Monday, June 27, 2016

Designer Again Celebrating 25 Years


Designer Again offers the opportunity to make and save money through the sales of quality consignment products. July of 1991, at only 20 years old Tiffany Parker started her venture with $1000 in her pocket at a storefront where Rolando’s is now. Her first consignors were connections her mother and grandmother had in town, and the store consisted of only clothing and accessories. Over the years they have changed locations moving to larger spaces as more people brought in items to be sold.

The first furniture sold were pieces that Tiffany bought at an auction and sold in her store. When those started really selling she decided to expand. The store now carries a little bit of everything; from clothes to home decor and even vintage pieces.

Customer service is Tiffany’s number one priority, for both the customer and the consignors. She realizes she has to have good people around her to make the store successful. Consignors make a shop like this successful, so Tiffany makes sure they stay happy! She doesn’t split sales 80/20 or 70/30 like other consignment shops, she splits 50/50 so everyone is satisfied!

This shop was “recycling” clothes and furniture before it was cool! Now they are celebrating 25 years! Come join Tiffany and the other girls at Designer Again July 7th from 5pm to 8pm with food, door prizes, special sales, and more!

Casey Millspaugh, Man on the Move


casey millspaugh.jpgCasey Millspaugh, full time Account Executive at UPS has an impressive hobby list. He is known as a “go-getter” and is highly involved in the community. Casey is the Chair of the Parks Commission Board, on the Trails and Freeway Committee, and in Friends of Recreational Trails. Along with all that, he has a couple of start up companies. When talking about everything he’s doing, he jokes that he may be drinking too much coffee.

He has a real passion for the development of trails in the city. He elaborated on a new project being planned, the “Blue Lion Bikeway”. This bike trail will connect UAFS to downtown along with another six miles of trail that has been approved and should begin construction in the next six months. With all the new trails being built, trail and bike rider safety needs to be considered.
A new project Casey has picked up is Pianos on Garrison. This project will put pianos around the downtown area for the public. The next parks commission meeting will open with someone playing the first piano of the project. So far Casey has twelve pianos lined up. It took half a day for him to pick up the first piano, so this is big! Unfortunately, due to humidity, each piano may only last a few months. Casey is definitely excited about this project, “For 2 months people are going to jam out on it, and it’s gonna get put on facebook and it’s gonna get shared... It’s gonna add a little more to the art culture conversation...It’s not permanent, it’s just a little something cool.”

In his spare time, Casey dabbles in real estate, “It’s just something in my back pocket, I’m not actively, really, looking for properties to’s just an option.” He rents a duplex and recently bought a house to rent out later on. Newly licensed, he is now learning the real estate through his mentor Damon Wright. Casey wants to get an investment property somewhere on a beach to rent out when he’s not on vacation.
casey food truck.jpg
Casey’s newest venture? A popcorn company! When he has free time he’s been working on the Fort Smith Popcorn Company by making bags, creating labels and perfecting recipes. This isn’t your regular popcorn shop with a storefront, it’s Casey we’re talking about, he has to have a food trailer! Casey is steering the direction of the food truck culture with the food truck park, so you know he has to have his own! You may have even seen him at this past weekend's Blues Festival!

If you're roaming around Fort Smith, stay vigilant! Casey is on the move and on the rise as an exciting young leader to the Fort Smith area.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Healthy Options Come to the Fort


Arthur Green (pictured) and Cody Barnes are the people behind The Meal Prep Pros. Early this year Cody had the idea to start a business whose goal is to offer healthy foods to people at an affordable price. With the help of Arthur to create the menu items, they started TMPP delivery services.

By mid-May they had a brick and mortar location in the old Skinny's White Spot Cafe on Rogers Avenue and started offering the option of dining-in. The Meal Prep Pros wanted to bring something new to the area. Their menu offers healthy options, like chicken stuffed zucchini, and quinoa stuffed peppers, which are their best sellers.  They also serve staple comfort food, like burgers. There are already a lot of low-sodium, gluten-free and vegan options on the menu, with more in the making!

Arthur and Cody keep their ingredients as organic and locally grown as possible by using vendors with farm to table beef, chicken and produce. They also go to the Fort Smith Farmer's Market during the season where local produce and meat are plentiful. It wasn't hard for them to find a good vendor as Northwest Arkansas is setting the pace for healthier eating, forcing Fort Smith suppliers to keep up with demand. 

While they service a solid number of dine-in patrons, 65-70% of their business is delivery to Fort Smith and Roland, they also deliver to Van Buren. Some customers will order a larger amount of food on Monday night to reheat throughout the week. Give The Meal Prep Pros a try today!

