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Success Stories

When Amber Haag was in pharmacy school she was very active in the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and always had an interest in independent pharmacy and ownership.

She knew that owning and practicing at her own pharmacy was the right path.

“I worked for one of the chain pharmacies for a couple of summers and while I enjoyed that experience I certainly knew that I preferred independent pharmacy and that’s where my heart was.  I very much enjoyed seeing something that needs done or a service we could provide to meet the needs of the community and being able to do something about it right away – versus going thru the corporate ladder chain.

Through NCPA and school, I met so many independent pharmacists that were great leaders and made such a difference in their respective communities.  I have also always had an interest in the financial aspects of business so pharmacy ownership seemed natural and has always been a dream of mine.”

After... Read More

Prairie Horizons Studio for the Creative Arts

After almost 20 years of preparation, the time was right for Tana and Tommy Davis to act on their dream of opening a small business that serves as an art studio and creative space for children and adults in Chapman, Kansas. Prairie Horizons Studio for the Creative Arts offers creative arts classes and workshops. The space also serves as a gallery where Tana and other artists can exhibit and sell their works, and provide an event space where people can host private parties.

Managing a successful small business takes good planning, passion and resources. Tana and Tommy Davis knew the time was right when Tommy, First Sergeant (1SG), retired from 21 years of service in the Army in the fall of 2016.

As part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for service members, Tommy participated in the Boots To Business program at Fort Riley in September 2016. Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the U.S. Small... Read More

Allison Grice (left), Owner of Cowgirl Creations, LLC

Allison Grice has always enjoyed photography and being creative. While many people have similar hobbies, Allison has made a successful small business doing what she loves in her hometown of St. Francis, Kansas.

Allison’s passion for photography started when she was young. In school, she photographed her activities in 4-H and contributed photos in her high school yearbook. She pursued her interest in graphic design after high school and studied at Northwest Kansas Technical College, where she graduated with an Associate's degree in Computer Graphic Design.

Allison Grice is the owner of Cowgirl Creations and Design in St. Francis, Kansas. A one-stop shop where customers can find gift ideas, locally made products, and professional photography and graphic art services. Allison liked the small town atmosphere of St. Francis, and knew she wanted to return to her home town after college and start a venture of her own.

After inquiring with the Cheyenne Center for... Read More

Invena Corporation - Matt Wilson

Hidden in a small town in the Flint Hills of Kansas, Invena Corporation has kept a low-profile for nearly 20 years. Known as a “skunkworks” prototype development firm, Invena’s customers like the remote location and rural work ethic, far away from the prying eyes of competitors. It’s here, in Eureka, Kansas (population 2,633) that we find the 2017 SBA Kansas Exporter of the Year.

The family business was rooted in family and community. Eureka native Matt Wilson and his mother Carma quit their corporate jobs to care for the cancer-stricken patriarch of the family, Glen Wilson. With Matt’s engineering background and Carma’s accounting skills, they established Invena (a play on the word Inventors) in the guest bedroom to enable Carma to work from their home while Matt traveled as a design consultant. In time, Glen recovered, and the family focused their efforts on growing the company and their community. They soon discovered the symbiotic relationship between Invena and Eureka “... Read More