ENTREPRENEUR ECOSYSTEMS CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

The excitement is building for October 29th, we hope you can come!  Register here!

ENTREPRENEUR ECOSYSTEMS CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

Introducing Weave Got Maille —Founder Edie Ramstad  – Global Headquarters, Ada, Minnesota

Edie’s pathway to doing business in 82 countries was covered by Inc. Magazine in 2018. The informative article  “A Tiny Minnesota Town Now Has Fast Wi-Fi and New Jobs, All Thanks to This Chain Mail Startup”  is excerpted below.

“…Ramstad grew up artsy and entrepreneurial. … In 2011, … she ditched retirement to start Weave Got Maille.

The idea was to work 10 hours a week and bring on a part-timer for another six to 10. Her business plan projected $50,000 in revenue in five years. At first, customers arrived through word of mouth from former students. Then appearances at a couple of trade shows catapulted her onto the fast track. Sales doubled year after year.

A rural rescue

But the demand strained a business that, back then, op­erated out of a building in the middle of a wheat field. Ada is a county seat; but a few years ago it had only dial-up internet. The local post office turned away Ramstad’s business because it couldn’t handle the volume. As she struggled alone with infrastructure constraints and new challenges, like managing a scaling workforce, she grew increasingly frustrated.

The only solution, Ramstad decided, was to close up shop and let everyone go. She resolved to deliver the bad news on a Friday in the summer of 2014. That week, “I was trying to find things to keep me out of the office because I could not face my employees,” she says. One such evasive action was a 75-minute drive to Fargo for a meeting of 1 Million Cups, an education and networking program run by the Kauffman Foundation.

That program, which Ramstad had never had time for in the past, was a revelation. The business had been strug­gling with phone calls, which could not be heard in the noisy manufacturing environment. A speaker suggested setting up an employee outside the office with an inter­net phone system. Another attendee connected her with a manufacturer for specialty production equipment she’d been unable to source.

More important, Ramstad says, for the first time she no longer felt isolated. “I went home energized,” she says. “Rather than letting people go on Friday, I put an ad in the paper and hired three more.”

On October 29th Founders, Mayors, Superintendents, Teachers, Students, Business and Community Leaders and all who want to strengthen our MNwest Entrepre­neur Ecosystem will connect to pursue that end.  There will be attendees from Luverne to Hallock and points all in between – Join the Journey –Register here.

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