Wheeling Heritage announced today that four Wheeling entrepreneurs will compete in the next Show of Hands event on Monday, April 17. This Show of Hands will feature four local businesses owner who will showcase their products, services, and business ideas to the community in hopes of taking home the top prize.
At the event, owners of the following businesses will be making presentations:
Jay Hercules, Opossum Pouch Soft Goods
Opossum Pouch Soft Goods is an outdoor sportinggoods maker that can best be described as an artisanal soft goods manufacturing business. Specializing intraditional-style outdoor soft goods, Jay’s products are designed for real-world use in places that are off the beaten path and under the harshest conditions. Owner Jay Hercules has seen an increase in demand after the COVID-19 slowdown. He plans to expand his business by purchasing machines to bring nearly 90% of his productionin-house, which will lower costs, allow him to hire help, and have direct control of quality control.
Mindi Yarbrough, WildHeart by Mindi
Local artist and graphic designer Mindi Yarbrough might be best known for her vibrant murals that can be found throughout town. As an advocate for the healing, therapeutic, and transformational powers of art-making, she hopes to bring more creative options to the community through a gallery space, classes, and public art. Funding through Show of Hands would jumpstart Mindi’s plans for opening a physical gallery, art lounge, and studio space that would be used to sell, show and teach art.
Shelly Smedley, Wheeling Coffee & Spice
Established in 1896, Wheeling Coffee & Spice has been a staple in Downtown Wheeling for those in need of a little caffeine pick-me-up. In addition to being a longstanding retail outlet, Wheeling Coffee & Spice is home to Paramount Coffee and North America’s oldest operating Burn coffee roasters. The Burns Coffee Roasters were manufactured by the Blaw-Knox Company in 1884, and are still operational and in use for single-batch roasting. While Wheeling Coffee & Spice has been operating in Downtown Wheeling for more than a century, it has come under new ownership in recent years. The shop’s general manager, Shelly Smedley, is hoping to receive funding through Show of Hands to invest in a new espresso machine, furniture and paint to help freshen up the coffee shop for customers.
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Helen Bradley, The IDEA Center
The IDEA Center is a tutoring and learning center located at 413 Warwood Avenue in Wheeling that offers one-on-one, group and remote tutoring to students of all ages throughout the Ohio Valley. Their learning center’s services have been especially important for helping students regain confidence and academic standing after experiencing the learning gap associated with the pandemic. The IDEA Center also offers summer STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Programs to learn collaboration and thinking skills to solve problems. With the funding from Show of Hands, owner Helen Bradley hopes to grow the STEAM Program, which will include the purchase of a GlowForge 3-D printer to allow students to develop projects to market and sell.
Who will take home the top prize? The audience will decide at Show of Hands on Monday, April 17 at the Wheeling Artisan Center. Doors open at 6 p.m., with presentations starting at 6:30 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring $5 cash for their opportunity to vote, which is added to the total award given to the entrepreneur with the most votes. Details about online voting will be available closer to the event date.
Show of Hands is generously funded by its corporate sponsor, Orrick. This event is also supported by the Friends of Show of Hands, which includes Brian Joseph – Touchstone Research Laboratory, Warwood Armature, Kennen & Kennen Realtors, H. Lawrence Jones and Sue Blevins, Rabbi Joshua Lief & Rebecca Lief, Sikora Montessori, Bridgeway Capital, Will and Tracey Turani, Dan and Debbie Joseph, Wheeling VW-Subaru, FXB and Barb & Fuzz LaRue.
Wheeling Heritage is a catalyst for the revitalization of Wheeling. Through historic preservation, community development, and the arts, we help to tell Wheeling’s story and shape its future. We seek to improve the quality of life in Wheeling by preserving and investing in our city, collaborating with others, and engaging the citizens of Wheeling in our work.