Creative Jewelry by Bridgeja, LLC was established in 2008 by a young entrepreneur named Bridgeja Baker. Unlike most successful start-ups, however, this entrepreneur was only ten years old! Growing from annual revenues of $2,000 to over $14,500 last year, Bridgeja has attracted the attention of national chain stores and even the White House.
Before she even began high school, Bridgeja began designing jewelry for men, women, and children and quickly saw the opportunities for growth. She has expanded to necklaces, earrings, bracelets, cufflinks, lapel and tie pins, bookmarks and eyeglass holders, which are available through her website. Bridgeja also showcases and sells her jewelry at local festivals and art markets. As her reputation grew, she was sought after by brides looking for a unique gift for the bridal party. She began designing pieces for local judges and some on city council. Bridgeja also designed a three piece pearl set for First Lady Michelle Obama as well as bookmarks for the President and their two daughters, receiving a letter of thanks from the First Lady’s Deputy Chief of Staff telling her she is now a jewelry designer for the First Lady.
Bridgeja’s success has allowed her to hire two part-time employees and one seasonal worker. She hopes as her brand continues to expand that she will be able to create even more jobs. Bridgeja is committed to giving back to her community in more than just job creation. Each year, she donates a percentage of her sales to causes and organizations close to her heart, such as Children’s Hospital and the Louisiana SPCA. Bridgeja also wants to pass on all she has learned by conducting seminars on entrepreneurship for teens as well as classes and workshops on jewelry creation and running a business. As a recipient of SBA’s SCORE counseling and services, she has now become a mentor herself.
This year, Bridgeja was honored to be named SBA’s 2013 Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Louisiana. She knows she is a role model, stating “I would like to encourage other young people to start preparing for their financial futures early!”
Vince P. Gremillion
RESTECH Information Services, Inc.
220 Phlox Avenue
Metairie, LA 70001
Office: (504) 733-5633
Fax: (504) 733-9811
Early in his life, Vince Gremillion displayed a special knack for working with machines. After graduating from high school in 1979, Vince attended technical school. His first job in the 1980s was fixing point of sale machines, and from there he expanded and excelled in a wide variety of areas. Whether he was fixing telephone cables, developing ground-breaking proprietary circuits used in neonatal monitors in hospitals, or solving issues with NASA computers at Michoud, Vince’s potential stood above the rest.
Vince had always dreamed of running his own business, and in 1992, he moved his home office into a small commercial space and launched RESTECH Information Services, Inc. RESTECH is a leading provider of voice and data management services and has developed innovative data protection services. The company consistently increases capability and capacity to provide cost-effective and efficient solutions to information technology issues. Specifically, RESTECH focuses on development of solutions to issues in information security, connectivity, storage, and enterprise systems areas.
The cornerstone of RESTECH’s mission and approach is a philosophy of integrity, commitment, and passion. Vince’s achievements and dedication to his community are a reflection of this philosophy. Vince earned the Dale Carnegie Outstanding Achievement Award in 2011 and graduated from the Godman-Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in 2012. His community service includes support for the Wounded Warrior Project, Feed the Multitudes, Brees Super Service Challenge, and earthquake recovery in Haiti. He is a baseball coach for the Kenner Recreational Department and started a homeschool sports league in the area. Vince also serves as a mentor to young men on life and spiritual issues, and he serves in his church and home school associations.
Despite humble beginnings, Vince has created one of the leading IT service companies in New Orleans. Today, RESTECH employs 15 full-time employees and has revenues over $3.5 million annually. RESTECH holds long-term contracts with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals located in Pennsylvania, San Antonio, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans.
In 2013, Vince was named SBA’s Louisiana Small Business Person of the Year. He is grateful for the counseling and support he has received from the SBA and in the Louisiana SBDC’s Economic Gardening Program, which assisted with research and website review. Vince says, “To us, technology is not about products, it is about business goals. Achieving your goals using technology shouldn’t be a source of anxiety.”
Topp Knotch was certified in March 1998 as an 8(a) firm to provide professional, administration, clerical and administrative office support staffing solutions and staff augmentation services. This dynamic company was was founded in 1995 by Diedria Joseph, an African American woman from New Orleans, La.
In February, 2000, the company received its first contract in the amount of $325,000 to provide office support to the Veterans Administration Medical Center. Later that year, Topp Knotch Personnel received another contract valued at $275,000 to provide data entry processor staffing to the USDA National Finance Center. In March, 2002 the company received a contract from Lockheed Martin valued at $870,000 to provide support staff for the Mailroom and Help Desk.
Since its inception, Topp Knotch Personnel, Inc. has employed over 10,000+ employees that are proficient in such industries as Medical Billing, Data Entry, Medical Clerk, Mailroom Support Staff, Temporary Help services, Systems Administrators, Facilities Support Services, Human Resources and Nurses.
Topp Knotch has expanded and established offices in Houston, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; and Conroe, Texas.
The company has extended its offerings, not only specializing in contract and direct hire staffing solutions, but also offers drug testing and background check services; skills testing & assessment; on-site management; vendor management; purchasing and procurement; and payroll services.
In 2011, Topp Knotch Personnel was featured as one of the “SBA 100” success story companies that have created at least 100 jobs since receiving SBA assistance.
Company Name: Topp Knotch Personnel, Inc.
Contact: Diedria B. Joseph, President; email@example.com
Address: 401 Whitney Avenue Suite 312
New Orleans, Louisiana 70058
Phone Number: (504) 376-8770