From Airplanes to Zumba, Exposure 2018 Had it All!

More than 220 businesses and organizations shared their products and services with 1,759 attendees at the Chamber’s annual trade show, Exposure, that was held on Sept. 27 at Century II. The numbers were up for both attendees (1,759) and exhibitors (220), and the event included booths with information about Wichita’s favorite aircraft programs and even a Zumba demonstration at the end of the day led by Genesis Health Clubs.

One of the highlights at the Chamber exhibit was a visit from Connie Palacioz who stopped by to sign the U.S.S. Wichita banner. Palacioz riveted the original nose section of Wichita’s restored B-29 Superfortress, Doc, when she worked at Boeing from 1942-45. Her brother, Jay Cuellar, was a crew member of the U.S.S. Wichita (1939-47).

Organizers Rachel Douglass (Membership and Engagement Director) and Alison Percy (Member Engagement Coordinator) reported that booth traffic was steady and that many exhibitors engaged attendees with interactive activities at their booths. The Chamber’s exhibit was centered on the red carpet and drew traffic all day as attendees signed two different Wichita flag-themed banners. The first banner will be used to welcome the KC-46 crews to McConnell Air Force Base this fall and the second one will be sent to the crew of the U.S.S. Wichita when it’s commissioned in early 2019.

Some exhibitors, like Tim Fruits of Malibu Creative, posted a wrap-up of their experience on social media. Fruits shared a two-minute video about how the event reinforced his enthusiasm for building a business in Wichita. Like other exhibitors, Fruits made some valuable connections during Exposure with potential new clients and other business owners who are passionate about their industries and services.

Tim Fruits with Malibu Creative posted a short video about his team’s experience at 2018 Exposure.

Check out more photos from Exposure on the Chamber’s Facebook page. Our thanks to the Exposure Committee for volunteering their time and expertise as well as our sponsors who made the event possible:

Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 19, when next year’s Exposure event will take place.

New Connections, Great Prizes & Good Eats at Exposure on Sept. 27

If you’re looking for more reasons to attend Exposure on Thursday, Sept. 27, then look no further. In addition to making connections to grow your network, trade show attendees can enter to win the incredible prizes listed below. And don’t forget to visit the BizBite vendors that are offering samples of their signature eats and drinks throughout the floor (scroll down to see the list).

More than 220 businesses from the Wichita region will be showcasing their products and services at Exposure, the region’s premiere business trade show and networking event. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27 at Century II Expo. Admission is free for business professionals, and we encourage everyone to register here in advance to expedite the check-in process at the event. See the floor map and find more information about the event here.

Prizes
(Listed in Alphabetical Order and Includes the Prize Value and Vendor’s Booth Number)

Account Recovery Specialists Inc (#822)
Coleman cooler with beer in Wichita Flag Swag theme, $150

Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball, Chtd. (#732)
Game Night Basket, $400

Chick-fil-A (#836)
Catered Meal delivered to one business, $100

Crossland Construction Co., Inc. (#610)
Yeti Roadie Cooler Surprise, $250

Davis-Moore Auto Group (#724)
One complete automotive detail, $150

DoubleTree by Hilton Wichita Airport (#402)
A weekend stay with breakfast for two, $250

Futurity First Insurance Group (#Table 1L)
QuikTrip gift cards, $100

Genesis Health Clubs (#702)
3 Month free membership and 2 FREE personal training sessions, $300

Heartland Credit Union (#114)
Gift basket from Augustino Brewery ($100), cash prizes ($200) and Sonospher Speaker ($105), $405

Homewood Suites by Hilton @ the Waterfront (#416)
One complimentary weekend night (Fri., Sat., or Sun.) stay in a Luxury King Studio Suite – Includes complimentary Suite Start Hot Breakfast Buffet, $140

Hyatt Regency Wichita (#730)
Complimentary one night stay in our Presidential Suite, $950 

INTRUST Bank Arena (#913)
Two tickets to Cirque du Soleil Crystal at INTRUST Bank Arena on Friday October, 26 at 7:30, $174

