This summer we’re celebrating our customers in what we call the Summer Of Small Business! Our CEO Noah Breslow will travel across the country to meet with and learn about the personal journeys of our customers. We’re spotlighting the hard work and achievements of our customers all summer long – stick to this page for updates from June through September.
Summer of Small Business Roadshow:
And don’t miss our tips on how you can make this summer your business’ best one yet – scroll down for details!
The William Everett Group | Chicago, IL
Noah hopped on a plane and headed over to Chicago to visit our July Customer of the Month, The William Everett Group. Founder, President and CEO Ellen Rozelle Turner spent 15 years in sales, marketing, management and technology in both the public and private sectors prior to starting her own company. She is a true entrepreneur and prolific job creator, employing over 100 consultants and is now expanding the business’ services to St. Louis, MO.
It is truly a family affair at The William Everett Group. The firm is named after Ellen’s grandfather, and it was her experiences with him as a young woman that boosted her confidence and business acumen. “I was around 15 when I used to go with him to the buyers to pick out shoes for women and then I worked in his shoe store with him. There were certain skills that he didn’t have and I helped him with that. I think it gave me confidence that, if you want to do something, do something. It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or a boy.” Two of Ellen’s children, Blair and Carlton Jr., also work alongside their mom.
Watch Noah’s visit with The William Everett Group:
Blues Barbershop | Holladay, UT
July was all about Utah! Noah’s first stop in Utah took him to Holladay’s Blues Barbershop, run by husband and wife team Jerone and Christi Wedig. The shop combines a traditional barber experience with live music on the front porch and local art on the walls. The business name and concept jogged Noah’s memory – as it turns out, Jerone cut Noah’s hair in Seattle decades ago at the barber shop that gave Jerone the idea for his Utah venture. Christi spoke to Noah about how she and Jerone are managing multiple locations, with the bulk of their time in the newer Nashville, TN shop.
Noah was proud to present Christi with the June OnDeck Customer of the Month award, and several dignitaries came by to learn more about Blues Barbershop and the success they’ve had in Holladay.
Watch Noah’s visit with Blues Barbershop:
Grinders 13 | Salt Lake City, UT
It was time for lunch, and Noah visited Grinders 13 owned by Curtis deLagerheim. One Italian ‘grinder’ later, Curtis explained to Noah and the team how Grinders 13 was at one point the only sandwich shop in Salt Lake City – in fact, it’s name for decades was The Original Sub Shop. Curtis worked for the original owners as a kid and then bought out the shop when we was out of the military. Curtis is very proud of his menu. “We’re still doing it old-school. If it wasn’t here in 1973, you’re not gonna find it on the menu.”
Watch Noah’s visit with Grinders 13:
BraBar Boutique | Salt Lake City, UT
The next stop was at BraBar Boutique with owner Soraya Garfield. Soraya is all about empowering women and making them look and feel good. Soraya told Noah that her boutique is the only one in the US that sells Marlies Dekkers lingerie, a Dutch designer. It wasn’t easy to get that unique selling point, though. “We have a salon downtown. And our clients asked for the bras. So we wrote Marlies Dekkers and she said, ‘No, not in Utah’. Then my mom wrote her in Dutch and said, ‘I am a Dutch woman, this will work.’ So, within three months we were her biggest retailer in the U.S.”
Watch Noah’s visit with BraBar Boutique:
Legends Sports Bar | Salt Lake City, UT
The final Salt Lake stop was at Legends Sports Bar with owner Lisa Forman, and joining Noah for this trip was Lendio CEO Brock Blake. The three talked college football, how to keep employees happy and engaged (‘The Legends Family’ as Lisa put it), and opening a second location in Sandy, UT (congrats!). It was a dream of Lisa’s to own a bar that felt like home. “When I was little, I watched Cheers. You know, everybody knows everybody’s name. So, that’s what we’ve done. We take care of our staff and they take good care of the customers. Some of our employees have been with us since day one.”
Watch Noah’s visit with Legends Sports Bar:
Alexandria Music Company | Alex, VA
Noah’s second stop of the summer took him to Alexandria Music Company in Alexandria, VA. Noah, an avid musician in his own right, spoke at length with owner Roger Kronstedt about guitars and pianos.
Roger was happy to note his business’s 25 years providing music to the Alexandria community. He used his OnDeck financing for working capital needs – anything and everything it takes to run a business. That’s a good thing, because Roger offers a wide array of options for his customers – retail sales, instrument rentals, summer camps, and music instruction from one of Roger’s 30 teachers. “The key is to match students up with the correct instructor for their age and style,” Kronstedt said. Teaching students as young as 4 can be a tall (or short!) task, but Roger leans on his daughter, Sanya, for help. “She’s good with the real little kids – ukulele, too,” he said.
Watch Noah’s visit with Alexandria Music Company:
Tea By Two | Bel Air, MD
Noah’s first stop of the summer was Tea By Two, a boutique restaurant in Bel Air, Maryland. Best friends Erin Bradley and Janet Meyers opened the restaurant back in 2001 to bring their passion for tea to the masses. Noah and fellow OnDeckers Jim Larkin, Christin Spradley, and Patrick Cuff joined Erin and Janet for some afternoon tea. Tea by Two was OnDeck’s May Customer of the Month, and Noah was pleased to commemorate the recognition with an award for Erin and Janet.
Cash flow can be challenging for restaurants, and that was true for Tea By Two. We were honored to help Erin and Janet expand their business and increase their product line. They’re now selling scones wholesale to local coffee shops and participating in festivals. The sky’s the limit for these amazing ladies!
Read the full interview with Janet and Erin.
Watch Tea By Two’s testimonial:
Summer of Small Business: Make This Your Business' Best Summer Yet
Businesses often face different financing concerns during the summer, whether they’re a seasonal business or not. Check out some of the ways businesses can use the summer months to their fullest advantage: