CO.STARTERS Spotlight: Will Lovelady

CO.STARTERS Spotlight: Will Lovelady

Will Lovelady was at a conference last fall in Philadelphia when he rubbed shoulders with a professor from his undergrad years. Since this was Lovelady’s first time at a conference like this one, he was feeling a little out of his comfort zone and asked the professor what he normally does when he travels for conferences. And that is how Lovelady ended up at a cigar bar in downtown Philadelphia, talking with a man he had known from years previous.

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CO.STARTERS Spotlight: Seth Nelson

CO.STARTERS Spotlight: Seth Nelson

Most early teenagers are starting high school and spending their free time hanging out with friends, but at the young age of fourteen, Seth Nelson was busy starting a business. Nelson’s homegrown business, The Farmer’s Perk Organic Coffee Co., started from scratch with only $400 and a kid’s entrepreneurial spirit. He bought fold-out tables and air pots and began showing up every Saturday morning at the farmers’ market to serve Jacksonians coffee while they browsed the produce.

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CO.STARTERS Grad Spotlight: Kristi Woody

CO.STARTERS Grad Spotlight: Kristi Woody

Like many of her friends, Kristi Woody grew up watching Disney movies (her favorite is The Great Mouse Detective). But she didn’t really fall in love with Disney until she visited Walt Disney World with her husband on their honeymoon.

“I had gone to Disneyland a few times growing up,” she said. “And I liked it; we had a lot of fun there. But then my husband and I went to Disney World in Florida for the first time together, and we’ve just kept going back more times every year. It’s just kind of like our thing together.”

Woody, a professional photographer, started a Disney-focused Instagram account to share photos from her trips to the parks.

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CO.STARTERS Spotlight: Megan Peden Pottery

CO.STARTERS Spotlight: Megan Peden Pottery

Tell me a bit about your business.

I make and sell mostly handmade functional work, like cups, mugs, bowls, plates. I make to order, I try to encourage people to give me commissions for dinnerware sets for friends who are getting married and stuff like that, but most of my sales come from the pottery sales at Union and art fairs. Since graduating from Union, I’ve been trying to grow the business and hopefully get it big enough to where I can eventually do that as my career.

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CO.STARTERS Grad Spotlight: Krista Paul Event Planning

CO.STARTERS Grad Spotlight: Krista Paul Event Planning

How did you get started with event planning?

In middle school, we had lots of parties—the good kind! But I was the person who coordinated where the parents should drop their kids off and what time to pick them up and which friends were bringing drinks, snacks, and cups—and all the details. So I really started as a kid. But officially I started in college when my friends asked me to coordinate their wedding because I’m a really organized person, and I have a lot of energy. So I did that in 2012.

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CO.STARTERS Spotlight: Nebulosity Music & Arts Festival

CO.STARTERS Spotlight: Nebulosity Music & Arts Festival

What is Nebfest?

Kari Howard: It’s a 3D music festival. You’ve got three stages, vendors, a fire-breathers workshop you can attend. It’s basically like one big, happy summer music festival right here in Atwood, Tennessee.

Heath McKissick: Nebfest is three days, [. . .] 30+ artists. Rock, reggae, indie rock. [. . .] Everything’s a show. [. . .] We have workshops the whole weekend. You can come and learn how to juggle, you can learn how to eat fire, you can do belly dancing, you can do yoga. [. . .] You pay one ticket, and you just come for the whole weekend.

Kari: You know, we’re in the Bible Belt, and so we’re Southern. So we’re trying to mix this summer fun crowd with the—what should we call it?—“music artsy festival” crowd. [. . .] So we’re trying to just combine the two into one like transformational weekend, you know? They get exposed to the culture that they’re involved with, and they kind of get exposed to the culture of Jackson and the surrounding cities. Yeah, it’s super cultural, and it’s something very unique to Jackson that nobody else is doing.

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CO.STARTERS Pitch Night Celebrates Another Group of Entrepreneurs

CO.STARTERS Pitch Night Celebrates Another Group of Entrepreneurs

From the start, theCO has been committed to helping entrepreneurs in West Tennessee, and CO.STARTERS is the vehicle we use to support them. It’s a nine week program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn their business ideas into action. The spring 2017 CO.STARTERS class is coming to a close, and that means one thing: Pitch Night!

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CO.STARTERS Grad Spotlight: Dion Thornton

CO.STARTERS Grad Spotlight: Dion Thornton

CO.STARTERS continues to help business owners just like Dion Thornton who want to be inspired to ignite their businesses. Check out this interview asking about how the program changed her life,  and make sure to attend our Business Strategy Night on Tuesday, March 21, at 5:30pm to learn more about our next class starting in April.

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Our Jackson Home: The Escape Artist

Our Jackson Home: The Escape Artist

Through his continually growing business Jackson Escape RoomsCO:member and CO.STARTERS graduate Lee Wilson has made us proud in a handful of ways—not to mention through his most recent endeavor, starring on CBS's new reality TV show, Hunted. Check out this Our Jackson Home story by Josh Garcia giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the show and how entwined it is with JER, and don't miss the premiere this Saturday.

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