Kansas Star Casino & Event Center (#501)
Dinner for two to the Woodfire Grille, $100

QueenBee Marketing (#906)
Apple HomePod, $350

Signs & Design (#211)
4’ x 8’ Custom Full Color Banner, $192

Starkey Inc (#826)
Amazon gift card, $100

Succentrix Business Advisors – Wichita (3G)
Amazon Echo, $130

SumnerOne (#703)
Lorell Sit-to-Stand Electric Desk Riser, $535

Superior Signs & Engraving, Inc. (#116)
Printed Wichita Flag tote bag stuffed full of Wichita swag: beach towel, hat, t-shirt, coffee mug, tumbler, golf balls, bottle opener, key chain, license plate, and more, $250

Sunflower Bank (#820)
Shockers Men’s Basketball home tickets and parking pass in a decorative basket, $250

The Alley Indoor Entertainment (#506)
Free Escape Room Package. Valid for up to 6 people, 1 escape room adventure, $193

The Alley Indoor Entertainment (#506)
2 hours Unlimited Bowling, & Karts; good for up to 10 guests. Shoes included, $200

The Lodge at Old Kinderhook (#815)
1 Night Stay, 2 round of golf and 4 ICE passes + skate Rentals, $400+

Watermark Books & Cafe (#303)
Gift certificate, $100

Wichita Sports Forum (#1037)
A 6-month family membership (up to 4 people) to Aviate Extreme Air Sports, inside Wichita Sports Forum, $420

Wichita Thunder (#213)
Four VIP Tickets good for any game, $116

World Impact Wichita (#518)
Flying Stove gift card, $100

World Impact Wichita (#518)
Espresso to Go-Go gift card, $100

Xclusive Events (#1030)
2 Tickets to Bloktoberfest Beer Tasting ($80) and 2 Bloktoberfest shirts ($30), $110

Xtreme Racing & Entertainment (#Table 1D)
6 Person Grand Prix Event, $310

Zinta Inspired Language LLC (#Tabletop 2J)
One Adult 8-week Language Class (Spanish or French) With textbook, $298

Biz Bites
(Listed in Alphabetical Order and Includes the Vendor’s Booth Number)

American Fun Food Inc. • 401
Augustino Brewing Company • 114
Chick-fil-A • 836
Costco Wholesale • 101
Cowboy Chicken • 212
Eat Fit Go • 507
Fredo’s • 902
Hall’s Culligan Water Conditioning • 827
Hopping Gnome Brewing Company • 920A
J Rae’s Bakery • 932
Jason’s Deli • 1201
LongHorn Steakhouse • 500
PrairieFire Coffee Roasters • 828
Reverie Coffee Roasters • 200
Rib Crib • 733
River City • 514
Sweetly Scrumptious • 514
Texas Roadhouse • 927
The Farris Wheel • 721
The Kitchen • 920B
The Monarch • 1030

Admission is free for business professionals, and we encourage everyone to register in advance at wichitachamber.org/exposure to expedite the check-in process at the event.

Open Streets ICT: A Dunkin’ Good Time

By Tram Ngo

Ever wanted to dunk the Mayor, Police Chief or a City Council Member or two? Well we’ve lined up your opportunity at Open Streets ICT on Sunday, Sept. 23.

“What is Open Streets ICT?” you might be asking. Open Streets ICT is a FREE (we all love free) community-building event that closes a usually busy street to traffic and opens it for biking, walking, running, dancing, yoga and more. All Wichitans (that means you!) are invited to join the fun and to stop at local Douglas Avenue businesses, restaurants, street vendors and activity hubs. The goal of Open Streets ICT is to promote the interaction of local businesses and organizations with the community to help strengthen the connections in Wichita. You can check out the website here for more information.

You might also be asking, “Why is the Chamber participating?” Well because why not?! The Chamber’s mission is to drive economic growth and community advancement in the Wichita region, so the mission of Open Streets ICT falls right in line with what we want to accomplish for our community. This is the second year the Chamber has participated in the event and you can see photos from last year’s activities on our Facebook album.

This year, we’re ready for a dunking-good time. $5 will get you three shots at sending one of the individuals listed below into a dunk tank. All proceeds will go to United Way of the Plains, so be sure to come see us in front of our building at 350 W. Douglas. Let us know you’re coming by RSVPing to the Facebook event!

Dunk Tank Schedule
1:30 p.m. – Jeff Longwell, Mayor of the City of Wichita
2:00 p.m. – Gordon Ramsay – Chief of Wichita Police Department
2:30 p.m. – Pete Meitzner – City Council member of District 2
3:00 p.m. – Jeff Blubaugh – City Council member of District 4

Interested in checking out the Wichita Flag murals along Douglas that day? Download the free izi.TRAVEL app (search for Wichita Flag Murals –Downtown Wichita, Kansas) to access an audio guide and digital map.

Fun on the Exposure Show Floor

Stacy Ward Lattin (owner of Hopping Gnome Brewing) and Natasha Gandhi (owner of The Kitchen) are teaming up to offer a Bite & Sip experience at Exposure.

Three weeks from today, Century II’s Expo Hall will become the place to be in the Wichita business community when our Exposure trade show and networking event comes to life. On Sept. 27, more than 220 businesses from all industries will exhibit their products and services, and more than 1,800 attendees will walk away with connections and leads to grow their networks.

But aside from that, there will be a whole lot of FUN on the show floor. One of our favorite new partnerships is between Hopping Gnome Brewing Company and The Kitchen. The Hopping Gnome is a small microbrewery and taproom known for their exceptional customer service and passion for craft beer, and The Kitchen is locally and family-owned restaurant known for serving delicious food that is good for the body and makes the heart happy. These woman-led companies are teaming up to offer attendees a Bite & Sip Pairing, which will feature a Hopping Gnome Beer that pairs well with The Kitchen’s Southwest Quinoa Salad. Pay them a visit at booth #920 — your taste buds will thank you. (Pro Tip: Look for balloons throughout the show floor to find the BizBite booths, which are food vendors serving samples of their delicious offerings).

Paint the Towne Owner Jessie Sterling (left) says her exhibit will showcase options for team building activities.

Another new addition to Exposure this year is the creative team at Paint the Towne, a company that offers fun step-by-step paint parties for all ages and group sizes. Owner Jessie Sterling has promised an interactive experience when you visit them at booth #1010. “We will have art installations that guest can actually help create — some for the nice and clean, and some that are a little bit more for the adventurous.”

Many vendors use Exposure as a venue to launch new products and services. The team at Superior Signs & Engraving will be showcasing their new direct-to-garment printing services, and attendees will be able to see the process live, as they will be printing shirts throughout the show. Stop by and check them out in booth #116.

For those who have attended Exposure in the last few years, you undoubtedly remember your visit to the Expo Block Party. The party is returning in 2018 and the following businesses are participating: Auto Craft Collision Repair, Heartland Play & Stay/Hairy Sofa Pet Grooming, Metro Appliances, River City Brewing Co., Specs and Sweetly Scrumptious. Come party with them on the main Red Carpet Aisle.

The Expo Block Party is always a show favorite.

One of our staff’s favorite parts of Exposure is getting to see so many Chamber members and member of the community in one place. You will find Chamber staff through the show floor and in our booth (#614). We will be celebrating a Salute to the Military, so stop by to sign a welcome banner for the KC-46 Tanker and U.S.S. Wichita Naval Combat Ship crews.

We hope this has piqued your interest and that you will join us on Sept. 27. The show floor will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and you can experience all of this Exposure fun at no cost! Admission to the show is free for business professionals, but we do recommend registering in advance to expedite the check-in process at the event. Register here and be sure to check out the complete list of registered exhibitors. We will see you at Exposure!

