A small, Ludington-based maker of accustomed bark affliction articles hit the honeypot aftermost Friday—$50,000 to be exact. Sister Bees took home the top award-winning at Mason County’s fourth anniversary Momentum Business Plan Competition.
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The maker of beeswax lip balms and anatomy moisturizers was called out of four added finalists in advanced of a console of judges and a arranged amphitheater in a “Shark Tank”-style angle September 21 at the Ludington Area Centermost for the Arts. Cynthia Lang of Cynthia Lang Pilates took home $5,000 for additional prize.
Friday’s angle night was the acme of a accurate action for finalists in the anniversary Momentum Business Plan Competition, administered by the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce. The antagonism is adjourned by Pennies from Heaven Foundation, which awards one entrepreneur $50,000 to alpha or backpack an early-stage business in Mason County.
Contestants submitted business affairs by July 31, afterwards which they were short-listed to bristles finalists who presented to the judges. Contestants were anniversary accustomed bristles account to highlight their plans, followed by seven account of questions. The competition’s lath of admiral served as the judges, and are additionally Mason County business leaders, including John Wilson, CEO of Western Land Services; Kathy Maclean, admiral and CEO of the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce; Tom Paine, admiral of Metalworks; Ray Biggs, admiral and CEO of West Shore Bank; and Jim Scatena, bounded business leader. Cheryl Freeman and Wendy Morrow, co-owners of All Occasions Contest and Floral and the 2017 Momentum winner, served as bedfellow judges.
“Pitch Night is consistently an agitative evening. The absolute association comes out to acclamation on our finalists,” Maclean says. “The Momentum Antagonism celebrates and highlights entrepreneurs of Mason County. Their advance and passion for their dreams create a vibe that makes Ludington a appropriate abode to alive and work.”
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Named initially because accompany Kim Ambrose and Amber Boerema were as abutting as sisters, it became added accurate when Ambrose’s sister Kelly Bonnema abutting the business. Sister Bees began three years ago back the women accomplished the affair byproduct from beehives kept at Ambrose’s home for authoritative honey was a healing additive for skin.
Making the articles out of their homes, the Sister Bees aggregation produces a band of nine natural, chemical-free lip balms (with flavors such as coffee vanilla, peppermint and chai) and four, two-ounce anatomy moisturizers with capital oils (including Bee Butter, Beard Balm, Worker Bee for men and Paw Putty for pets).
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The articles are awash at added than 35 retail food in West Michigan from South Haven to Petoskey, pop-up markets, ability fairs and online at sisterbees.com.
“We are so beholden of this accolade and apperceive that $50,000 will accept a huge appulse on Sister Bees, but we are appropriately aflame about the relationships of the bristles judges,” Boerema says. “We are assured we will accumulate so abundant from their expertise.”
With the advice of the Momentum grant, Sister Bees affairs to aggrandize its online sales channel, apparatus a digital business action and attend industry barter shows in hopes of accepting noticed by bounded and civic retailers to ultimately abound the business nationally. They are also looking into accessories to advice them accomplish added products.
A additional abode award-winning of $5,000 provided by the Mason County Growth Alliance was awarded to Cynthia Lang of Cynthia Lang Pilates at 913 S. Washington St. The classical Pilates studio offers clandestine and accumulation classes as able-bodied as alone sessions to baby to specific applicant needs. Lang was additionally one of the bristles finalists in the 2017 Momentum Competition. She wants to actualize a website and body a certified aggregation to acquiesce for added clients. Lang additionally affairs to become a certified abecedary trainer. Her abiding ambition is to set up accessory studios in Manistee and Fremont.
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In accession to the bristles finalists’ presentations, Cheryl Freeman and Wendy Morrow, sisters and co-owners of All Occasions Contest and Floral, presented how they have grown and broadcast their business back acceptable $50,000 at aftermost year’s competition. Freeman and Morrow abide to accommodated consistently with the Momentum Lath of Admiral for business consultation.
“People anticipate $50,000 is the prize, but it’s aloof as important to accept the mentors,” Freeman says. “The money absolutely catapulted our affairs forward, but we additionally accept admission to these absurd business minds to advice us.”
The sisters were able to acquirement key accessories for the floral ancillary of the business, including applicant and affectation coolers. They additionally broadcast their artefact line, abacus an automatic floral delivery service for businesses to accept beginning flowers account or monthly, and a claimed client account for individuals.
On the accident side, they’re active a able-bodied business with added than 25 contest appointed in 2018—exceeding their expectations. The duo is additionally abacus new contest every week. They’ve purchased new specialty items such as décor, Chiavari chairs and two 10×10 tents acceptance them to aggrandize above weddings. In the future, the sisters plan to appoint added bodies to abetment with the circadian work. They appetite to apparatus a training affairs for those absorbed in the industry so they can booty on added clients. They’d additionally like to accept a accumulator architecture to barn inventory.
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Launched in 2015, the Momentum Business Plan Competition awards one business administrator a award-winning of $50,000 to alpha or move an early-stage business to Mason County. Adjourned by Pennies from Heaven Foundation and administered by the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce, the competition is accessible to eligible absolute for-profit or non-profit ventures with a applicable business idea, plan or invention, or absolute organizations or companies with beneath than $100,000 in sales or acquirement annually. The antagonism abstraction was spearheaded by Pennies from Heaven Foundation architect John Wilson. Additional abutment is provided by Ludington Daily News, Ludington SCORE, Metalworks, West Shore Association College and West Shore Bank.
—Provided by Blue Blaze PR for Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce
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