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Community Spotlight: Entrepreneur Story Time with Silver City MainStreet

July 14, 2022 | Community Spotlight: Entrepreneur Story Time with Silver City MainStreet | By: Marta Olmos, Communications Coordinator for Main Street America | 
Andy Sr. and Andy Jr. from the Jerky Store & More present at the first KAE Entrepreneur Story Time. Photo courtesy of Silver City MainStreet.

Silver City MainStreet in Silver City, New Mexico, hosted their first ever Kick-Ass Entrepreneurs (KAE) Story Time events in June and July. Featuring local business owners from Grant County, the events offer an opportunity for the community to learn the successes and challenges of starting a small business. “KAE features storytellers who hail from across ages, stages and industries – from manufacturing to food startups,” says their website. The events also provide a networking opportunity to facilitate connections between local entrepreneurs and community members.

The Kick-Ass Entrepreneurs program is part of a growing network of KAE Story Time events, which originally began in Santa Fe. “KAE is pioneering the building of social capital and strong connections within an ecosystem through the medium of storytelling,” said Eric Renz-Whitmore of North Central New Mexico Economic Development District. “It’s the perfect balance between ecosystem building, community engagement and fun.”

The first KAE of Silver City event featured father and son team Andy and Andy Gomez, co-founders of the Jerky Store & More. They spoke about their New Mexico Finance Authority LEDA Recovery Grant. They also spoke about their sales strategy, which includes online and in-person sales, and their collaborations with other local vendors.
The second speaker was Crystal Herrera, founder and owner of Blush, a full-service salon. Along with her son, Andres Ortiz, she shared the lessons she has learned from seven years as an entrepreneur, and her plans for upcoming expansion. "If you never take a risk, you'll never have anything in life. It's about the relationships you build with your clients,” said Crystal.

“Working with Charmeine Wait and Brenda Tozier of Silver City MainStreet has been an absolute pleasure,” said Melanie Lenci, Founder of Kick-Ass Entrepreneurs. “We are really excited about this program because it is bringing residents from our county into our downtown,” said Charmeine Wait, Executive Director at Silver City MainStreet. “It's a great outreach plus entrepreneurial program.”

Learn more about becoming a KAE community >