Google Small Business Trainer in Wichita on Sept. 27

Register for three free sessions today!
People in Wichita are looking for your company’s products and services. Participating in our Exposure trade show event is one way to boost your brand awareness. But your potential customers are also looking online.

That’s why we’re teaming up with Google to host three free workshops at Exposure on Thursday, Sept. 27 to help your business get online and grow! Please join us for one (or all three) of the sessions outlined below, and invite anyone else you think would benefit.

>> Be sure to check out the intro video from Google Small Business Trainer Pamela Starr at the bottom of this post. <<

Make Your Website Work For You (11 to 11:45 a.m.)
If you’re launching a new business website (or sprucing up an existing site), this workshop is for you. Learn how to create a search-friendly website that’s useful for customers and supports your business goals. In this workshop we’ll offer tips for:

  • Building a goal-oriented website
  • Creating useful content for your audience
  • Ensuring your site is useful for visitors, on any and every device
  • Increasing visibility with search engine optimization (SEO)

Tips for Measuring Online Success (11:55 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.)
You invest time, effort, and resources into being online, but do you know how much it’s worth to your bottom line? This workshop introduces ways to track and measure progress, so you can find out. In this workshop we’ll discuss best practices for:

  • Measuring the success of your website
  • Evaluating actions on your Google My Business listing
  • Optimizing your online ad campaigns

Using Data to Drive Growth (12:50 to 1:45 p.m.)
Learn about tools that can help you understand customer behavior with your online presence. We’ll show you how you can use this info to make informed decisions about your ongoing online marketing strategy. In this session we’ll talk about:

  • Identifying  business goals (and how you plan to use your online presence to achieve them)
  • Incorporating data into your plan
  • Selecting tools to help you find the answers you need

RSVP Now 
(Please register to attend Exposure and select which session(s) you plan to attend on the final check-out screen.)

Being online can have a big impact: Small businesses are nearly 3x as likely to reach more customers and new markets when they fully adopt digital tools. Yet, less than 1 in 5 small businesses in Kansas have a listing on a search engine. RSVP today for any of the workshops outlined above, and together we can help grow your business.

Exposure will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27 at Century II Expo Hall. It is the region’s premiere business-to-business trade show and networking event. Exhibit your products and services for as little as $150, or attend the show for free (advance registration is recommended).

 

Purple Goldfish authors coming to Wichita

Authors and customer experience leaders Evan Carroll and David Rendall will be speaking in Wichita on June 21. Their three-hour workshop is titled “Think Outside the Bowl: Creating a World-Class Experience to Drive Customer Loyalty and Advocacy” and is based on the Purple Goldfish book series. The workshop will challenge attendees to think differently about their customers and to do the little things that make a big difference in customer experience. The program is presented by AMA Wichita and the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce. It will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 21 at The Hudson – directly following Wichita American Marketing Association’s Awards luncheon.

Evan Carroll is an NPR, CBS, and New York Times featured author, keynote speaker, Veteran SXSW presenter, and IBM Futurist who humanizes technology to connect with customers, engage employees and drive a stronger bottom line. As a workshop facilitator, Evan inspires companies to leverage technology, data, and analytics to drive customer loyalty and advocacy. He is the author of two books: Blue Goldfish and Your Digital Afterlife.

During the last fifteen years, David Rendall has spoken to audiences on every inhabited continent. His clients include the US Air Force, Australian Government, and Fortune 50 companies such as Microsoft, AT&T, United Health Group, Fannie Mae and State Farm. David has a doctor of management degree in organizational leadership, as well as a graduate degree in psychology. He is the author of four books: The Four Factors of Effective Leadership; The Freak Factor; The Freak Factor for Kids; and Pink Goldfish.

Emily Juhnke of Gardner Design is the incoming president of Wichita’s chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and has heard Evan speak on previous occasions. “The AMA is made up of professionals who are leaders in their fields of expertise, and this definitely includes Evan and David,” Emily said. “We’re so excited for Wichita businesses to benefit from their insights, which, when applied, will no doubt lead to increased sales and profitability.”

