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Founders

Company

Collegiate Bead Co

P.O. Box 91
Clawson, MI 48017

David Showalter

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
I was recovering from surgery for a brain tumor, a well wisher asked if I could find a sorority bead for her. That was the beginning of this business

Where did you find your first employee?
From a newspaper ad. Had the economy been better this person would never have walked in my door. She would have had a job right out of college. So the bad economy turned out to be of benefit to us.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
No interns yet, we just hire.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
We started this at a time when banks were not lending so I self-funded the project through personal funds and cash flow.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
The people. I don't think you could find a better group of people anywhere in the world. They are motivated, educated and proactive.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
The attitude of the general public and the media. In 2008 when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the negative press and general feeling around here was negative. I even began to believe that there was nothing good in this region by looking out of state for medical help. We sit in the middle of a world-class medical and natural resources and some of the finest business minds in the world. We just need to remember that when time are tough we still have it better than most people.

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