion show that takes place at Ridiculous Days in Indianola, and is the brainchild behind a new banner project that will be launched in June to beautify and promote the Indianola Town Square. More to come on this as the event to unfurl the project gets closer. To visit the shop go to 104 1/2 North Howard in Indianola on the Square.

Golf Etc for Women is hosting a Hole in One Competition with a chance to compete and win a significant cash prize. Those who make the second round will participate in the Hole-in-One Shoot Out on May 3. To find out more please stop in at the shop located at West Glen Town Center 1-35 at Mills Civic Pkwy #235, WDM, Ia. 50266, phone 226-2530.

Quarterly Connecting of dsmBUZZers on April 22, at B & B Restaurant and Bar on Beaverdale Ave. in the Beaverdale area. This is an opportunity to talk with your merchant neighbors and build relationships. I'll be hanging there to visit with whoever can come from 6 to 8 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Meet Me April 22!

GlassofwineJust a quick post to dsmBUZZers, dsmBUZZ members, and dsmBUZZ sympathizers. We'll be meeting at B & B Restaurant and Bar on Tuesday April 22, at 6 p.m. This is a quarterly gathering of all interested in dsmBUZZ, small business and buy local. I'll hang for an hour or so to see who all can come.

I'll admit that the quarterly coffees have not been well attended up to this point but maybe an evening gig will work better? In any case, I'll be sitting there with my glass of Cabernet ready to talk about business, community issues, our neighborhoods, whatever is of interest to those who collect.

Hope to see you there!

photo by robsmith-qld powered by flickr

#52 Inventive productions owner RJ McHatton - lessons here in marketing!

Barbara Wood from Green City in the Sun, the quote: "When the dead are forgotten they have died twice." 

Rj_mchatton_and_daughter_crissyBased in Washington state RJ McHatton is an award winning documentarian with 20 years of experience that led him to create Inventive productions 3 years ago. Inventive Productions works to help individuals, companies, and organizations preserve their history on film. Check out trailers for some of his work here.

RJ talks about learning the hard way the audience they needed to market to and what really worked for a marketing strategy. Tell me are we surprised? He shares some great stories and ideas on creating a niche and then marketing it effectively. This interview is proof that lessons can be learned from hearing about other entrepreneurial experiences.

#52 RJ McHatton Interview - Inventive Productions

or call 515-274-6703.


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