“We’re thrilled to have national thought-leaders like Evan and David joining us in Wichita,” said Chamber Director of Engagement Rachel Douglass. “When the Wichita American Marketing Association secured them for their annual awards luncheon and asked if we’d like to partner on a post-luncheon workshop, it was a no-brainer. The importance of customer service and overall differentiation is key to the success of our local businesses – and our community’s economic growth.”

Tickets are available for $45, and each ticket holder will receive will receive a signed copy of Purple Goldfish ($15.95 value) and a copy of the Purple Goldfish Workbook ($19.95 value). Register at wichitachamber.org.

Last Day to Nominate Innovators, Challenge Seekers and Continual Learners

Still mulling over who to nominate for our 2018 Leadership Wichita class? Three program graduates offer some insight into the qualities they look for when submitting nominations. Submit your nomination today on the Chamber’s website.

Coleen Tabor

CONTINUAL LEARNERS
Coleen Tabor,
Talent and Diversity Director
at Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.

“I consider these qualifications when making my nominations: people who have demonstrated leadership capabilities by leading cross-functional teams both inside
the company and in the community; people who show a strong commitment to continuous learning in both personal and professional realms and whose commitment is based in a humble understanding of their strengths and opportunities for growth; and people who have a desire to impact the region by building economic and cultural value for all community members.”

Matt Cortez

CHALLENGE SEEKERS
Matt Cortez,
VP & Opportunities Studio Lead
at GLMV Architecture

“When submitting my nomination for the program, I look for the intangible qualities in a person that allow them to see opportunities in every difficulty (along with qualifications that show up on a resume). These individuals must have integrity, they must be
visionaries and they also must have a substantial amount of grit to overcome challenges.”

INNOVATORS
Sheelu Surender,
Director of 
Financial Aid and Scholarships
at Wichita State University

Sheelu Surender

“The individuals I nominate have a passion and commitment for innovation and growth, both in their organizations and in our community. They are leaders who give of their time, talent and resources to advance the greater good. As they participate in the program and gain a greater understanding of the local environment, the perspective gained will be transformative.”

Today is the last day to nominate our next group of 30 community changers who will participate in the 2018 Leadership Wichita class. This annual immersive experience is managed by the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce and the program runs between August 23 and November 14. Visit wichitachamber.org/leadershipwichita for more information about the program or contact the Chamber’s Director of Community Advancement, Jonathan Long, at 316-268-1170.

2018 Small Business Award Winners Announced Today

Watermark Books & Café and Allmetal Recycling, LLC are the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Small Businesses of the Year. The Chamber made the announcement at today’s award luncheon held at the Hyatt Regency Wichita.

Award finalists were divided into two tiers based upon number of full-time employees. Watermark Books & Cafe represents Tier One (businesses with 1 – 25 full-time employees), and Allmetal Recycling represents Tier Two (businesses with 26-100 full-time employees). Judges evaluated the finalists based on five key areas: leadership and performance, employee relations, entrepreneurship, diversity and community involvement.

Watermark Books & Cafe is our Tier One 2018 Small Business Award Winner.

Watermark Books & Café opened its doors in 1 977 and is located at 4701 E. Douglas. Twenty-five employees at the independent bookstore keep the minds and bodies of their customers fed by hosting interesting reading events involving nationally-known authors and selling made-from-scratch café items. Owner Sarah Bagby credits her success to a passionate staff and a complex marketing infrastructure as well as her partnerships with authors, area businesses, schools, publishers, and literary houses. A champion of local authors, Bagby said, “We love to bolster stories being written in Wichita.”

Allmetal Recycling is our Tier Two 2018 Small Business Award Winner.

Founded in 2009, Allmetal Recycling, LLC currently employs a team of seventy-seven and is located at 800 E. 21st St. N. The company has been growing its footprint and changing the culture as well as attitudes about the scrap metal and recycling industry with the tagline, Not your typical scrap yard. Owner and general manager Clint Cornejo said, “We set out to change the image of the industry. Safety is our top priority and we’ve created a friendly environment for our customers.”

