March 29th was National Mom & Pop Business Owners Day.
In order to celebrate, we decided to highlight 5 different couple owned businesses scattered throughout Nebraska. In doing so, we were able to meet some incredible people, learn about innovative businesses, and gain a new appreciation for all that our mom & pop businesses do for their communities.
Through this celebration we discovered some consistent themes between our business owners. Nebraskans possess a unique type of passion, drive, and pride when it comes to owning their own business and providing a quality product. Across the board, these couples stressed how highly they value being able to give back to their community, and how thankful they are for their local support.
As Tim and Brooke Shelmadine said, “Our passion really has always been about celebrating family and community. We loved the idea of having a family business and providing something that our children can take pride in and help out with too!”
These are just a few of the hundreds of mom & pop owned businesses that work to make our Nebraska communities strong. This is The Good Life!
March 29th is National Mom & Pop Business Owners Day. In order to celebrate, we want to highlight some of our very own mom & pop owned businesses right here in Nebraska.
To kick off the celebration, we want to recognize Kristi and Cody Allen, owners of 402 Beef Company located in Bristow, Nebraska.
Kristi and Cody met in 2008 and are now the proud parents of three girls. They both grew up in rural Nebraska and come from cattle raising families.
The idea to market beef straight to consumers arrived amidst the pandemic. Kristi states, “We had been looking for our own little nitch in the small business world for the last couple of years. When fat cattle prices dropped so low and the scare of a beef shortage because of covid-19 it just felt like finally an opportunity to start a business doing what we already loved to do had arrived.”
The Allen’s explain how their passion comes from taking care of their cattle 24/7. “We work very hard to make sure our cattle are well fed, comfortable, and have the genetics for exceptional beef cattle. Our 3 girls all have a love and appreciation for animals and that comes from having the responsibility of caring for their livestock. It isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life that we both grew up with and now can pass down to our daughters. Our two little girls, 3 and 5 will say ‘animals eat first’ and our older daughter would be up before daylight to feed bottle calves before getting on the bus for school at 6:45am.”
Kristi and Cody give back to their community by buying local, and hiring other small business owners from their area. “A lot of our towns and communities run on and need small businesses to survive. In turn they understand that those small businesses support the school activities, the community organizations and functions, and other small businesses in the area.”
When giving advice to Nebraskans who are considering starting their own business, the Allen’s suggest to “ask for help and knowledge, and go for it! Your friends, family, and your communities want to see you succeed!”
To learn more about 402 Beef Company visit the link below.
Meet Tim and Brooke Shelmadine, owners of Shelmadine Print Shop located in Alliance, Nebraska!
Tim and Brooke grew up in neighboring towns, but decided to settle in Alliance in 2012. The couple started screen printing in July of 2016. “We began dabbling in the art of screen printing in our home, turning our bathroom into a makeshift dark room, printing on a DIY print press, and curing our apparel in our oven.”
Just a few months later, a downtown screen printing business came up for sale. “After about 15 minute’s discussion, we decided to purchase the business. We knew that in addition to offering screen printing services, we wanted to have a boutique in the front of our store with quality, hand printed apparel. At that time our focus was primarily on celebrating our local athletic teams and offering unique Nebraska designs.”
Shelmadine Print Shop is about a lot more than just screen printing. “Our passion really has always been about celebrating family and community. We loved the idea of having a family business and providing something that our children can take pride in and help out with too!”
When giving advice on what to do before starting a business, Tim and Brooke suggest to find something that you are truly passionate about. “We once heard the advice ‘Find what you love doing, then find a way to make a living at it.’ We have found that working really hard often isn’t really work at all.”
To learn more about Shelmadine Print Shop visit the link below.
Next, we would like to highlight Nick and Kristen Ryan, owners of Prairie Creek Vineyard & Winery located in Central City, Nebraska.
Nick and Kristen both grew up in Central City and went to high school together. After attending the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, the couple returned to their hometown and opened Prairie Creek Vineyard & Winery in 2007.
Nick studied agriculture and always knew he wanted to return home to farm. Since entrepreneurship runs in the family, the vineyard provided a unique way to farm on a smaller scale. What started out as an intimate operation made up of mainly Nick and Kristen along with their three kids, has now expanded into a great tourists attraction and main street hot spot in Central City.
Prairie Creek values support from residents and local leadership, and enjoys hosting a variety of community events.
The Ryan’s favorite part about being business owners is being able to sit back and recognize all the growth that has taken place, and watch projects become successful. Nick believes that there is a unique type of midwestern pride that comes with owning a business in Nebraska.
To learn more about Prairie Creek Vineyard & Winery visit the link below.
Adair and Jason Reese opened Brick & Mortar in Grant, Nebraska in November of 2020. The idea was born about 3 years prior when the couple purchased the building that is now home to the small town boutique.
Adair and Jason met at Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska. Jason attended for HVAC and Adair for Automotive Distribution. The couple now lives in Grant with their two children Ava and Alec. The Reese’s also own Reese Mechanical & Reese Appliance, as well as Reese Appliance & Home Store.
When asked about the reason behind becoming business owners, Adair and Jason answered, “We both have the desire to contribute to the community through business. At times I really feel it’s not a decision to be a business owner its something you have a crazy passion for….and at times maybe you’re just crazy!”
Adair explains that Brick & Mortar’s goal is to inspire individual confidence in fashion. “We are here to empower our customers to embrace their personal style with confidence.” The couple believes that the most rewarding part of being business owners is being able to give back to the community and make a difference. “I love the feeling of helping those who have helped our business.”
The Reese’s advice for Nebraskan’s looking to start their own business is, “DO IT! You may fail, you may succeed. But if you never try you’re choosing to fail. We have one shot at life, make sure you don’t have any ‘I wish I would haves,’ left when you come to the end!”
To learn more about Brick & Mortar visit the link below.
To top it all off, we would like to introduce Dave and Kristi Rippe, owners of Queen City located in Hastings, Nebraska.
Dave and Kristi grew up in separate towns but met in college in Lincoln, Nebraska. The couple now lives in Hastings with their daughter Julia.
After about 3 years of living in Hastings they found a building for sale downtown, and had the wild idea to turn it into their new home. This was the first downtown project Dave and Kristi completed together. What started out as a hobby and a fun side hustle quickly expanded into passion fueled, full fledged business.
Queen City strives to create spaces that are functional, appealing, and help attract talent to Hastings. “We help develop and design spaces that are both meaningful and inspiring because we have a firm belief that the places where we live, work and play matter.”
When asked about the most rewarding part of being a business owner, Dave emphasized the ability to own your own time. “Ownership of time is the most rewarding thing. We take our daughter to school together almost every morning, and pick her up together almost every day.”
For anyone considering becoming a businesses owner, Kristi explains, “You’re not in it alone. We’ve never been told ‘no’ if we want to talk with someone just to learn something. Any person I called was willing to help, so don’t feel like you need to take this big leap by yourself.” Dave added by saying, “You only get to live once. If you think that you might want to be your own boss, understand what it would take to give it a try, and then go for it.”
If you want to learn more about Queen City visit the link below.