Meet the Four Entrepreneurs Competing for Votes in Show of Hands

This Wednesday, Mat 15, four local businesses will once again compete in Show of Hands at the Wheeling Artisan Center. Wheeling Heritage hosts this community-supported, crowd-funded event, where the winner will walk away with more than $4,000. Show of Hands asks for your help because you can decide who will be the winner! Each entrepreneur will get four minutes to present the audience how winning will support their business and help it thrive. Afterward, those in the audience or watching at home can then cast their vote on which Wheeling business they would like to support.

Get to know the businesses competing for the big prize by checking out the videos made by the Wheeling Heritage Media team, and don’t forget to cast a vote for your favorite on Wednesday!

 

Autumn Dobbs, Butter Me Up Cookies 

Butter Me Up Cookies is a new business specializing in butter cookies, beautifully decorated freehand with royal icing. Autumn Dobbs’ cookies can already be found at places like The Public Market and Table 304. Without a dedicated storefront, Dobbs hopes to use the money to plan an event celebrating her cookies and the city of Wheeling with the inaugural Wheeling Cookie Crawl. If she wins, Dobbs’ event would have participants visit different Wheeling landmarks, take selfies, and redeem them at local businesses for cookies with West Virginia and Wheeling themes. Dobbs would give the city a sweet chance to support local businesses, engage with the community, and enjoy delicious cookies.

Travis McBride, Big Retro Game Shop

With a storefront in the Center Market historic district, Big Retro Game Shop sells older and harder-to-find games at fair prices, highlighting once-adored games. They also foster a community of gamers of all ages by allowing people to come in and play both video games and tabletop games and hosting DnD every Saturday for free. Big Retro Game Shop has a focus on bringing together the gaming community of all ages in a safe and fun environment. McBride hopes to use the winnings to continue supporting the ever-growing gaming community in Wheeling. He would use the funds to expand the gaming library, to suit customer needs better, and to invest in a gaming table to support their in-person gaming events.

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Ashley Sutton, Moonlight Intimate Apparel

Situated in the Center Market historic district, Moonlight Intimate Apparel is a retail shop that is dedicated to size-inclusive lingerie at fair prices, providing beautiful and luxurious options for everyone. In addition to its selection of new pieces, Ashley Sutton recently expanded its options to include curated vintage pieces. These pieces, restored to perfection by Ashley, highlight the allure and timelessness of the styles of yesteryear. If she wins, Ashley will use the funds to get better restoration equipment so she can continue to grow the vintage section of the store, so everyone can find the style they like from the fashion era they love.

Jason Koegler, The Public Market

Located in downtown Wheeling, The Public Market is a year-round farmers market that has provided natural foods and economic opportunities to local farmers since 2019. With a selection of local, healthy, and freshly made foods, The Public Market serves as a cornerstone in the community. If voted the winner, they would plan to expand their selection to include a juice and smoothie bar. They would get commercial blenders and juice extractors, among other equipment, in order to facilitate these new fresh offerings.

 

This year marks ten years of Show of Hands celebrating entrepreneurship, and in that time has awarded more than $133,000 to businesses and projects in Wheeling. Attendees pay $5 at the door to vote in person or $10 to vote online for the business they most want to support. The business with the most votes receives $4000 from the Friends of Show of Hands and Orrick, plus door donations, to put toward their project.

Wheeling Heritage’s Show of Hands is funded by the community’s generosity. The program’s corporate sponsor, Orrick, donates $1000 to every event, and The Friends of Show of Hands, which is made up of many community members and business owners who each donate $250 to the event. Friends of Show of Hands include Dave & Beth Weaver – Wheeling Volkswagen & Subaru, Dr. and Mrs. Dan Joseph – Joseph Orthodontics, Brian Joseph, Touchstone Research Laboratory, Fuzz & Barb LeRule, H LawrenceJones & Sue Blevins, Kennen & Kennen Realtors, Warwood Armature, Rabbi Joshua Lief & Rebecca Leif, Will and Tracey Turani, Bridgeway Capital, FXB, Steve & Jackie Johnston, and anonymous donors. 

To learn more about Show of Hands, visit https://wheelingheritage.org/vote/.

• Makayla Carney, a Wheeling native, is the 2023-2024 AmeriCorps member for Wheeling Heritage, where she will get to write all about the history and culture of her hometown. She has a B.F.A. in Film and Television from DePaul University in Chicago. She adores all kinds of art, a lavender latte, and the occasional performance on the Towngate Theatre stage.

• Wheeling Heritage Media creates a variety of multimedia experiences in order to tell Wheeling’s story, both past and present. Through videos, podcasts, photos, and more, they create content and provide digital access to help more people feel connected and engaged with this vibrant, growing community