The Presenting Sponsors of the 2018 Awards program were Mahaney Roofing Company and The Monarch. Joe Ontjes of Luminous Neon, Inc. gave the keynote address.

Small businesses are responsible for creating 2 of every 3 new jobs in the U.S. and make up almost 90 percent of the Wichita Regional Chamber membership. The Small Business Awards program, now in its 14th year, is designed not only to provide small businesses the recognition they deserve but to also give other small businesses a chance to learn from the best.

2018 Small Business Awards Finalists

Tier One (1 – 25 full-time employees)

McCurdy Auction, LLC
Paint the Towne
Reverie Coffee Roasters
Shelden Architecture
Watermark Books & Cafe

Tier Two (26 – 100 full-time employees)

Allmetal Recycling, LLC
Elite Staffing Solutions
Stearman Field Bar & Grill
The Anchor

Visit the Chamber’s Facebook page to see photos of the event. Videos highlighting each of the finalists will be posted to the Chamber’s YouTube channel.

Member Minute with Dandelion Wine Design

Facebook and Instagram @dandelionwinedesign – 316-308-0803

Jan Sattler is the creative talent behind many of the Chamber’s most popular graphic design projects. She’s developed numerous invitations as well as the Chamber’s award-winning annual summaries. And she just finished producing a unique intern passport for the Chamber’s affiliate, the Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW). In this interview, you’ll learn more about what inspires her to find creative solutions to the challenges faced by her clients.

Jan Sattler owns and operates Dandelion Wine Design.

What products and services do you provide?
The name of my business might lead you to believe that I specialize in the fermentation of dandelion blossoms into wine. Not so. I love a good challenge and I find great satisfaction in transforming what some people may view as a problem into a positive opportunity. My objective with this business is to find creative solutions. That’s reflected in the name and motto for my business:  “When life gives you dandelions, make dandelion wine. Turn your nemesis into something divine.”

I specialize in logo & branding design, business cards, stationery, brochures, flyers, postcards, ads, banners, forms, catalogs, newsletters, direct mail, posters, billboards, signs, infographics, trade show materials, murals and apparel design.

In addition to graphic design services for businesses and organizations, I also design invitations, announcements, signage and room decor for events celebrating the special occasions of life: birth, birthday, graduation, wedding, anniversary, retirement, and memorials to name a few.

Another category of my design work involves various Wichita Flag swag items, including a 2018 calendar and unique seasonal items.

My objective with this business is to find creative solutions – to surpass the typical way of thinking by creating an end product that is truly unique and unforeseen. I strive to exceed the expectations of the client while meeting the specific needs of their company, organization or special event.

About my company
I’ve been a graphic artist for 20 years, but only recently under the name Dandelion Wine Design. Past clients include the Diocese of Wichita, Wichita Clinic and Via Christi Health. I’m the Principal & Creative Director, Project Manager, Business Manager and Graphic Designer for my business.

What differentiates your business from your competitors?

Initially I prefer to meet face-to-face with new clients. I want to get to know them and learn their story. I’m interested in their style and their preferences. I want to create specifically for each client and satisfy THEIR unique graphic needs rather than MY wants, without any templates or preconceived idea.

Jan Sattler likes to incorporate unique folds in her designs so that they stand out for her clients.

What about your business are you most passionate?
The creative part. My favorite projects are the ones where I can be “extra” creative. Perhaps a special fold will take the project to the next level as was the case with the 2015 & 2016 Chamber Annual Summaries. My 2018 Wichita Flag calendar design took “special fold” to a whole new level. Another fun project was the interactive Wichita Flag mural I designed for the Chamber. Now I have been challenged to create a fun mural for one of my Chamber member clients, SpinICT.

