Photos by Michael Nemeth
Angie Scott, Owner, Medical Aesthetician, Permanent Cosmetics Professional
6595 Secor Rd., Lambertville, MI
Years in business: 4
My biggest success so far: Exponential business growth in a short amount of time.
How I find focus: Making exercise a priority.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: Don’t expect to be a finished product immediately. Invest back into your business and grow as your business grows.
Alicia Wagner, CPCC, Founder
P.O. Box 1181, Perrysburg
Years in business: 3
My biggest success so far: Every single time a client walks out of my office knowing who they really are for the first time.
How I find focus: I’m a quote dork, so I break out my favorite quotes, or go to my devotional, and that smacks me back to my center.
Words I live by: You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.
Julie Munson, Owner
Years in business: 8
My biggest success so far: Raising four amazing children into adulthood, three who work for Tropical Smoothie Cafe and have partnered as owners with us, and being able to run three successful business with them (we all work well together!).
How I find focus: I set a goal, create a timeline and work toward that goal. I need a goal to keep moving forward and not get sidetracked.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: Do your due diligence. It is important to talk with others in the business, those who are successful and those who are not. Get an idea of the ups and downs, the cost, the time involved, and successes and failures. Make sure you have a realistic projection of cost and sales. Be willing to give up for the sake of the business. Most of all, love what you do!
Dr. Christy Lorton, M.D. &
Dr. Sarah Stierman, M.D., Owners
12780 Roachton Rd. Perrysburg
Years in business: 24, with Dr. Sarah Stierman joining as partner in 2014.
Dr. Christy Lorton, M.D.,
My biggest success so far: Raising four children who are now wonderful well-educated adults;while at the same time starting Dermatology Associates and growing it with the help of my partners.
How I find focus: I put one foot in front of the other and forge ahead- which I do figuratively and literally. I walk for exercise and do a lot of planning and thinking while I walk.
Words I live by: Hard work trumps everything!
Dr. Sarah Stierman, M.D.
My biggest challenge: Achieving work and life balance. Remember your most valuable resource is your time .
How I focus: Spending time with my family and setting aside some “me” time to exercise, read or meet up with a good friend. Keeping a balanced perspective is important.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: Follow your passion—find what drives you to get out of bed in the morning and strive to use that energy in your life’s work. Enthusiasm is infectious!
Pam Lloyd-Camp, Owner
954 Phillips Ave.
Years in business: 8 ½
My biggest challenge: With the variety and the number of suppliers we have, it’s a challenge keeping candy stocked. When we lost our special retro soda supplier a few years back, it was hard not having those special sodas which had been a cornerstone. It took us several years to replace our supplier and I’m overjoyed that we finally have those special beverages back in stock.
Words I live by: Do what you can today, and know that there will be more to do tomorrow.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: Get your spreadsheets and support systems figured out before you get so busy you don’t have time to do it. Make the most of your assets, which might look like flaws in any other business, and have fun. Stay patient and be kind to your employees.
Joani Donovan, Owner, Licensed Massage Therapist
3450 W. Central Ave., Ste. 310
Years in business: 11
My biggest challenge: Finding a balance between work and play.
Words I live by: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Ghandi
My advice for new entrepreneurs: Surround yourself with successful people; make good decisions; don’t look back!
(Sophia Lustig & Sophie’s Sister)
Meredith Sherman, Owner
124 10th St.
Years in business: Sophia Lustig, 79; myself, 2
My biggest challenge: Knowing when to delegate and when to tackle things myself.
Words I live by: Treat others how you would like to be treated.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: Never give up reaching for your dreams; consider challenges as learning opportunities; build a team of experts to help you in specific areas where you are still learning.
Laura Rufenacht, Owner
13554 Mohler Rd. Grand Rapids, OH
Years in business: Started Majestic Oak in 2009, opened the doors 2 years ago.
My biggest challenge: I am one person doing multiple jobs. It takes a lot to market, purchase supplies and take care of the customer, as well as produce a product.
How I find focus: Constant planning, a lot of prayer and an amazing husband.
Words I live by: If it was easy, everybody would do it.
Kaiko Zureich, Owner, President
5517 Shultz Dr., Sylvania
Years in business: 1 ½
My biggest success so far: Customers taking the time to write a customer satisfaction letter.
It tends to be human nature to take the time to complain, but not to compliment. Receiving notes of thanks and acknowledging your employees did a great job is a very rewarding experience. Our vision is to create customer satisfaction and it has to be a vision that everyone on the team sees clearly.
How I find focus: I have found it helpful when I get this way to literally clean off my desk and put one thing at a time in front of me to complete. We get too much in our head and we start feeling overwhelmed with pressure, but I have found this “clearing” to be refreshing and productive.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: I used to think it was all about me and only my work efforts. But you truly can’t do it alone as a business owner. We are only as successful as the team we put together. Be sure your philosophy is known to your employees, treat them the way you’d want to be treated, and do business with integrity at all times. And NEVER let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.
Mary Nyitray, Licensed Optician/Owner
2934 W. Central Ave.
Years in business: 36
My biggest success so far: On a local level, winning the Best of Toledo for Eyewear eight years in a row.
On a national level, being in the National Eyecare Magazine ‘Vision Monday’ in the Executive Section of Best Executive Opticians.
