‘Small Business: Shop Local’

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The Thomas University Division of Business will present “Small Business: Shop Local” from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, in the Campus Center Classroom on TU’s Forbes Campus.

During the event, three local small business owners will share their stories. Topics covered will include how to start a small business, the best strategies for small business owners and why purchasing from local small businesses is important.

Speakers include Scott Chastain of Everfan, Jessica Little of Sweet Grass Dairy and Heather Abbott of SouthLife Supply Co.

Everfan began in 2011 when Chastain had an idea that centered on fandom, superhero capes and Auburn University. After eight months of learning about collegiate licensing regulations, Everfan launched with a superhero kit that included a cape, eye mask, power bands and shirts for five universities. A few years later Everfan began receiving requests for custom designs and bulk orders. With new opportunities to work with large companies and nonprofit organizations, Everfan began to evolve. Today, Everfan specializes in a host of playful and customizable products that engage people of all ages.

Jessica and Jeremy Little purchased Sweet Grass Dairy in 2005 with a fierce desire to provide an experience in every bite to impact how people think about food. Jeremy focused on traditionally making Old World style cheeses while constantly pursuing progress through science. Jessica passionately tells the story of sustainable agriculture and humanely raised animals through the high quality milk and cheeses. In 2010 the Littles opened the Sweet Grass Cheese Shop in downtown Thomasville. Sweet Grass Dairy now distributes to more than 38 states. The company has developed a product line of six core cheeses, which have won more than 30 domestic and international awards.

SouthLife Supply Co. began as a simple gift exchanged between owners Kelly and Heather Abbott. Kelly began creatively repurposing discarded gun shells into stunning, classic jewelry and leather goods. His wife Heather applied her considerable business acumen to growing SouthLife Supply Co. into a national brand. For the following seven years, the SouthLife team traveled the country from trade show to trade show selling products and creating wholesale partnerships with the likes of Bass Pro Shops, The Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Entertainment. In the summer of 2016, SouthLife opened a store in downtown Thomasville.

For more information about the event, contact Dr. Melinda Piller, Chair of the Division of Business, at mpiller@thomasu.edu.

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