CO.STARTERS Spotlight: Trista Havner

CO.STARTERS Spotlight: Trista Havner

Chances are if you can dream it, Trista Havner can make it. As the owner of Hub City Love, she makes a business out of rescuing forgotten treasures and returning them to their former glory. “No piece of wood, old window, canvas, or even t-shirt is safe with me,” says Trista. If it will hold still, you can pretty much bet she is going to paint it.


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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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Art Collective

Art Collective

Suzanah Furtick came to Jackson with her husband two years ago, after his job relocation, and she brought with her the hope and intention of developing the art community in the city. As a quilter, and former professor at Memphis College of Art, Suzanah knows the sweet familiarity of fellowship that art can bring. Disheartened by the seeming lack of art company, she began the CO.STARTERS program in the beginning of May to learn more about the business side of being an artist, and also learn how to create a center or group for local Jackson artists. Along the way, she met like-minded artists, and by the end of August, she had put together a meetup at theCO called “Art Collective.” The first meeting had over 30 attendees, further proving there are artists in Jackson also seeking community. And Suzanah had delivered.

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CO.STARTERS Spotlight: Kingdom Concierge

CO.STARTERS Spotlight: Kingdom Concierge

When most people think about planning a trip to Disney, they instantly feel overwhelmed. After all, there are a lot of details to consider. Alison Weaver saw an opportunity to apply her experience and expertise by establishing Kingdom Concierge, a company who will plan your magical trip for free.


Alison had an abundance of Disney knowledge but a shortage of how-to-operate-a-business knowledge. She turned to CO.STARTERS for help.

According to Alison, “CO.STARTERS gave me the confidence that I lacked as a business owner.” She attributes her business’ growth to her time with like-minded classmates and helpful teachers.

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Jackson Escape Rooms Recommends CO.STARTERS

Jackson Escape Rooms Recommends CO.STARTERS

“When we started Jackson Escape Rooms in the spring of 2015, we had no idea what we were doing. Frankly, we had no business being in business.” Lee Wilson, owner of Jackson Escape Rooms, attributes much of his business success to his time in CO.STARTERS.

Lee and his team had just completed a three week pop up version of Jackson Escape Rooms. They faced an interesting dilemma - huge success. According to Lee, “we had all this success we never anticipated. No knowledge. No information. No way of knowing what to do next.”

So he began to search for something to help him during this strange crisis. He found out about CO.STARTERS and decided to participate.

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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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Member Spotlight: Kelly Maust

Member Spotlight: Kelly Maust

Kelly Maust was fascinated by the jewelry that her mother-in-law used to send her from Ecuador. The stones were meticulously polished and shone in a variety of vibrant colors—except they weren’t stones; they were made from palm seeds.

Ecuadorians harvest the seeds, dry them out, and then colorize them with vibrant dyes. They then use the seeds to make lovely and eco-friendly beads, small toys, keychains, ornaments, and more.

Two years ago, when Maust and her husband were visiting his parents for Christmas, Maust had an idea.

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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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2017: Another Great Year in the Books!

2017: Another Great Year in the Books!

Every December I write this article reflecting on the moments, milestones, and amazing people that made 2017 a year to remember. From announcing another Best in the West business competition winner to accepting a state-funded grant in which we have been tasked with turning forty-foot motorhomes into rolling innovation labs, it’s been an extremely busy year for theCO.

However, overlooking the mistakes, the loses, and the setbacks for the year would be naive of us as an entrepreneur development center. Some of the greatest achievements and growth can be traced back to times of failure, and that’s perfectly okay! We’ve seen great ideas and potential businesses put on the back burner this year and understand that life gets in the way sometimes. Just know that theCO is here to help. Ask us questions, and tell us about your struggles. We want nothing more than to see you grow personally and help your business grow as well.

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