Entrepeneurs Flourish in Austin, Tx

[Zhi Tea, May 28, 2008]

When I told my daughter that Austin must be doing something right, she said, “Austin Powers?”
Once I stopped laughing I was able to share stories about a few new business owners I met in Austin, Texas, and how they possessed a refreshing burst of enthusiasm that I wanted to bring back to Los Angeles.

The first entrepreneur I met when I arrived was Penny of PennysPastries.com. She sells the tastiest chocolate chip cookie mix on the planet from her website. With flavors such as Chocolate Chip Indulgence, Peanut Butter Obsession, Black Magic and Chocolate-Chocolate Cherry, you’ll undoubtedly find something to delight your palette.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t send a shout out to one of the entrepreneurs I met when I was leaving. Sue Rostvold of VerySuperCool.com gave me a box of greeting cards. (Yes! They really are cool.) Her tagline for VerySuperCool.com is “Green greeting cards with soul, because every dog has a story.” My friends fell in love with these adorable cards the moment they laid eyes on them. The heart-warming picture as well as the sayings inside each card makes them memorable.

Here are some of the vendors Jeannette Peten, CEO of BiGAustin, had on hand to display their unique products at the BiGAustin Marketplace last month. It’s always nice to know what entrepreneurs are doing in various parts of the country, so I will continue to share my finding with you as I travel to other cities. Mileagelogger–Manuel Fernandez Whether you’re a sales rep, small business person or travel for your company, to claim your miles from the IRS you need to track your miles for the IRS.

Finally, Mileagelogger has made this easy. Mileagelogger created and offers the world’s first and only wireless GPS-enabled system to track those important miles. It provides IRS compliant business mileage log books without you lifting a finger. Make your life easier by visiting mileagelogger.com.

House By the Side of the Road–Susan Belisle For several years Belisle owned and operated a small bed and breakfast in Baltimore, Maryland. And although the rooms were quaint and the customer service fabulous, guests kept coming back for Susan’s special gingerbread pancakes and waffles. After her guests requested a way to make her morning treats in their home kitchens, Susan decided to work with a professional blender to turn her from-scratch gingerbread pancakes into an easy-to-use mix. Now living in Austin, Texas, Susan offers her mix under the Morning Sunshine brand. Available in a 2-pound, beautifully designed copper-colored pouch, her mixes are available online at gingerbreadpancakemix.com.

Chocolatecture - Kathleen Grandfield My gift from BiGAustin was a lavish gift basket made by jewelry designer and Certified Chocolatier, Kathleen Grandfield. It was delicious and included an eclectic mix of chocolate items including hearts, musical instruments and bats. Her website is kathleengrandfield.com

Dsdel Ideas–Deborah Evans-Lombe A gifted artist, Evans-Lombe uses her graphic design and fine-arts background to offer a full line of pet cans that celebrate the loving attachment between owners and their pets. Deborah also has a line of original pieces and limited-edition, signed prints all executed in black and white. This series, called Accordance in Black and White, is stunning in its simplicity while also celebrating and respecting diversity in our community and the world. Visit dsdelideas.com.

Zhi Tea–Jeffrey Lorien We heard it repeated time and again at the BiGMARKETPLACE: The Zhi Tea experience was not to be missed. With beautifully designed tins of loose teas, Zhi Teas are smooth, pleasant and unexpectedly delightful. All teas offered by Zhi Tea are organic and fair trade gourmet loose teas. They also offer fabulous steeping devices. zhitea.com.

Mexican Masterpieces LLC–Julieta Alcantara Hand-loomed and hand-embroidered pillowcases, wonderfully colorful throws and thoughtfully produced table runners in vivid colors are the focus of Mexican Masterpieces. This small company offers the best selection of hand-made products, elaborated by Mexican artisans using pre-Hispanic techniques. Alcantara’s carefully selected pieces are as much a history lesson of a people as they are beautiful, sincere works of art. mexicanmasterpieces.net.

Keynamics LLC–Greg Bright Does your back ache from sitting too long in front of your computer in an uncomfortable chair? How about leaning over your laptop until your shoulders feel stiff and painful? Greg Bright addresses these common problems with his line of ergonomic office products, innovative laptop stands and BodyBilt chairs. With Bright’s products you’ll start to feel more energized immediately. He has a great selection at keynamics.com.


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