(SARASOTA, Fla., May 24, 2018) Jennifer Bade and Jennifer Gunter, owners of The Makers Market and Workshops were honored as Manasota SCORE’s Entrepreneurs of the Year at the chapter’s May member meeting. The business was also one of two Florida businesses recently honored by National SCORE as a 2018 American Small Business Champion.
The Makers Market and Workshops (https://makersmarketdiy.myshopify.com/), founded in May 2016, offers workshops and classes for customers to create and personalize custom wooden projects with stains, paints and stencils. These include signs, plaques and serving trays constructed by master carpenter John Fields, Bade’s father. The studio is fronted by a gift shop that carries several national lines of affordable gift items.
Bade and Gunter, who had no previous business experience, credit Manasota SCORE mentor Jon Stuart with helping them from business concept through startup, and continuing to provide guidance.
“From the beginning Jon was very supportive, encouraging and patient. We met with Jon every week for about 5 months, and each time he would give us homework to do – regarding taxes, insurance, our lease, customers, every question we could think of,” Bade explains.
Gunter adds, “He still pops in and sends us emails regarding workshops or seminars we should attend, and he connects us with other business professionals that will help our business grow.”
As an American Small Business Champion, owners Bade and Gunter received an all-expense paid trip to the SCORE Small Business Champion conference and training held in Reno, Nevada. The business is eligible for one of three $15,000 grand prizes courtesy of Sam’s Club; winners will be announced in September.
Stuart also mentored another 2018 American Small Business Champion, Pip & Grow, with a home office in Portland, Oregon. Lauren Hughey, a Sarasota-based co-owner of Pip & Grow, said, “Jon is my brain trust and my cheerleader. He gives me honest advice, even if it’s hard to hear. He connects me to other experts who can help me, and he gives me perspective. He helps me to identify obstacles and figure out solutions to work around them. Jon keeps me sane!”
At the meeting, Dennis Zink, chapter chair, announced that Manasota SCORE just received a fourth straight Chapter Platinum Leadership Award from National SCORE for outstanding leadership, commitment, service and standards of operation. Chapter membership recently surpassed 90 volunteers.
For more information, visit Manasota.SCORE.org.
About Manasota SCORE
Manasota SCORE provides free, confidential business education and mentoring services for established businesses and startups, offered by over 90 volunteers with experience and skills in a broad range of business settings. The chapter is part of national SCORE, started in 1964, that has over 300 chapters and 10,000 volunteers. For more information, visit www.manasota.score.org.