Small Business

This month, the interviewer becomes the interviewee. In the two years or so that Sue Hawkes has written this column, she has interviewed a number of inspiring and knowledgeable women. She distilled this knowledge into a new book, Chasing Perfection — Shatter the Illusion; Minimize Self-Doubt & Maximize Success.
MNBIZ: Why did you write this book?
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As an infant, Alicia Overby’s son Finn could never seem to get comfortable. When Overby brought Finn to a chiropractor’s office, he was diagnosed with subluxation (spinal discomfort), a slight misalignment of the vertebrae, which was believed to be caused by strain during labor. Read More
While on a Boundary Waters canoe trip in 1986, Granite Gear founders Jeff Knight and Dan Cruikshank were inspired to create a tougher, more durable portage pack. They “felt that the quality of portage and backpacks at the time weren’t at their standard,” says spokesperson, Shelly Smith. Read More


Sometimes you do everything right and still get the short end of the stick. About 12 years ago, Mary M. Kosir’s husband Michael was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. That’s not the kind you get because of bad habits — lack of exercise or poor diet. It’s the kind that manifests regardless of lifestyle. Read More
Araya Jensen is devoted to making kitchen and home products that are both functional and colorful. “For me, function comes first,” Jensen says, “and of course, I love creating and mixing new colors.” Read More
It all started in 1870, when French-Canadian Camille Poirier came to Minnesota and started a leather goods store selling shoes, canoe packs, and other leather and canvas goods. He filed a patent for the Original Duluth Pack in 1882, and the echoes of this design are still present today. Read More
For some designers, less is more. The exact opposite is true of Mode-sty, a fashion company that sells women’s clothing with a focus on modesty — high necklines, low hemlines and sleeves — rare in mainstream modern styles. Read More
If you want to start a successful business, go back to what you know. If you’re Mike Nelson, that means making the move from history teacher to marshmallow entrepreneur. The idea for North Mallow, a Minneapolis-based gourmet marshmallow business, was born from experience. Read More

Photo by Celisia Stanton Photography

After receiving a mainstream beauty box in the mail, Jasmine Harris found that she couldn’t use all of the products included. As a woman of color, traditional beauty marketers largely ignored her. Read More