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Columbus District Office
401 N. Front Street Suite 200
Columbus, OH 43215
United States
Phone: 614-469-6860
Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Picture of Joyce Whitaker, Owner of The Painted Lady

The Painted Lady, LLC

Shortly after Joyce Whitaker, and her husband, moved back to Ohio from New York, Joyce decided to open a small gift gallery and antique store. Joyce came from a corporate background, but needed some oversight and advice in marketing and business plan development. She sought that advice from a group of volunteer business advisors called SCORE: "Counselors to America's Small Business" . SCORE assisted her in developing her business plan and pointed her to other resources available to women owned businesses.

She and her mother successfully ran that business for five years. In 1994, she purchased a Victorian home and opened a Tea Room along with the gift gallery. The business became known as The Victorian Painted Lady, LLC. She felt the town of Marysville needed a restaurant with ambiance and character. Converting the 3,000 square foot Victorian house to an upscale tea room and gift shop met that need. The house is one of just a few made of ceramic block and is on the Ohio Registry of Historic Places.

Tea room customers will find delicious made-from-scratch food, exceptional service and unique gifts. The Tea Room is a full service restaurant and caters to the evening dinner crowd on a special reservation basis. The majority of their customers are women and the establishment recently expanded their menu to include low carb entrees. The Tea Room has been written up in Country Living Magazine - Midwest edition and has gained considerable recognition and popularity.

As for the future, Joyce would like to spend more time in mentoring other women that want to start their own businesses and possibly start another tea room in Columbus.

Additional Information:

327 E. 5th Street Marysville, OH 43040 937-644-0009 www.a-tea-room.com "This article and the accompanying photograph do not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA of any opinions, products or services of any private individual or entity."

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Creative Shapes

Creative Shapes is an Ohio Subchapter S Corporation founded in 1986. The company is a manufacturer of custom designed cabinets and office furniture products. The company differentiates itself from the competition by providing the highest quality density board and laminate surfaces to a custom design. In 2002, Victoria Archable acquired the company and significantly expanded the scope of the business. Ms. Archable has used SBA loan guarantees to acquire new equipment and has directed the company into new markets, both consumer and commercial, generating a significant increase in revenues.

Creative Shapes was an old company with new leadership. Ms. Archable realized she needed a plan to achieve the growth she was sure the company was capable of generating. She also knew that she had to significantly control expenses in the soft economy of 2002 and 2003.

The Manufacturing SBDC at TechSolve provided business plan consulting and then assisted Creative Shapes in planning for market expansion. Following the implementation of the business plan, the Manufacturing SBDC helped Creative Shapes achieve some of its technology objectives by placing a CAD design intern with the company under the Ohio Third Frontier Intern program. The intern helped the company automate the review of customer documents and improved the design capabilities of company software programs.

Creative Shapes has more than doubled its revenue in the past year and has expanded their markets to serve several Fortune 500 companies with their interior cabinetry needs. Due to the significant increase in business, Creative Shapes is now outgrowing their existing facility. The Manufacturing SBDC is assisting them in locating the ideal property for expansion. The Manufacturing SBDC at TechSolve will also assist in the funding requirements for the new facility and additional equipment needed to support continued expansion. Creative Shapes has added five Ohio jobs as a result of their growth.

Additional Information:

2861 Sidney Ave.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45225
513-541-4425

"This article and the accompanying photograph do not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA of any opinions, products or services of any private individual or entity."

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Designed Solutions Group, Inc.

Roxann Patrick opened Designed Solutions Group, Inc. in February 1994 as a sole proprietorship. Working as an independent contractor, she designed marketing and advertising materials for adverting agencies, design studios and a number of small businesses. During her first few years of operation, her designs won numerous awards from her professional colleagues, including the Miami Valley ADDY awards competition. During these early years of DSG Roxann subleased studio space from a small advertising agency.

At this same time, Roxann responded to a strong desire to pass along her 16 years of experience in design and advertising by serving as a part-time adjunct instructor in Sinclair Community College's Visual Communications Department.

In June 1998, Roxann made the decision to expand her business. Her expansion plans for Designed Solutions Group began with a commitment to build a company that holds its employees as its most valuable asset; a company based on high ethics, a focus on partnering with customers and vendors; and a company with an inherent sense of marketing-sensitive design and a commitment to diversity. Roxann envisioned a corporation dedicated to excellence through diversity, believing that excellence is only achieved by enlisting exceptional, talented people who represent the broadest spectrum of the American experience. Roxann said "I wanted to prove that nice guys CAN finish first-that a design and marketing business can be successful while truly caring about employees, vendors and customers."

