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Lectures & Panel Discussions

Finding Wholesale Happiness in a Retail World With Jeff Yeager, NBC Today Show's "Ultimate Cheapskate"

Monday September 14, 2015: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

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Blog Post

MI Hidden Talent Tour

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 10:06am

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A statewide tour to inspire Michigan companies to hire workers with disabilities is coming to Ann Arbor on Sept 24, 2015. Michigan Lt. Governor [w:Brian Calley] and Michigan Supreme Court Justice [w:Richard H. Bernstein] will share stories about companies who found valuable workers who have a disability. As part of the MI Hidden Talent Tour, these state leaders, along with local organizations helping with this effort, will provide resources and answer questions for business leaders who want to explore this [http://www.ssa.gov/work/|untapped pool of talent]. The event takes place at Washtenaw Community College, Morris J. Lawrence Auditorium, 4800 East Huron River Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Welcome reception at 5:30 p.m.; program begins at 6:00 p.m. Please RSVP by registering [http://mi-hidden-talent-tour-a2-region-sept-24.eventbrite.com|here].

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Lectures & Panel Discussions

Getting the "YES" with Body Language

Monday March 2, 2015: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

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Blog Post

Handmade Marketplace

Sat, 11/15/2014 - 10:09am

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[b:1454432|The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online] is an amazing resource for anyone embarking on a new craft business or wanting to beef up their current one. The book discusses everything you want to know and learn about running your own crafty business in this day and age.

[b:1454432|Handmade Marketplace] talks about branding and logos, how to pick the right name, how/when/where to market via blogs, websites, social media, etc., how to set up a blog or website, taxes, the deal with wholesale and brick & mortar stores, how to get into craft fairs, how to set up a successful online shop, and more. It also features Q&A with several notable crafters offering tips. I really like that the book isn't all about "make stuff and create an Etsy shop."

The book is insightful, laid out beautifully, written in a wonderfully easy-to-follow format, and is chock full of useful information. Even if you think your bizz is well put together, it's nice to get some feedback to make sure you're on point and doing what you can to craft a great business!

From the same author is [b:1410554|Grow your handmade business: How to envision, develop, and sustain a successful creative business], and here’s a list of [http://www.aadl.org/user/lists/57418|many more books] with great info!

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Blog Post

Middle Earth Rotates Out of the University Scene: AADL Talks To Owner Cynthia Shevel

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 8:30am

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Long, long ago in a galaxy known as the '60s, Ann Arbor's first head shop, [http://oldnews.aadl.org/taxonomy/term/22620|Middle Earth] , opened in a 2nd floor walkup on Liberty Street and then moved to its iconic location on South U.

Owner [http://oldnews.aadl.org/node/223000|Cynthia Shevel] sat down with Old News last year to talk about the history of Middle Earth, how it changed over the years and the challenges independent shops face in Tree Town.

Cynthia announced the closing of Middle Earth [http://www.mlive.com/business/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/10/ann_arbors_middle_earth_retail.html#incart_m-rpt-2|yesterday] saying that with the closing of the [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aaobserver/257848|Selo/Shevel Gallery] a few months back, she and longtime partner Elaine Selo will begin a new phase of their lives.

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Blog Post

Falling Water Books & Collectibles to Close

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 3:57pm

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The owners of one of Ann Arbor's signature stores, Falling Water Books & Collectibles, [http://www.mlive.com/business/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/10/downtown_ann_arbors_falling_wa.html|just announced they will be closing after 26 years]. Here's [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19880710-eclectic_new_bookstore|a 1988 article] and photograph (left) from the store's grand opening in July of that year. Falling Water was first located at 318 S. Ashley St., and later moved to Main St.

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Lectures & Panel Discussions

Ten Thousand Villages And The Fair Trade Movement

Tuesday September 16, 2014: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

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Lectures & Panel Discussions

Belief, Hope and Generosity in the Workplace: Hiring Individuals in Recovery

Wednesday October 1, 2014: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

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Blog Post

Blue Front Bids Farewell

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:15am

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In 1927, Ray E. Collins bought the [http://oldnews.aadl.org/taxonomy/term/42032|Blue Front Cigar Store] at the corner of Packard & State, and the rest, as they say, is history. Ray was a legend in Ann Arbor, [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19770701-a_celebration_at_blue_front|sitting behind his counter] stacked with newspapers, gruffly answering questions and keeping his eyes peeled for ne'er-do-wells. Ray had some troubles with the law himself, getting cited over the years for [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19640326-retailer_given_week|fire hazards] that were a result of his commitment to carrying every newspaper he could find and putting it anywhere he could find.

Ray [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19780821-five_decade_owner|died in 1978], willing the Blue Front to his long-time employee Jill Warren. Jill kept the Blue Front pretty much [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19800815-heiress_to_blue_front|the same], widening the aisles a little, organizing the papers a bit more but leaving the hanging bulbs, thank you. In 1981, Jill [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19810724-landmark_blue_front|sold the Blue Front] to William Graving while maintaining ownership of the building. Ray started out as an employee of the Blue Front, so did Jill, and later employees would continue to have a [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_20090409-fond_memories|fierce loyalty to the store and its traditions.]

We may never know how the Blue Front got its name (Ray didn't know). We know the name was first used in the 1922 Polk City Directory. We were able to trace ownership back to 1908 when 701 Packard first appears in the City Directory with James R. Reed, News Depot followed by Davis & Konold in 1913, Clinton H. Davis in 1915, and Ernest C. Rumbelow in 1916. In 1921 it became Reynolds & Webb Cigars, the first time cigars overtakes newspapers in the store's name. In 1922 R. M. Housel bought the store, hired Ray sometime after that, changed the name to the Blue Front and then sold it to Ray. [http://www.mlive.com/business/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/02/remembering_blue_front_ann_arb.html|Goodbye, Blue Front.]

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Blog Post

December is National Write a Business Plan Month

Sat, 12/07/2013 - 11:17am

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Have you ever wanted to start your own business? Are you planning on making 2014 the year you finally get your home business off the ground? Well, [k:business plan|we've got a lot of books] to help you do that!

Here are a couple books to get you started:

[b:1237784|The Perfect Business Plan Made Simple]
[b:1236666|Anatomy of a Business Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Business and Securing Your Company's Future]
[b:1408811|The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future]
[b:1323983|The New Business Road Test : What Entrepreneurs and Executives Should Do Before Writing a Business Plan]

And don't forget AADL's [:services/smallbusiness|Small Business and Entrepreneur Resources]!