Cedar Rapids small businesses are coming together online through the Cedar Rapids Marketplace. Our site has combined the passion for buying local and the ease of shopping online for both the consumer and the small business.
The community atmosphere from the local Cedar Rapids Farmers Market is infused into this site. You’re not shopping at just one small business. You can now shop many Cedar Rapids small businesses at the same time, year-round, 24/7, in the comfort of your own home.
News of what we offer recently caught the interest of KCRG. Click the image below to watch the feature story:
Starting Small, Dreaming Big
The Cedar Rapids Marketplace started out as a fleeting thought. So fleeting, that if it had not been verbalized, it might never have turned into fruition.
On November 30th, 2016 Robert Edilson sent a text to his wife, Cherie. The exact text said, “I just had the best idea. I can create a vendor site to sell farmers’ market goods. We can take orders on the site and have vendors ship them out.” Cherie knew that this idea could actually be something, and she pushed her husband to make it happen.
Coming up with business ideas is a normal part of Robert & Cherie Edilson’s daily life. Each of them owns their own small business. Robert is the Owner of Edilson Web Design, a local Cedar Rapids, IA web development firm. Cherie is the Owner of The Pink Barrette, LLC a small hair accessory business, and she also writes a blog titled Highs, Lows, and Hair Bows.
“I am a big believer in just start doing,” Cherie says. “It has become my motto for those that want to start up their own business, but aren’t sure what to do or how to begin. Start doing something now, and it might lead to something else down the road.”
Robert ‘started doing’ web design in San Diego back in 2006 after he finished his time in the U.S. Navy. “I had a few friends that could code, and I thought it looked interesting, so I went to school and earned a degree in Computer Science.”
Cherie had spent most of her career working for organizations, however, after they had their second child, they made arrangements for her to be at home with the kids. “Being a stay-at-home mom was great, but it was hard for me to totally let go of ‘working’. I still needed something to keep my mind busy.
Starting of a Small Business
I started dabbling in some DIY crafts, and one of them was hair bows. I couldn’t stop researching how to make them, buying new ribbon, and trying new arrangements. After a few encouraging words from friends and family, I decided to turn it into a business, and started selling my products at the farmers’ market, on my own website, and eventually Amazon.com.”
This past November after attending a small business conference in Nashville, TN, Cherie came back even more energized to succeed in business and started a blog to document her journey. “I felt like I had learned so much at that conference. I came back and I started reading so many books and listening to podcasts, and I wanted to share the information I was learning to help others to start or succeed in their own businesses.”
Through both of Robert and Cherie’s ‘doing’, the Cedar Rapids Marketplace was possible. Robert had acquired all the right skills to develop the site on his own. Cherie knew the processes, struggles, and successes of running a small home-based craft business and selling products both in person and online.
Collaborating with other Cedar Rapids Small Businesses
Robert and Cherie both agreed, “What makes us most excited about the Cedar Rapids Marketplace is that this business isn’t just for us. It is one that can really benefit our whole community. We are enabling local AND online shopping that will allow even the smallest of businesses to get off on the right foot, get noticed, and get sales.”