This week on the podcast we’re in Bedford, Iowa (pop. 1,440) with Sandy Schubert of Hedgie’s Books, Toys, and More. Sandy and her husband moved to Bedford a little over four years ago. From taking a chance on a new town, to the success of her store, to the way this community has embraced her and her husband, you’ll love hearing Sandy’s story and how this move was so right, in so many ways.
As all citizens of a small town know, our local economies are dependent upon supporting one another – believing in one another. Our staff know this not only from the community banker perspective, but also from the small business owner perspective as they each have their own ventures on the side. The opportunities in our rural communities are plentiful, and it’s beautiful to see prosperity bloom as we believe in ourselves and one another!
The year was 2009. As I bounced on a small seat in the corner of a public transportation bus I saw an advertisement for The Salon Professional Academy. You see, I was attending a university in hopes to become something I wasn’t. It was there my life would be forever changed. My name is Aurilla — or Rilla, as most people in my hometown of Corning know me as, and this is my story.
We’re in Corning, Iowa (pop. 1,635) for the podcast this week with Anne Greenwalt of Carver’s Ridge. Anne is a fifth generation entrepreneur and is sharing how she and her husband Tyson started a boulder engraving business that has since grown into an amazing product line of handcrafted, personalized gifts. They recently moved the entire business to Anne’s hometown of Corning and are loving the small town life there - and Anne’s telling us all about it!
Located just four miles north of Corning, the traffic and the people that Lake Icaria brings through the Corning community helps sustain many of our local and main street businesses. For a community with such a small population we are blessed to have so much to offer! Grocery store, hardware stores, restaurants, and retail stores that will rival communities with a much larger population are thriving here due to the local community support and the support of visitors coming to our community.
"Don't fall in love with it too quickly, we don't know how much this costs," I told Jill when we first laid eyes on what would become Primrose Restaurant almost three years ago. I'm Joel Mahr, and my wife, Jill Fulton, and I are the co-owners of Primrose. We met almost 15 years ago. I was the city kid still trying to find a job I truly liked (let’s be honest, I was lost in the job world). Jill was the farm kid who had moved to the "big" city to find her dream job.
In the Summer of 2016, shortly before the birth of our second child, I broke the news to my wife, Allie, that I wanted to build a carwash in Corning. I’m not sure if it was hormonal delirium or sleep deprivation but she was 100 percent on board from day one. We both loved the idea of how this could enhance the community and surrounding area. Corning is such a unique place that has had so many experiences for our family.
If you travel through the rolling hills of Southwest Iowa, past the corn fields and beyond the bustle of the busy interstate, you may be surprised to discover a small community with a thriving entrepreneurial population and local personality to rival even the largest of cities. Located in the middle of the Omaha/Des Moines/Kansas City triangle, Corning, Iowa is a no-stoplight town overflowing with opportunity, relaxation, and fun.
We’re on the farm outside of Atlantic, Iowa with Michelle Myers of Dirt Road Candle Company for this week’s podcast. Michelle started a side hustle making soy candles - and with scents like Iowa Back Roads, Small Town Gossip, and County Fair - her business has quickly taken off. She’s sharing how she’s built her brand and business, and about her Iowa Farm girl roots and life on the farm.
This week on the podcast we’re with designer Regan Doely of Doe A Deer in Stuart, Iowa (pop. 1,648). Regan’s talking about how she’s grown her business from a side hustle on Facebook into a full product line that’s now being sold by national retailers. She’s also sharing how her handmade-focused brand is inspired by her love for vintage and why she loves to work with small shops and businesses in rural America.
If you’re looking for rural development strategies, then this week’s podcast is for you! We’re sitting down with Chris Deal from Jefferson, Iowa (pop. 4,345) to talk about the amazing revitalization happening here. Chris moved back to his hometown to help with the family business, Deal’s Orchard, but his role in the community has since expanded way beyond that. He has had a key role in the revitalization of Jefferson and some exciting projects happening here.
This week on the podcast we’re sitting down with Jeremy Mahler of The Nineteen14 in Minburn, Iowa. The Nineteen14 is an old railroad depot that Jeremy turned into a restaurant that draws thousands of people each year — mostly through the local bike trail. As a creative and an entrepreneur, Jeremy is always involved in lots of fun projects. He’s also sharing why, after living and traveling all over the world, he decided to return to his roots in small town Iowa.
It's no secret I love to stay busy. I finished my master's degree in nursing education, and still work as a nurse three days a week. However, I needed something to fill a creative void in my life. I needed a side hustle. So here I am, working three days in the clinic, making custom leather, and running a photography business.
Why New Providence? I get asked this regularly. It’s home for me and goodness, I am so thankful every day that I have grown a business in an area full of such supporting people. Everyone in this community treats you like family and they are so positive, always encouraging others, looking for a way to give a helping hand, and celebrating everything and everyone’s accomplishments. Why wouldn’t you want to surround yourself with that everyday?!
One definition of community is, “a feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” In my opinion, New Providence has just that, and other small communities should strive to have the same. Our small size keeps us together, focused, and driven to be successful as a whole. I’m proud to be part of a community that is dedicated to making the place we call home a little better each day.
It was always a dream of ours to open a flower, plant, and gift shop, so I opened The Rustic Rose and am living out our dream! This experience has been amazing. The town of New Providence is an absolutely awesome place to have my business. I couldn’t be more happy with my choice.
This week on the podcast we’re taking you to New Providence, Iowa, where we’re sitting down with Blake Richie, owner of BR Designs. Blake is one of several millennials who has decided to call New Providence home. He’s talking about why he chose this town of 250 people as the place to start his business, why no town is too small for revival, and how he started a county-wide young professionals group to help people learn and connect.
Join us on the farm in rural Madison County, Iowa for this week’s podcast interview with Matt and Naomi Hupton, founders of Pammel Park Coffee Company. Matt and Naomi are sharing about chasing a dream and why they chose Winterset, Iowa as their place to relocate and start a family business - and how it all started with roasting coffee in their garage and a roadside stand with their kids.