CHEERS — Hip Hip Hooray!
This column salutes REAP businesses that are
finding ways to increase their success.
Tooties Art, Frames, and
Gifts Grows from Artistic InspirationWith only a few hundred dollars and a
love af art, this business woman has framed her way to success.
It can be done – that is starting a business with $500 and a few
supplies! Cheryl “Tootie” Ebel, owner of Tooties Art, Frames and Gifts in
Falls City, Nebraska believes that if your business involves doing something
you truly enjoy, it shows.
Because of Tootie’s background as an artist and her years of experience with
the shop, people trust her in helping them with their framing and decorating
Last August the store moved just a couple blocks south on Falls City’s Stone
Street to a new location. This looks to be a “good move” in the way of
increased foot traffic into the store.
The store has had framing service as its backbone service throughout its 15
years. Tootie got into the framing business because it complimented her work
as an artist/painter.
Gift sales have grown to be a significant part of the store’s sales. In
addition to retail sales, Tootie acts as a wholesaler, selling giftware to
area casino gift shops, tribe-owned gas stations, as well as to the nearby
Indian Cave State Park “Cedar Post” gift shop.
Tootie advises that new businesses shouldn’t expect the best right off the
bat. She worked with her suppliers on a “cash, pay as you go” basis during
those early days.
She believes it is important to really listen to customers and don’t over
promise. Also she’s learned to keep the store open later to accommodate
working women’s schedules.
Being an artist is Tootie’s first love. She uses oil paint as her primary
medium, and enjoys doing commission “special order” portrait work. The store
carries art supplies, and Tootie teaches art classes at the store on a
regular basis. Plans are to make a room in the basement into a classroom and
to install a kitchen to make fudge, candy, and popcorn to sell.
A charter member of the Richardson County Business Development Association,
which REAP helped form in 1999, Tootie serves as chairperson of the group.
She enjoys the networking and educational programs of the group. Continuous
learning and networking has been a key to Tootie’s business success.
To learn more or to visit the store, contact
Tootie at Tooties Art, Frames & Gifts, 1604 Stone St., Falls City NE 68355,