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October 2010 YP Connections: Q&A

What business would you start in Omaha?

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Each month metroMAGAZINE, in cooperation with The Greater Omaha Young Professionals, polls a group of "YPs" to obtain a brief glimpse into their lives and their insights on our community. Following are the answers which were provided to this months' Q&A.

What business would you start in Omaha & why?


Lizzy Rasmussen

Mutual of Omaha • Compliance Consultant

Fair trade is a hot topic in retail these days. The term refers to paying artisans a fair wage for their work, thus creating the opportunity for a better quality of life. At the moment, Omaha cannot offer consumers a place to shop for 100% fairly traded goods. I would like to open a retail store selling fairly traded international handicrafts. The store would sell unique gifts, home decor items, jewelry and apparel from all over the world. The common thread among all items in the store would be that the people who created the goods were paid a living wage for their time and materials.

This concept could come to fruition as either a for-profit business, or in a nonprofit form. Either way, the element of social awareness must be present in the store's marketing as people who are drawn to these types of stores, are concerned with the conditions under which the items they buy are produced. The store should be located in an urban part of Omaha with a great deal of foot traffic. Examples might include the Old Market, NoDo, Dundee, or Benson.

To help draw in customers, it would be effective to have a full service coffee bar inside. To make this business run, I would need three to four part-time employees. The store would also present a great opportunity for college interns to learn about retail specific to fair trade and international sourcing. People would shop at this store for unique items they cannot get anywhere else, and they would also come to learn about international trade, world cultures, and what they can do to encourage responsible manufacturing. The business may attract a similar audience to that of Scout, Souq, and The Afternoon.



Kelley McAtee

Owner Pawfect Pet Services

If I were going to start a business in Omaha, it would be an indoor/outdoor dog park because with all four seasons here in the Midwest it is something that we greatly need. My target market would be downtown pet owners and I would employ around 5-10 people depending on the size of the park, but would set it up downtown Old Market area. There is no place right now for those dogs to play together off leash and burn off their energy. Most of them are living in apartments or condos and get walks on leash, which is great, but they need to run off some energy and be able to indulge in their instincts to ward off unwanted and negative behaviors. And during the winter months, the owners would be so grateful to be inside out of the harsh cold or wet rainy days!


Anastasia Treantos

Team Lead Finance • BSC Inventory Accounting

As a female young professional in corporate America, too often the emphasis on appearance and dress in the workplace is focused on those who are either unable to afford adequate work attire or on those who are fortunate enough to enlist the services of personal shoppers. Our appearance affects not only our individual state of mind and the perception of those around us, so what happens to those of us that fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum?

My Omaha start up business would provide in house consulting services to corporations such as ConAgra, Union Pacific, Kiewit and First National Bank that educate women of all ages on “appropriate” dress attire…primarily helping to define exactly what IS appropriate dress attire? I find this becomes a challenge for many women who attempt to balance the corporate suit we are all taught to wear with personality and functionality.

Consulting begins by meeting with the corporation to understand their culture and expectations followed by group and individual sessions with employees to educate on appropriateness, personality incorporation, pricing and fit. Many times an entirely new wardrobe can be created from what is already in our closet…clients will find it is simple to dress for success at any price range, size, and age without spending hours thinking about it.

My business would be located in a studio office in downtown Omaha with two additional employees assisting myself in research, presentation preparation, and individual consultations. The benefit is two-fold and empowering for both the business and the women.


-end- metroMAGAZINE



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