Last week I had the privilege to attend the American Small Business Championship symposium in Dallas.
Huge thanks to you and your support during the contest earlier this year, Arthlin was named a state champion (see the blog post about this here) and the all-expenses paid trip was part of the prize. It was an incredible experience on all levels. The best part: I learned SO many things that will help me better serve YOU.
I arrived at the Joule Hotel in the evening. The venue is impressive. They own a large collection of artwork displayed all over the hotel and even outside in a garden. (See the 30 ft eyeball a little further below)
Business owners received a warm welcome from the SCORE foundation: a gift bag with filled with snacks, refreshments and Hal Shelton’s newest book “The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan”.
The view of the city from the room was exhilarating. (Keep in mind that I'm used to a relaxing Maine lifestyle) ;)
I had some free time to walk around and explore this lively city.
I grabbed a quick bite on the way and headed back to the hotel for the roof top pool (which was located down the hall from my room – WIN!).
It felt good to move after a full day of travels. And I was so excited about the next day that I needed to burn some energy somehow to have a shot at falling asleep later. 😉 It was beautiful to look at the city lights in the night from there.
Thursday was the big day of the symposium.
I met the other business champions in the ballroom for breakfast. We had about an hour to chat and introduce each other. I could already tell that the day was going be fantastic, what a friendly group of people! Each person had a unique story to share, different successes and different challenges. We exchanged ideas and tips to help each other’s businesses grow.
Nancy Churilla Skee from The Olde Square Inn Bed and Breakfast, Me, Tristan Corriveau from The One Gallon Soap Company, Valerie Gooding from New Castle Dance & Music Academy
Giselle Chapman: Secrets of Top Performers
Betsy Dougert: Publicity and Media Pitching 101:
Ron Cates: Grow with Digital Marketing
The symposium ended with a gift card prizes presentation:
Gift card prize presented by Resa Kierstein, Vice President of the SCORE Foundation.
Sam’s Club awarded us with a $1000 gift card to help Arthlin grow. This generous gift will be used to set up a 3rd workstation in the studio (Hey you! We're hiring!) and to purchase a laptop which will be convenient in the studio for photo editing, graphics design and day to day tasks. It’ll also be an asset at shows: our customers will have the option to be measured for custom made jewelry and be able to place their order on the laptop.
Group shot of the Eastern Region Business Champions
We ended this perfect day with a Tex-Mex dinner at the Iron Cactus where we continued networking. I went to bed that night with my brain boiling with ideas and excited to get back into the studio!
Time to get back to the airport very early in the am. I was in great company with Victoria Levine from Babies at the Barre, a mompreneur like me who was also traveling away from her toddler overnight for the first time, and Tristan Corriveau from The One Gallon Soap Company, fellow Maine champion.
Again, I want to thank all of you for the incredible opportunity and for your votes during the contest. To give back to you, we'll host weekly giveaways on Instagram in May. There's still time to enter the first one (ends 5/5/2017): Giveaway
I also want to thank the SCORE Foundation and Sam's Club for planning all of this for us small business owners. I'll never forget this trip and the amazing people that I got to meet. Time to put all this new knowledge to use - let's take Arthlin to the next level!
This week is Small Business Week! Remember to support your local Small Business owners.
Ever seen the meme "When you support a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance"?
This is true. :)
Check out these small business champions' websites:
Full list of winners here
Babies at the Barre: http://www.babiesatthebarre.com
Jill John's: http://www.jill-johns.com
Life Butta: http://www.lifebutta.com
Nature Scapes: http://www.naturescapespro.com
New Castle Dance and Music Academy: http://newcastledanceacademy.com
The Olde Square Inn: http://oldesquareinn.com
The One Gallon Soap Company: http://www.theonegallonsoapcompany.com
ZZZ Bears: http://zzzbears.com
And these handmade businesses friends from my mastermind group:
Living Life Rosie: http://livingliferosie.com
Rosemarie makes vinyl shirts, mugs and decals along with planner stickers and accessories.
Nelson Creations: http://www.nelsoncreations.com
Cherrie makes gemstones and stained glass pieces.
Get free small business advice with SCORE: https://www.score.org