Small town business success is difficult at the best.
While that is a depressing statement, it is a sad fact.
However, most conscientiously aware of the gloomy proven statistic, Osage County Economic Development is going above and beyond to assist entrepreneurs in developing rural enterprises that will continue to thrive.
“It has been very positive. I’m pleased to have worked closely with three Osage County women who have developed and are operating somewhat unique businesses with potential for long term survival and growth,” said Stephanie Watson, enthusiastic director of the office headquartered in Lyndon.
The Osage County family ventures include Flowers on the Trail, owned by Kerri Davis at Lyndon; Dulce’s Photos, owned by Dulcelina Delekta at Burlingame; and The Calico Oven, owned by Rose Hearn at Lyndon.
“Kerri had a dream to own and operate a floral shop and contacted my office for assistance while she was completing an online floral design course and doing arrangements for friends and family,” Watson recalled.
Having worked in several Topeka floral shops to gain additional knowledge, Davis started working out of her home. “The online wire service floral industry grew quickly, and Kerri realized a window front would better serve her needs. However, she didn’t yet have the financial capabilities to do that,” Watson reflected.
“My office offers free confidential business consultation in partnership with the Emporia State University Kansas Small Business Development Center. Osage County Economic Development has also created a revolving loan fund to assist new and existing businesses with low interest gap financing. Flowers on the Trail is a recipient of the Osage County E-Community revolving loan,” Watson related proudly.
“Kerri was able to use the loan to open Flowers on the Trail in a building that had been vacant for several years. With her husband, Scott, they renovated that structure, and it is a beautiful new business for downtown Lyndon at 520 Topeka Avenue. This is a win win for Osage County,” Watson proclaimed.
“Osage County Economic Development, Network Kansas and Emporia State University KSBDC have made a commitment to cultivating an entrepreneurial environment by identifying and developing resources to help new entrepreneurs start or grow businesses,’ Watson pointed out.
The Network Kansas E-Community Partnership has grown from six communities in 2007, to 39 last year. “More than $7.5 million have been raised, generating an estimated $41.9 million of investment in rural businesses across Kansas,” Watson calculated.
Dulcelina Delekta began working with Osage County Economic Development last year to increase networking opportunities.
“After her husband’s job transfer, Dulcelina moved with her family from Texas to Burlingame and purchased a country home on five acres at 426 East Santa Fe. It has a park-like setting which allows Dulcelina to capture beautiful photos for her developing Dulce’s Photos business,” Watson said.
“Dulcelina creates the most stunning photographs and is anxious to capture precious moments at her unique studio or go on locations for weddings and all occasions. She has participated in special photos sessions at several public events, and is very generous in donating her time and energy to schools and the Burlingame community,” Watson credited.
With five children, one grandchild and three more on the way, Rose Hearn serves as second deputy in the Osage County Register of Deeds Office. “Rose is a very busy woman, yet she and her husband are very devoted to their children and grandchildren. But, she still operates The Calico Oven out of their home at 1066 East 245th, during evenings and weekends in her spare time,” Watson said.
“Rose does it all from wedding cakes to showers, birthdays, anniversaries, sports graduations, you name it. She has even made diaper cakes for baby showers. Rose obviously enjoys the challenges of the construction, and the satisfaction of the finished delicious tasting products,” Watson credited.
These three new young Osage County businesses will be part of The Bridal Crawl on Saturday June 22, from noon until six o’clock in Topeka,” Watson announced.
“The Bridal Crawl is a unique way to meet bridal vendors while touring actual event spaces in Topeka. Information can be found on the internet at www.thebridalcrawl.com,” she said.
Phone numbers for the young Osage County businesses include Flowers on the Trail, 785-828-4101; Dulce’s Photos, 785-501-4083; and The Calico Oven, 785-215-4200.
Additional information about those entrepreneurs and assistance in developing businesses is available by contacting Watson at 785-828-3242, or firstname.lastname@example.org.