THREE CHEERS — Hip Hip Hooray!
This column salutes REAP businesses that are
finding ways to increase their success.
Hobby becomes a fulltime, growing business for
Lynn’s Upholstery in Naper
Linda Goodman took an interest in furniture reupholstering when she was a
stay-at-home mom with her young children. Her interest in upholstery
spurred her to take classes at a community college to learn more about it
and eventually turn this work into a full-time business called Lynn’s
Upholstery in Naper, Nebraska.
The business started as an added enterprise to Goodman’s Farm and Ranch
supply business in 1983. In 2001, the supply business closed due to
changes in the agriculture economy. After renovations on the building
owned by the Goodman’s, Lynn’s Upholstery became a full-time business.
Eugene Rahn, Senior Business Specialist for REAP in north central
Nebraska, assisted Linda with her business plans and a loan to fix up the
building which houses her business. Linda was named the REAP Small
Business of the Year in 2004, and this year received one of nine Women and
Company Microenterprise Boost Program cash equity awards from REAP.
Improved and expanded marketing for the business was one of the purposes
of the equity award. Linda purchased a year’s worth of advertising from
the Pioneer Advertiser in her area. From this, her business has been
featured in several newspapers.
The added press and advertising has helped boost business by 25 percent so
far. In addition, part of the equity award money is being used to help
develop a new product for sale by the business, a redwood outdoor
Linda gives credit to the REAP program for serving as a “valuable tool
and help for us. REAP provides us with good technical assistance, provides
a newsletter to its membership with a variety of good useful small
business information, and continues to help as they can.”
Lynn’s Upholstery does all kinds of upholstery work for customers,
including furniture, cars, trucks, ATVs, and also does some wood
refinishing and miscellaneous projects such as dog kennel covers. She
draws on a customer base from a 100 mile radius.
The greatest challenge for this business is the fact that it is in a very
rural area of north central Nebraska. Winner, South Dakota, and O’Neill,
Nebraska, are the largest towns near Naper, and they are an hour away.
Linda believes the greatest reward from the business is tackling the
challenge of some jobs and getting it done right.
The Goodman’s are very active in Naper. Linda is the head of the EMT
squad and Vernon is mayor. Linda supplements their income by driving a
school bus and she teaches Sunday school in their Lutheran Church. She
loves spending time with her grandchildren and values time with a good