JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma wa washington.JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma wa washington.JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma wa washington.

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JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma
by Don and Peggy Doman

JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma wa washington.

JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma wa washington.On a beautiful August afternoon I visited the La Quinta Inn, just off the I-5 freeway in downtown Tacoma. I stopped in to visit the JBLM Small Business EXPO. The JBLM (Joint Base Lewis McChord) Small Business EXPO in Tacoma was a group of over 50 vendors who were either military, retired military or civilians that support our military displaying their business and putting on demonstrations. They had everyone from small home businesses like representatives of Mary Kay, Sensty, and Crafts, to large businesses like Black Hills Gymnastics, and Rainier Dental. The U.S. economy relies on healthy small businesses. Many people think that big business is what is the driving force of our economic engine, but that is incorrect. The good news is that entrepreneurship and small business are alive in Tacoma and the rest of the United States.

Creative Force fused glass jewelry at the JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma, washington.Small firms:

  • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
  • Employ just over half of all private sector employees.
  • Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
  • Have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years.
  • Create more than half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers).
  • Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
  • Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and produced 30.2 percent of the known export value in FY 2007.
  • Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.

    Carolyn Osborne of Creative Force at the JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma, washington.I loved the fused glass by Carolyn Osborne. Carolyn is the artist/owner of Creative Forces of Fircrest. Fused glass is a colorful application of jewelry and it's very fitting that we have people producing excellent glass art in the backyard of Dale Chihuly. She creates special worn-art for business and personal gift giving that is remembered.

    Carolyn even has a line of jewelry and fused glass that included ash remains of loved ones. She calls these jewelry pieces Sacred Embers. This is appropriate also for the Pacific Northwest. I love some of the emerald green glass that is produced by the ash from Mt. St. Helens. Carolyn operates by appointment only to view and discuss her art.

    Susan Cowperthwaite of Cartridge World at the JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma, Washington.I was moving on and trying to look at a new BBQ rub display when I heard someone calling, "Don . . . Don." I turned to see Susan Cowperthwaite of Cartridge World. Susan and her husband, Steve own the local franchise. What Cartridge World does is refill inkjets, toners and Pitney Bowes. They give a 100% guarantee. The refilled inkjets are very economical and they help the environment. I said hello and asked about Steve. She pointed across the aisle.

    Steve was the reason I couldn't see the BBQ rub display. We laughed. He thought that the event was doing well. He was happy that the meeting room and hallway were filled with vendors. For a first year event I thought it was great. Everyone I saw seemed to be enjoying themselves. Attendance may have been a little light, but I had driven by a crowded Thea Foss Waterway where the first day of Maritime Fest was booming. It was good to see Susan and Steve, no matter what. We had been members of Tacoma Executives Association together for a year or two.

    Father and Son Powers at the JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma, Washington.One booth featured . . . At A Glance Magazine, which is an ad/coupon based publication for Thurston County and JBLM/Dupont. I'm always interested in marketing that might help my clients. I was happy to see images of the new Microsoft Tags throughout the publication. This tells me that they are aware of the latest innovations for Smartphones and the internet. In addition to the magazine they also print business cards, postcards, and flyers & brochures, as well as door hangers and rack cards.

    Once I got home, I studied the ad magazine. There were many places being advertised that I had never heard of. However, armed with the magazine I'll be prepared to save some bucks on my next trip to Lacey and Olympia.

    John London the Kidz Magician at the JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma, Washington.Standing next to the magazine/printer booth was John London in his jaunty red, white and blue balloon hat. John is a performer of magic shows, balloon animals, and comedy. He bills himself at the Kidz Magician. I think John was part of the entertainment at the expo. He was friendly and a ready smile.

    I like events like the expo or other sales events where they bring in people who can wander through the crowd entertaining with card tricks or other magic. Twisting tubular balloon into animal shapes don't really work for me, but it does for kids . . . and many adults. We all need a light touch and a little entertainment.

    Michelle Murtach at the JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma, Washington.I buy Peg a lot of jewelry, so the silver work at Michelle Murtach's booth attracted me. Michelle is an independent Silpada representative. As a representative she sells someone else's created silver jewelry and is always interested in finding other people who would like to sell jewelry in their own time.

    This type of MLM (multi-level marketing) business plays a vital role in our economy, especially for women who want to run their own business. My mother sold Avon when I was a child. In today's world I think she would have liked selling good looking silver jewelry.

    Elizabeth Archambeault at the JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma, Washington.Elizabeth Archambeault listened to her daughter and then the military veteran opened her own business - Anew Thyme. The daughter was complaining about the price of maternity clothes and made the remark that they are hardly worn before the mother outgrows them or no longer needs them. Elizabeth's shop, located at 754 Broadway in downtown Tacoma features stylish, gently worn maternity clothing, handcrafted baby items, gifts and collectibles.

    The items on her table all looked nice and fitted in with her niche, but the Elmore Leonard paperback struck me as out of place . . . but then I guess there is no accounting for what babies will want to read.

    I left the expo with a smile on my face. It was great to see business owners pursuing their dreams and making them work. It all takes a little effort, but I've always enjoyed being an entrepreneur and small business owner.

  • JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma wa washington.

    JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma wa washington.

    JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma wa washington.

    JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma wa washington.

    JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma wa washington.

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    JBLM Small Business EXPO Tacoma wa washington.