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Biz Blast contestants!

Saturday, July 2, 2011   (4 Comments)
Posted by: LocalShops1 Girl
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., July 2  -- and Limelight Marketing Consultants are excited to announce the finalists in their first-ever Biz Blast, in which local businesses will compete for a marketing package valued at more than $3,000.  The event is sponsored by Maddux Business Report, KnowHowe editing & PR; Chris Kuhn, freelance writer; Pat Largo comedy; and Keeping the Balance bookkeeping.

The live competition takes place during LocalShops1's birthday celebration Aug. 8 at the Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd. Doors open at 6Local Business Blast logo. Event registration, judges and other contest details will be announced soon.

The contestants, in no particular order, are Linda's Jewelry and More, License to Cheat, Erika's Place, 1st Wedding Dance Designer, J Allen Studios, Backyard Getaway, ShoutOUT Tampa Bay, Carpet Docs, Intensity Academy Sauces, HerbalWise and Historic Shed.

Here is a little more about each contestant:

Linda's Jewelry and More, Linda Evans

30-second "elevator pitch":    Linda's Jewelry and more covers all your artistic needs and gift-giving in one place!

Biggest struggle:     I think there are two struggles: fear of failure and lack of money. I am often at events, promote myself in art shows and other events, but if i had good patch of money, i could jump into making the business a profitable one and charitable one at that --but the other one is what if i fail ? So it is a struggle but one i think i will win....

Biggest accomplishment:     I think my biggest accomplishment is getting out there and promoting myself and business and having many people celebrate and encourage my achievements. Everyday I learn more and more !

Favorite quote: 
I am the Lord who health thee.....

Contact info: 
    813 774-1692 or

License to Cheat, Billie Jo Grassinger

30-second "elevator pitch":  I have all natural solutions to cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease with products listed in the PDR

Biggest struggle:   Informing people that the side effects to statin medications are horrific. If you are taking medication for cholesterol, it is most likely causing other problems in your system. People believe that since it was prescribed by a doctor, that it is good for them and will help them. Next thing you know, they are on medication for blood pressure or something else. Then, the medications start affecting each other. I do not have a medical background, but the prodcuts that I sell have extensive research

Biggest accomplishment: 
  To date, my biggest accomplishment was graduating "Most Outstanding Student of the Year" from St. Petersburg Junior College. This was a very proud moment and an honor to be recognized for my volunteer efforts throughout the community, my commitment to representing my college and my enduring stamina to work a full time job, a part time job and go to school full time. That was over 10 years ago, so I need am ready for the next "big" accomplishment!

Favorite quote:  Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard at it.

Contact info:  727-423-0083 or

Erika's Place, Inc., JoAnna Mincarelli
30-second "elevator pitch": Somewhere between South Beach and East Hampton lies "Erika's Place, Inc. Dunedin, FL.

Biggest struggle:  Surviving the last 3 years!

Biggest accomplishment: 
Surviving the last 3 years and really blossoming into an extraordinary, unique shop!

Favorite quote:  "Fashion say 'Me Too' and style says 'Only Me'." - Geraldine Stutz former president of Henri Bendels

Contact info:  727-733-0461 or

1st Wedding Dance Designer, Debra Kee

30-second "elevator pitch":  My service adds romance, lasts a lifetime & can be handed down to create an heirloom you started.

Biggest struggle: To find a way to impress upon couples & planners the importance and history of the 1st dance. To make the dance as important as the cake and flowers. To politely have them understand that much of the budget money goes into the garbage or back to the vendors never to be seen again while the dance will last them forever and can be danced anytime,anywhere. To express the dance is the icing on the cake and a "clutch and sway" dance takes away from everything and bores the guests.

Biggest accomplishment: 
  Every time I see my couples become more excited about their dance, and the times they have left their reception to call me and tell me how well it went. I know I have added to their life in a good way. Also,The Daytime Show followed one of my couples from their first lesson to the actual dance and aired it around 4 years ago. Then they never added my name of number on graphics ... gessh

Favorite quote:    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

Contact info:  727 342 3842 or

J Allan Studios,  Shannon "Mandy" Minor

30-second "elevator pitch":  J Allan Studios is a one-stop shop for small- and mid-sized businesses in need of writing and design

Biggest struggle:  Time! Being the main business developer and content writer for all projects, plus having a busy pre-K child and a life makes it hard to do everything I want to do.

Biggest accomplishment: 
Running J Allan Studios so well that it's flourishing despite economic downturn - which is largely due to our repeat and referral business, which is another accomplishment in and of itself!

Favorite quote:  Anyone who is enjoying life is a success" - William Feather

Contact info:   727-822-2526 or

Backyard Getaway, Lisa Burns

30-second "elevator pitch":  Let us add the peace & tranquility of flowing water to your backyard with a unique water feature.