Roxann moved from her small studio space to her own 6-room studio/office suite in Kettering, Ohio. The plan began to take hold with an immediate increase in business. During the first six months in her new location, she worked with free-lance artists and writers to help with her larger projects. At this time, she also began pursuing clients in the larger corporate market.

By January 1999, her business had grown so much that she brought in her first full-time designer. Within the second six months, with several large corporate clients, two additional full-time designers and a part-time office manager/bookkeeper were added to the staff. At year's end, Designed Solutions was recognized with eleven awards of merit and excellence from the Miami Valley area ADDY's competition

In January 2000, Roxann incorporated the business as Designed Solutions Group, Inc. (DSG) along with her husband, Craig Patrick, as her Vice President. As a computer technical consultant specializing in the graphic arts industry, Craig lends his expertise to the technical side of the business.

In 2001, the company was certified as a female-owned business by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the State of Ohio, Montgomery County, Ohio, and the City of Dayton. These certifications have opened the door to countless business contacts and unparalleled growth for Designed Solutions. As a bonus to the certification, the company has forged a close relationship with the WBENC. This relationship began with Designed Solutions Group's winning of a contest sponsored by the WBENC in 2002 to design a new logo for their annual National Conference. DSG was then awarded with the contract to develop the full gamut of event branding materials for the 2003 WBENC National Conference and again for this year's conference in June. The conference brand has been so successful the WBENC has elected to continue with it for all consecutive National Conferences.

In 2002, realizing tremendous growth, Designed Solutions moved to a larger facility in Centerville, Ohio. In addition to Roxann, the staff is currently comprised of four full-time designers, an account executive, and an office administrator.

Current customers include Evenflo, Reynolds & Reynolds, LexisNexis, Edward Howard & Company, Standard Register, The University of Dayton, Guardian Glass, The Berry Company and The WBENC.

The firm now offers a full spectrum of marketing and advertising services, including: branding development and implementation; event and destination branding; marketing research and strategy; public relations; interactive and website design, development and programming.

DSG develops strategic design for print advertising, direct mail, point-of-sale, html email, corporate ID packages, packaging, brochures and collateral materials and TV and radio production.

Designed Solutions has continued to build its technological skills by adding customized web and database programming to its menu. The DSG staff has developed expertise with Macromedia Flash and Adobe AfterEffects to create dynamic presentations, animations, and motion graphics for web and video applications.

This combination of high-level creativity, proven results for our customers and technological savvy brought an almost 50% increase in business for 2003. This growth was unprecedented in a 2-year time span of economic down-turn that had a tremendous negative impact on the advertising industry.

Throughout its 10 years, Designed Solutions Group, Inc. has been recognized with numerous awards from professional organizations including the the AAF, Art Center Dayton, Graphic Design USA, Print Magazine and the Direct Marketing Association. The NYTimes.com also recognized the company in its national Ad Innovation contest for its web banner designs for Internet Surround Sessions online ads.

And while awards are an important recognition of creativity and quality, the primary goal of DSG's collaborative efforts-documented success for our customers' goals through increased revenues, cost savings and unparalleled event attendance-has been proven time and again.

<"Designed Solutions knows their stuff." said Beth Mehlberth, Vice President of Edward Howard & Company, the nation's longest established independent public relations firm. "They listen closely to my clients' needs, goals and brand objectives and translate all of these elements flawlessly into a focused, creative execution that hits the target-with impact."

Roxann has relied on the SBA throughout the 10 years of DSG's existence. Early in DSG's development, SCORE counselors offered essential business start-up advice and the online business plan templates and real-life examples are a tremendous resource in the development of a well-written, professional business plan.

Roxann is proud that Designed Solutions Group continues to operate with her original visions for the company. Her first employee, Joe Johnson, is now the Senior Art Director of the company. Her second employee, Roger Owsley, is a highly valued Senior Designer. Customers have written testimonials praising DSG for its collaborative culture and meeting the needs of any challenge, vendors regularly refer new customers to DSG and the company continued its growth even amidst a depressed economy. "High ethics, appreciating employees, exceptional creativity and listening to your customer may seem to be out-dated ideas in current corporate America.", commented Roxann, "but DSG's success is proving that these are all still very valuable business practices."

For more information on Designed Solutions Group, Inc. please visit our website at www.designed-solutions.com.
 

"This article and the accompanying photograph do not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA of any opinions, products or services of any private individual or entity."  

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