Can’t Take It With You #3: Cecily Hintzen, Memorial Planner

Cecily Hintzen is in her 50s, an age where many start casting longing glances at the idea of retirement. But earlier this year she left the job she’d held for a decade, at a hospital pathology lab, and started her own business, Pathfinders Memorial Planning. Her new gig is twofold: She guides grieving families in organizing loved ones’ memorial services (doing as much as full-on event planning, or as little as producing remembrance slideshows) and  she works with not-dead-yet people to make their own end-of-life wishes known before it’s too late.

How Two Friends Turned Their Online Shop Into a Brick and Mortar Store

High school friends Yoko Kumano and Kayoko Akabori started Umami Mart as a food blog in 2007 and now have a brick and mortar store in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here's how they got to where they are today.

An Interview with “The King of Pops”

I stopped by the King of Pops stand on the corner of North Avenue and North Highland Avenue in Atlanta, Ga. one weekend to talk with entrepreneur and popsicle-slinger Steven Carse about how he began his now-thriving business.

From Librarian to Small Business Owner: A Chat with The Written Nerd’s Emma McElfresh

In 2009, Emma McElfresh opened her first Etsy shop while working as a librarian for a private boarding school. McElfresh's second shop, The Written Nerd, was born when she started to repurpose old library catalog cards into jewelry—which sold very quickly.

Earning a Living as a Floral Designer: An Interview With Ladybird Poppy’s Sarah Tedford

I first heard about Sarah Tedford of Ladybird Poppy when I started dating my husband in late 2008. The two were friends from high school, and he hired her to design a floral arrangement for me when he asked me officially to be his girlfriend. Sarah was just on the verge of starting her own business as a floral designer at the time and now, more than five years later, my husband and I are happily married and Sarah’s business is thriving.

Making a Living in the Indie App Economy

Here are five common ways for an app developer to make money.

The Cost of Being a Vendor at a Food Festival

In March, we applied, and somehow finagled our way into an upcoming festival in Cleveland that will happen in May. This is what it cost.

Probably One of the Last Names You Should Give Your Shop

I just read this story in India Ink, the Times blog on India, and would have believed it if you told me it was from an Onion article. Because the story went on to say that other businesses in India have also named their business after the Nazi, for example, Hitler's Den, a pool parlor. WHAT? Also this: "He added that he did not believe that Hitler was 'such a bad person.'" Again, WHAT?

We Bought An Ice Cream Store

Last spring, my boyfriend and I moved to Cleveland from Los Angeles and decided to start a small ice cream business. I wrote a piece here describing how we were going to try to sell our ice cream at a food festival, and detailed the costs of being a vendor for two days. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write an update.

After our first event in May, we were booked six days a week, sometimes multiple times a day, at different food truck events, festivals and farmer’s markets. We made ice cream on the seventh day. We’ve been fortunate to receive an incredible amount of support from the Cleveland community, including a “best ice cream” award from a local magazine. Our business plan was to make more money than we spent, and we broke even on everything, including the purchase of secondhand commercial  ice cream making equipment for approximately $8,000, before summer ended.

In September of 2013, a local ice cream shop in a walkable neighborhood of Cleveland closed. We took a look at the place, and liked both the area and the 60-year ice-cream history of the building. But was it too soon to go from our first event in May to opening a brick-and-mortar just a few months later?

(Spoiler alert: The banks think it is.)

How Meghann Rosales Started Nails Y’all, Her Nail Art Business

Meghann Rosales's one-woman nail art business, Nails Y'all, opened in 2011. She first made her name doing pop-up manicure tables at Austin ladies' nights, and opened her own studio in late 2012.

Etsy, Regretsy, Protesty

When small business owners become big business owners.