Biggest struggle:  We have been in business for almost 7 years, during that time we have had to move our location twice. Our biggest challenge is letting our past customers know that we are still in business & where we are. Our second biggest challenge is not having a large enough advertising budget to keep our name in front of our customers. We utilize every form of media we can including social media, e-newletters & online business listings to keep our customers informed.

Biggest accomplishment:
Dave was pretty proud when one of our ponds was chosen to be featured in the designer showcase of a national pond trade magazine. But I would have to say our biggest accomplishment would be through our work with school wildlife habitats. We have created wildlife habitats & water features at three local schools allowing us to work with children with disabilities &, behavioral issues. I am most proud of what the students have taken away from these projects A sense of belonging & accomplishment!

Favorite quote: 'Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."

Contact info: 
  941-752-7663 or

ShoutOUT Tampa Bay, Heather Sell

30-second "elevator pitch":  Creating connections, building community awareness, sparking friendships, one ShoutOUT at a time!

Biggest struggle:  Biggest struggle is being limited by time and budget, but needing so many of the essentials to get effectively launched. Also learning how to monetize, efficiently run the business by myself, spreading the word, without getting overwhelmed with all the details.

Biggest accomplishment: 
My biggest accomplishment is that ShoutOUT was originally created as a personal group page to share and post ShoutOUTs but morphed into a business that's generated so much excitement and seems to have done quite a bit of good for the community and for businesses. The FB page was created in September 2010 and we incorporated ShoutOUT Tampa Bay as a business in Feb 2011. We were also winners of the 2011 StartupNation Leading Moms in Business Awards and have been nominated for several local awards.

Favorite quote: "It never hurts to ask. The answer might surprise you!"
Contact info:  813-334-9797 or

Carpet Docs, Dan & Lisa Brave

30-second "elevator pitch": We truly care about giving customers OUTSTANDING service, a healthy home, and the environment.

Biggest struggle:  Marketing. It is difficult to get new customers, in a market with plenty of competition. We want people to recognize our name as synonymous with high quality service and integrity. we care for your home like it is our own, but there are many cutthroat carpet cleaners/marketers out there that advertise outrageously low prices, and then do a poor quality job and/or upsell the customer once they get in the home. It makes it hard for a quality service to compete.

Biggest accomplishment:
Happy repeat customers. Once we do a job for someone, they usually use us again. Our service and product speak for themselves, and we are always thrilled to get the positive feedback from our customers.

Favorite quote: " We make a living by what we get...but we make a life by what we give."

Contact info: 
727-698-0098 or

Intensity Academy Sauces, Michele Northrup

30-second "elevator pitch":  Intensity Academy is a local, award winning, all natural gourmet & hot sauce company.

Biggest struggle: I started Intensity Academy with a zero marketing budget. I literally had enough money to do one single batch, it was either going to work or everyone I knew was going to get hot sauce for Christmas. I have never paid a penny for advertising but try to make true grassroots connections within our community to promote the sauces. My biggest struggle is it has always been just ME, I'd love the professional advise of others to bring my company to a new level. This prize would be a HUGE boost for me.

Biggest accomplishment: 
  My biggest accomplishment was winning the LS1 Grassroots Marketing & Tampa Bay Business Woman of the Year last Fall. (I also loved meeting Paula Deen!)
Favorite quote:  "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the World; indeed it's the only thing that ever has."

Contact info: 
  813-299-3600 or

HerbalWise, Deserie Valloreo

30-second "elevator pitch": HerbalWise workshops & remedies empower people to take control of their health naturally.

Biggest struggle:  Getting people to sign up and attend workshops.

Biggest accomplishment: 
  Making it 3 years in a down economy.
Favorite quote: "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better" Albert Einstein

Contact info:   727-384-4372 or

Historic Shed,  Jo-Anne Peck

30-second "elevator pitch": Custom designed and built gardens sheds, cottages and garages that complement historic FL homes.

Biggest struggle: Letting people know we exist. Our product is unique enough that people don't even know something like us exists. We know our target audience, but have a hard time reaching them directly.

Biggest accomplishment: 
  Bringing our idea into reality.

Favorite quote:  "It's not good because it's old, it's old because it's good."

Contact info:  813-333-2249 or

Comments... says...
Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2011
So excited for all of YOU!
Pampered Chef Independent Consultant says...
Posted Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I am so thrilled to be a part of this!
ShoutOUTâ„¢ Tampa Bay says...
Posted Sunday, July 3, 2011
How exciting! Thanks so very much and a huge ShoutOUT to the other finalists! Appreciate the opportunity to participate in something like this! ~Heather
JoAnna Chylinski-Mincarelli, Erika's Place says...
Posted Saturday, July 2, 2011
That's awesome and thanks so much for the nomination and congratulations to all the other finalists!