My biggest challenge: People assume small and local businesses are more expensive. In reality, when you compare like products from both places, many small businesses have better quality, better service and better prices.
How I find focus: I pull out my business plan to see if I am still on track.
Paula Brown, Owner
912 Monroe St.
Years in business: 16
My biggest challenge: Adapting to the changes in the retail world. This means I need to keep my customers interested in coming downtown to my shop. My store must always be fresh and current.
Words I live by: Keep on going; don’t overthink.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: To be committed, and to realize it’s hard work. If you can’t start up a business by yourself, don’t do it.
Barrie Howell, President
28315 Kensington Ln, Perrysburg
Years in business: Renhill, 45; myself, 3
My biggest challenge: Dedicating time aside from the day-to-day operations to focus on more strategic initiatives.
How I find focus: With technology distractions, information overload, and constantly seeing new opportunities, it’s not easy to remain focused. A simple to-do list is the most effective way for me to focus on the tasks at hand and assist me in time management and prioritizing my workload.
Words I live by: ‘Knowledge is power,’ and ‘surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.’
Mary Cianci, Owner, Seamstress/Tailor
1242 W. Sylvania Ave.
Years in business: 29
My biggest challenge: What scraps to keep. I never like to throw anything out.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: Love what you do. Work is first. You should enjoy your work so much you’ll do it in your free time. I usually make a quickie skirt once a week before going to work.
Words I live by: If it doesn’t kill me, it will make me stronger.
Autumn Hetzel, Owner/Manager
5758 N. Main St.
Years in business: 3
My biggest success so far: My success lies within all my failures. My biggest success is being here today and making something for myself. Taking a risk to own a bar and making it successful with two great business partners. Having a great husband and family despite the many speed bumps along the way. Being able to look at myself and be happy—That’s my greatest success.
How I find focus: I find my focus by setting goals that I know I can achieve and then setting ones that I know will take time. Having that balance and being able to succeed keeps me motivated to stay focused on my bigger goals.
Words I live by: We all make mistakes and we all have bad days—it’s what makes us human. But don’t let those bad days over run your life. If things don’t work out, brush yourself off and try again tomorrow.
Merinda Marcinkowski, Owner, Stylist
2600 W. Sylvania Ave.
Years in business: 11
My biggest challenge: Keeping up with the ever-changing world of technology. It definitely keeps me on my toes!
How I find focus: I find focus, inspiration and motivation from various areas. The biggest are through Continued Education, my peers, coworkers and the world of fashion.
Words I live by: Little things don’t mean a lot—they mean everything!
Kim Van, Owner, Dual-Licensed Dispensing Optician
5307 Monroe St.
Years in business: Store, 41; myself, 31
My biggest success so far: Being able to continue my family's legacy by purchasing and growing the business.
How I find focus: for me cooking and watching old movies relieves stress. I'm also a firm believer in making lists to help with prioritization
Words I live by: Honesty is the best policy in business, and in life; Treat others as you would like to be treated. These may seem trite, but these basics are still my most powerful and ethical values.
Anna Bremer, owner
610 Adams St.
Years in business: 1
How I find focus: I focus on the positive aspects of our community and that helps me to succeed. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise and massage.
Words I live by: We are the product of our past thoughts and actions; Living in the now.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: Do your homework and explore all angles of your industry. Hire other people to do the work you don’t want to do.
Ginger Stapleton and Lesley Maidlow, Co-Owners
7510 New West Rd.
Years in business: 1
My biggest success so far: Celebrating a successful first year with an amazing group of people
How I find focus: With a little help from my friends.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: Always follow your dream—even if you stumble, it will all be worth it in the end.
Nikki Meyers, Owner
4340 Heatherdowns Blvd.
Years in business: 2
My biggest success so far: Feeling confident that I made the right career choice.
How I find focus: Reflecting upon the day’s events with my husband and a glass of fermented grapes.
Words I live by: “The one thing in life you can count on is change,” by Margie Meyers (my amazing mother-in-law).
Laurie Gross, President
2807 N. Reynolds Rd.
Years in business: Myself, 40; Gross Electric, 105.
My biggest success so far: The great group of employees we have at work.
Words I live by: You can have it all . . . you just need to know what all you want.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: You have no business without good people. Treat your employees like family.
Dr. Hope Mitchell, Owner, Dermatologist
900 W. S. Boundary
419-872-HOPE (4673) www.mitchellderm.com
Years in business: 10
My biggest challenge: Saying ‘no.’
Words I live by: Hope, faith, love and “I can”.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: Find a like-minded mentor willing to teach and guide you as you develop your business. Strive for excellence, not perfection. Remember—bigger is not always better!
Colleene Knorek, Owner, President
117 Louisiana Ave.
Years in business: 21
My biggest success so far: Spending the last 21 years following my passion. I’m honored to have studied in NYC directly with Romana Kryzonawska, student of Joseph Pilates, as well as continuing to learn and grow in this amazing industry with people that are passionate and driven to heal others.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: Listen to others, yes, but never dismiss your instincts. They will take care of you every bloody time, hands down.
How I find focus: It’s not difficult to find focus when you do what you love, and have a family that you love coming home to and working for.
Tammy Super, President
8253 Mayberry Sq., Sylvania
Years in business: 14
My biggest success so far: Creating multiple locations that are all doing very well.
How I find focus: Exercise.
My advice for new entrepreneurs: Never say “can’t.”