Describe your business’ most recent success.
Together with the Chamber, three awards were received for the 2015 Annual Summary “folded Wichita flag” document: 2016 Silver Award from the Wichita American Marketing Association Annual Report category, 2016 First Place from the Kansas Professional Communicators Annual Report category and 2016 Honorable Mention from the National Federation of Press Women Nonprofit Brochures category. We also won the 2016 Gold Award from the Wichita American Marketing Association for the #ILoveWichita Wichita Flag cityscape design and initiative.

To what do you attribute your success?

I was drawing and painting from a very early age and always had a sense of the elements of design before I learned their technical definitions. Certainly, many useful traits have been passed down through my family, like the courage and determination necessary for growth and new ventures as well as a strong work ethic.

What is most valuable about Chamber membership?
Since I work alone at my home office, what is most valuable to me is networking and socializing with other Chamber members. Many of my clientele are Chamber members, whose design work was secured as a result of my Chamber membership and their recognition of my graphic projects produced specifically for the Chamber. On a scale of 1-10, I rate Chamber membership at a 10 for anyone who wants to build a successful business in this vibrant, pride-filled community.

What is your favorite Chamber event?

The Annual Meeting of course, since I have been given the opportunity to create the printed materials for the event: the folded flag brochure in 2015, the new logo reveal with special fold in 2016 and the Sports Celebrated magazine in 2017.

Sattler designed the interactive Wichita flag mural that is positioned on the east side of the building.

What’s your best piece of advice for new small business owners?
If you have some talent and you are willing to work hard, you can become very successful at your trade. But excellence, peak performance, and being the best you can be at something can really be enhanced with coaching. Don’t be afraid to seek appropriate counsel, mentoring and advice. Fortunately, Chamber membership provides many of these coaching opportunities to build your business.

What’s the most effective social media tool for your own business?

So far, I have not taken full advantage of the positive impact that social media could have on my business. I have an Instagram account, a Facebook page and a website that I am currently updating. However, I have dedicated time to create graphics for social media use for my clients.

Where do you see your business in the next five years?
I plan to nurture the seed that has already been established, to strive to make Dandelion Wine Design more efficient and profitable. We all know that it’s difficult to keep a good dandelion down. To be resilient and deeply rooted are key.

Member Minute with Red Door Three

1400 Terradyne St #210 | Andover, KS 67002 | (316) 570-2773
FB: @RedDoorThree | Twitter: @edmundson3

Stacy Edmundson is the President and Owner of Red Door Three.

Stacy Edmundson is the President and Owner of Red Door Three. Located in Andover, the company has been a Chamber member since 2014 and a member of the Wichita Manufacturer’s Association (a Chamber affiliate) since 2015. Edmundson’s passion for customer service shines through in this Member Minute.

What products and services does Red Door Three provide?
Red Door Three is a display and exhibit company that specializes in creating exhibits that are custom to the client’s needs — from design to manufacture to set-up and dismantle. Our main areas of focus are custom exhibits, portable displays, custom kiosks and interior signage. We handle the project, from the design process to manufacturing  to final installation. We are also an authorized Nimlok dealer.

Why did you join the Chamber and what do you find most valuable about Chamber membership?
Business is all about relationships. We joined to connect with other businesses in the Wichita area. It’s been an amazing marketing tool for us and has helped with name recognition and credibility.

What is the best thing about doing business in the Wichita area?
Wichita is a great city to do business in, especially in our industry, because of the variety of businesses that call Wichita ‘home’. Every business needs what we have to offer in some way or another. We want our clients to succeed in their marketing efforts so that they can grow and create more jobs. We take great pride in that. There’s no more gratifying feeling than designing an exhibit and having it come to life to create business opportunities for our clients.

A rendering of the Solution Center that will open soon inside the new warehouse space Red Door Three will occupy in Andover.

Describe your business’ most recent successes.
It’s been a banner year, so I’d have to list five things.
— I was just accepted into the SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative. In completing the program, I will have developed a three-year strategic growth action plan for my business.
— With the help of the Kansas PTAC Team, we are finalizing our government contracting certifications.
— We’ll soon be finalizing a Solutions Center for our clients at our facility located in Andover. It will be a great environment for clients so that they can see various products and what materials and options are available.
— We were recognized by Nimlok for “2017 Best Design” for an exhibit we created for a local Wichita client.
— Last year’s growth was amazing and our referrals are helping our expansion.