A Day at the Farmers Market


For thousands of years farming has been one of the most important, life-preserving, activities. Since Ancient Egypt, farming has been based around large, often-flooding rivers which provided fertile soil for the local community. Thousands of years later, we see the same models used for farming all over the world.

Fort Smith is a great example of this. The area is full of farmers and ranchers that take advantage of the fertile grounds. Located on the outskirts of the Arkansas River, Fort Smith’s Farmers Market on Garrison Avenue is attended by many of these local farmers. There you can find fruits and vegetables, grass fed beef, homemade baked goods, and everything in between, including craftsmen.

The Fort Smith Farmers Market is not the biggest one you’ll see, but it sure has a soul. These farmers have been coming here for years and will continue coming back as long as the market is there. Loyal customers from the community visit between 7am and noon on Tuesdays and Saturdays to come buy fresh, homegrown food from the trustworthy farmers of the River Valley.

Google Announces Major Changes to Adwords


Stephanie Nugent is the President of CyberSpyder Marketing Service, a local web design and internet marketing firm.  In 2000, she had a dream: to use her talents to help small and medium-sized businesses claim their place on the world wide web.  She and her team work hard to do just that for over 200 local clients.

Last week, Google announced major changes to Adwords.  These are not tweaks, but a fundamental change of direction. They have shifted their thinking, and mobile first is the focus.  Previously, desktop was the focus, with configuration changes available to account for mobile. This is an exciting change that will allow advertisers to interact with their audience in a more timely manner.
This is big! One of the changes announced is a new opportunity for local businesses to advertise on and Google Maps. Now, if you are a local advertisers using location extensions, you get more prominent exposure, including browsing inventory, right on Google maps and when people search for specific products or services.  

You can watch the full video (one hour) here:

If you build it, will they come?


With over 30 years of experience in the advertising and design industry, Fitzgerald currently owns and operates Four Leaf Creative, Inc. (FLC) in Fort Smith, AR. Since 2006 FLC has been serving a wide variety of clients locally and nationally.

Unfortunately we’ve all witnessed the downfall of one business or another. Maybe it was your own, maybe someone else’s. Either way it’s difficult to watch. Even if not directly involved each of us inwardly cheer for those start-ups. We share in other people’s success vicariously because it gives us hope.

We all know there are no guarantees but many times entrepreneurs put themselves at a disadvantage from the start by believing that success will find them just because their doors are open for business. That classic line from the movie The Field of Dreams, “If we build it, they will come”, rarely works in reality.

The reasons for business failure are many, but not promoting shouldn’t be one of them. When starting a new business or service agency always remember to budget for promotional efforts. You’ve worked too hard to reach the batters box so make sure that you don’t take a fastball to the head without your helmet. It’s one thing to strike out and quite another to receive a devastating blow because of unpreparedness.

Word of mouth promotion is fine but the results may take longer than your pockets are deep, so seriously consider your marketing strategy and budget accordingly in advance. Promote your field of dreams, we all want you to succeed!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Putting the Muscle into the Muscle Car

D & D Specialty Cars started in Denver back in 1978. To be closer to family, Dale and Stacy Johns moved the operation to Van Buren in 1985.
“We’ve designed and built award-winning cars,” said Stacy. “And we do some collision work on high-end cars.”
So, when Aunt Bessie slams into a tree with her 1959 Jaguar XK150, take her prized possession to D & D Specialty Cars. When these people are finished, the Jag will look and run better than when it was new.
“Many cars are brought to us by family members,” Stacy added. They want to restore an older car to the way they remember it looked years ago. Currently undergoing restoration here is a 1948 Cadillac.
“Sometimes, people want the original look, but they want power and efficiency (under the hood),” she said. They come to D & D because it is known far and wide for custom building and quality fabrication.
“We go to shows all over the country,” Stacy added. Scottsdale and Tulsa are coming up, followed by a full schedule across the United States.
They concentrate on restorations of cars dating from 1929 to 1976. Corvettes, Mustangs, muscle cars and others can be seen on the website.
Parts for older vehicles can present a problem. It depends on the part, she explained. Some are found in salvage yards or businesses that stock old parts or they might be fabricated and remanufactured.
Vehicles are the mainstay here. But D & D also has built custom bikes.
For more information, call 479 474-1114 or visit It is located at 1026 E. Uniontown St., Van Buren. Hours are 7 to 4, Monday to Friday.