Grand Island, Nebraska – A Grand Island business owner was able to expand her photography studio into a full-service marketing firm — and situate it in an inspiring workspace — with help from a local financial incentive program and the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC).
Julie Wright founded her studio, Blue Stripe Photography, in 2003. “As my photos went from visual elements to become part of larger projects, I saw the need for a full marketing agency that would be able to develop these projects,” she says.
Wright rebranded her photography business as Tally Creative and formed a partnership with her husband, Dana Wright, who serves as lead designer, and Dana Rosacker, strategic planning director.
In early 2018, the Tally Creative team began meeting with Sara Bennett, the NBDC consultant in Grand Island, for assistance developing a business plan and loan package to transform the photography studio in Grand Island’s historic Railside District into the new home of Tally Creative, a full-service marketing agency.
Tally Creative opened its doors June 1, 2018. Bennett worked with the Tally team to prepare the business plan and financial documentation for Railside Rental Assistance, an incentive program to encourage businesses to locate in downtown Grand Island.
“Sara was instrumental in assembling our grant application financials and determining the market demand,” Wright says. “She helped us narrow things down and put it all in writing. We wound up getting the full percentage of what we were seeking in rental assistance.”
The building in the Railside District is very well-suited for a marketing agency whose foundation is imagination and innovation. “The space is really unique, with tin ceilings and exposed brick,” she says. “The creativity of the environment matches our team.”
With the addition of two other full-time employees, the Tally Creative team has more than 50 years of marketing experience spanning the nation. Rosacker, for example, worked for an advertising agency in Los Angeles, managed publications in a small Northern California town, and ran a start-up business. Dana Wright spent more than a decade working in healthcare, sports and entertainment marketing, with performers including Rascal Flatts and Miranda Lambert.
Rosacker says the team’s ideas that were incorporated into the renovation of the interior combined historical integrity and clear, modern lines. “We love it here,” she says. “We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
She credits Bennett and the NBDC with advancing the start-up process. “Sara helped take our business to the next level, and not just for the short term,” Rosacker says. “Her insight solidified that we knew where we were going and what steps we needed to take to get there.”
Wright says Bennett’s experience helped her team to be certain “all the boxes were checked,” and all the paperwork was filled out properly. She always took the time to answer our questions and walk us through everything.”
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The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) helps Nebraska businesses start, grow and develop, by strengthening Nebraska businesses for a healthy economy and prosperous communities. NBDC is a University of Nebraska at Omaha center that provides confidential consulting business development services across Nebraska to entrepreneurs and business owners for the life cycle of their business. NBDC partners with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College to deliver its services statewide. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the U.S. Department of Commerce (EDA), and other federal, state and private organizations support NBDC. Visit nbdc.unomaha.edu for more information.
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