To what do you attribute your success?
Making sure that every client we have feels like they are our only client. We are focused on customer service. Our clients know that we will take care of them. That’s crucial in our industry. We live by deadlines and we don’t get second chances.

What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why?
There are two of them actually. I try to attend every Small Business Owner Roundtable. It’s a great opportunity to meet with other business owners in the community and the session topics are very informative. The topic may not pertain to my business at this point in time, but things change so rapidly that it probably will soon.

My other favorite is the Member Business Exchange. You meet so many different businesses in such a short period of time. Great event!

What is something people may not know about you or your business?
The fact that we offer complete trade show coordination — logistics, show service coordination, set-up/dismantle, and exhibit storage. All of those services are needed to put a client’s exhibit to use and they can continue to rely on us for those.

What differentiates your business from your competitors?
We’re LOCAL. Many companies in our area have relied on exhibit houses outside of Wichita to develop their exhibits and may not realize that they can get the same level and depth of services with Red Door Three right here in the Wichita area. I would put us up against anyone’s current exhibit partner in terms of customer service, value, and overall expertise in the industry. Also, many other exhibit houses require their customers to sign multiple-year fulfillment contracts. These contracts require the client to work exclusively with an exhibit house for a specific period of time, typically two years. We don’t believe those types of contracts are necessary. We hold ourselves to the highest standards on all of our projects at all times. Returning clients and referrals are a testament to our high level of service.

What has Chamber membership brought to you and your business?
Visibility. I didn’t buy an existing business. I started a brand new one. While I had years of industry experience and people knew my name, they weren’t familiar with my company. The Chamber was the best way to get my name out there. It helped with both visibility and establishing credibility.

Where do you see your organization in five years?
We just celebrated our fourth anniversary and we’ve had a lot of growth in those four years. I predict even more growth for us in the next five years. I want to keep building our diverse list of clients and hope to hire a few more people over the next few years.

What about your business are you most passionate?
Learning about businesses and telling the client’s story thru exhibits and displays.  By doing this, it allow the client a platform to open more doors and provide more opportunities for their business. The variety of businesses in and around Wichita is truly amazing. I always try to get a tour of our client’s facility to get a real sense of what they do and how they do it. It helps us to provide the background and details our designers need to do the best job for the client. Those details definitely show through at the end.

Best thing about being a small business?
Knowing that the sacrifices and challenges are worth it when you get to pursue your own passion.

Most challenging thing about owning a small business?
Juggling so many priorities can be challenging, but there’s a real sense of gratification when you deliver exactly what you promised the client.

Best piece of advice for new small business owners.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek mentors who you can connect with and support your vision. I’ve been so impressed with the business professionals who’ve been able to help me. Just one example: Shawn Nguyen at Wichita State University’s Kansas PTAC Team guided me through the entire certification process for government contracting. That group is invaluable for small businesses like mine.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague?
A 10 for sure. There’s no better way to connect with the many great businesses in and around the Wichita area.

Favorite business book?
Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Is your company involved in any community/civic activities?
I recently joined the Wichita Aero Club and I’m a member of the Board of the Wichita Manufacturer’s Association (WMA). The majority of our clients are manufacturers, so I really enjoy learning more about that they do through the tours WMA offers. It’s really beneficial to interact with people who have so much experience in that industry. Our manufacturing experience in this region elevates us globally and I like being part of that organization.

Is there anything else you want to share?
People always ask me about the company name. I can’t take credit for it. I gave one of my dear colleagues the task of coming up with something that represented my beliefs. She came up with three words.
RED – is for leadership, courage and passion. It’s a bold color that stands out, even from afar. It represents the courage to outshine others and do the things others might be afraid to do.
DOOR – we offer different options.
THREE– represents my three children.

That sums it up!