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Success Stories

Background:  Jenny Watson is a mom who wants to take care of her family naturally.  During flu season a few years ago, she found that a recipe she had for elderberry syrup really worked keeping her young family out of the doctor's office and it was delicious to boot--something very important when trying to entice toddlers to drink something good for them.  She started making jars for friends and family, then started selling through her Facebook page and at the New Albany, Indiana Farmer's Market.  Her kitchen became too small for production, so she rented space at the Mesa Collaborative Kitchen, a small business incubator in New Albany.  

Situation:  The Elderberry Company became official in 2017 when Jenny started cooking at Mesa and registered as an Indiana LLC.  She knew that down the road she wanted her own space where she could have a retail shop and a small production facility and knew there were spaces like this available in downtown New Albany.  Jenny said her... Read More

Deb Dedrick is a fireball of energy and a self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur.”  Over the past 20+ years, she has run as many as five companies at one time, and raised four children. And, in her most recent one, she’s led a sales expansion and growth with help from the SBA and its resource partners.

In 2000, she took on the entrepreneurial venture as CEO of her family’s struggling tool & Die shop, Dedrick Tool & Die.  Dedrick saw the precision machine business as “having become complacent.”  Equipment was old and production processes hadn’t been changed in over two decades.  She implemented a new software package to streamline production which she says was a “…big challenge.  I had to do a lot of persuading and act as an influencer in order to get buy-in from staff and clients."

Dedrick’s powers of persuasion worked.  The company became more in-line with the times, productive, and landed some stable clients.  This allowed Dedrick Tool & Die to, as Dedrick... Read More


Rahila Robinson took over her family's marble memorial products company in 2008.  Robinson & Sons Enterprises of America Inc. was known throughout the funeral services industry in the United States for their beautifully designed and hand-crafted urns.  Robinson knew that there was more that her company could do.

"There was so much bi-product from the urns," Robinson said.  "I knew that we could use all that left-over marble for other beautiful things."

In 2010, Robinson rebranded the company from Robinson & Sons Enterprises of America Inc. to Marble Products International (MPI).  She also created a second division, R&S Design Gallery which used the marble left-overs from her hand-crafted urns to retail specialty interior design products such counter tops, tile flooring, and sinks.  Robinson had more ideas for expansion, but, "when you're a business owner, you have so much on the line, you need a guide," she said. She turned to two SBA... Read More


In the early 2000s, Sherri Davis owned a small restaurant just off Crane Naval Station in Bloomfield, Indiana.  It was a popular place, so she knew everyone on and off base and what they did for a living .  More and more, Sherri said, they found she was serving customers more than just delicious biscuits and gravy.

“I like talking to people” Sherri said.  “I like taking care of people and helping them solve their problems. So if somebody came in who was building something on Crane and said their contractor fell through I’d want to help.  A lot of times I had another customer who could do the job, so I’d introduce them.  It was kind of like being a matchmaker,” she continued,  “but instead of romantic couples, I was pairing up local resources with federal business.”

As the recession hit its stride in 2009 Sherri decided to close the restaurant and transition her problem-solving skills to fulfilling the needs of contractors on Crane Naval Station.  She... Read More