2008 Mayor's Small Business Awards
Announcing the winners of the 2008 Mayor's Small Business Awards!
These awards honor the diversity and excellence of Seattle’s small businesses, and their contribution to the city’s economic vitality and quality of life. Ten winners are selected each year on the basis of excellence in management, entrepreneurial spirit, customer service, and community involvement.
“Small businesses provide innovative products, services and jobs in our communities - they’re the local gathering places that add such character to our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Nickels. “I hope you’ll nominate your favorite local business, and help highlight the importance of all these small businesses to our community.”
Click here to view video clips of the 10 winners of the 2008 Mayor's Small Business Awards, or read the profiles of each business below.
8 Limbs Yoga Centers & Boutique
Anne Phyfe Palmer - (206) 325-8221
500 East Pike Street
Anne Phyfe Palmer opened her dream business of a yoga studio in 1996, bringing together her longtime passions for physical movement, personal growth and community into one practice. 8 Limbs now flourishes in three Seattle locations, and offers affordable, flowing, movement-oriented yoga with an inclusive attitude and flexible class schedule. Anne describes her work culture as "very relaxed, but also organized, consistent and well-managed," crediting much of her success to her team of excellent managers and advisors. With core values of inclusiveness, personal growth, wellness, sustainability and strong community, 8 Limbs offers personal growth for students, teachers and staff in a nurturing environment, while interacting with the broader community through innovative outreach and support.
Animal Critical Care & Emergency Services, PLLC (ACCES)
Jean Maixner & Elizabeth Davidow - (206) 364-1660
11536 Lake City Way NE
Veterinarians Jean Maixner and Beth Davidow founded ACCES in 2001, responding to the need for a Seattle-based 24/7 facility for animal emergency, critical care and specialty medicine. This rapidly expanding woman-owned business credits both its staff and its community for its referral-based success, partnering with City and County animal shelters, a national network of veterinarians and local business organizations. Actively involved in the community, employees are considered a valued resource and are nurtured with excellent training, competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits. Serving about 8,000-9,000 animals annually, ACCES strives to provide compassionate, ethical and quality care to its patients using progressive medical knowledge and sound judgment. ACCES has earned a 5-star energy rating for its efforts to conserve resources, participates in community clean-up activities, and has found creative ways to reduce its carbon footprint.
Arab Film Distribution / Typecast Films
John Sinno - (206) 322-0882
3131 Western Avenue, Suite 514
AFD / Typecast Films began in 1990 with only five films in its library - films that charmed Seattle audiences at local film festivals and highlighted a profound enthusiasm for this yet-undiscovered niche of world cinema. Now a national film distributor, AFD still supports local businesses, staying connected with Seattle festival roots and audiences. Due to a steadily increasing interest in Arab culture, new works - exploring current events and the developing chasm between the Middle East and the West, as well as cultural commonalities - are continually acquired. Offering its catalog of highly artistic and educational films to theaters, universities, colleges, museums and media arts centers, AFD has put Seattle on the map as the capital of Middle Eastern Cinema outside the Middle East! The company's six employees are film aficionados and fellow collaborators, encouraged to innovate and put creative energy and ideas into their work.
Nicole Donnelly - (206) 734-4000
6333 1st Ave South
"Mom'preneur" and former extreme snowboarder Nicole Donnelly forged BabyLegs, LLC out of a need to warm her daughter's legs while diaper free to allow bad rashes to heal. Nicole fashioned her first pair of BabyLegs from some snowboarding sox to fit her toddler, Sara. After numerous inquiries from other moms, she began selling her invention out of a diaper bag. A true "rash to riches" story, BabyLegs products are now available in over 50 countries. Nicole credits her exceptional team for working together to achieve recognition among professional peers, trade journals, and families around the world. Employees enjoy a flexible work schedule and health care, profit sharing and stipends for educational growth. The company donates sponsorship, time and product to support a range of community efforts benefiting women and children both locally and globally.
Kobi Yamada & Dan Zadra - (206) 812-1640
600 N. 36th Street, Ste 400
"Live inspired" is this company's motto, and this philosophy permeates the culture of Compendium, creators and distributors of a fresh, design-rich line of inspiring gift products, now sold in thousands of specialty retail gift stores worldwide. Committed to "inspire, educate, motivate and celebrate the world we love and live in," Compendium employees strive to set an example of hope, passion, and creativity in their products and programs, making a difference for clients, customers and community. Deeply committed to environmental stewardship through business practices and financial contributions, sustainability is a value held dearly at Compendium. This Fremont-based company grows through open communication, trust and togetherness, and believes in the power of great ideas.
Lee Rhodes - (206) 568-7368
3406 East Union Street
glassybaby founder Lee Rhodes grew her business out of her own personal healing experience in Seattle. Her products - small, colored glass cups, candleholders or vases - "give warmth to a cold day, a calm token of peace in the busy world." Customers gain serenity, beauty and meaning from glassybaby products - a visit to the glassybaby website blog offers readers a moving and inspiring experience provided by appreciative clients. Lee's successful business supports a growing list of cancer causes and conservation, and its core values are to give generously in both cash and product. glassybaby is a home-grown business, supporting local artisans with competitive wages and benefits, with sustainable business practices.
GP Institute of Cosmetology
Gwendolyn Chambliss - (206) 760-3333
3401 Rainier Ave South
Inspired by her vision of a Beauty School that empowers and trains students for successful careers while giving back to the community, Gwendolyn Chambliss launched the GP Institute of Cosmetology in the Rainier Valley in 2005. What makes this school unique is the emphasis on "life" skills -listening, understanding and communicating with people - skills offered beyond the basic training required for certification in Cosmetology. Gwendolyn's focus on her students' success (100% pass and placement rate for all graduated students), as well as serving her community (free services once a month at the Community Center, as well as haircuts provided for the homeless men of Farestart) has earned her business an excellent reputation, flourishing on word of mouth promotion. Her dream to open several salons to support her graduating students will no doubt move her thriving career forward.
John Bisbee & Binko Chiong-Bisbee - (206) 381-3000
604 S. Jackson Street
Described as a "form of urban archaeology" by co-owner and architect John Bisbee, KOBO at Higo is a shop, gallery space and meeting place in the International District designed to showcase and exhibit Japanese craftsmanship and design. The building's restoration, accomplished by a dedicated "hands-on" community group, contributes to the revitalization of Japantown and perpetuates a collection of treasures and artifacts of cultural and historic significance. KOBO partners with non-profit organizations to attract business by offering its space for exhibits, gallery talks, musical events, book readings and Japantown events. Its resources include the strong, unique community that participates in its programs. Employees have a strong interest in Japanese arts and culture, and form an integral part of a team that shares ideas about efficiently running and promoting the business including the use of sustainable building practices.
Macrina Bakery & Café
Leslie Mackie - (206) 448-4089
1943 1st Ave South
Customers of Macrina Bakery & Café experience soul-satisfying flavors infused with that "baked with love from Mom" feel. Entrepreneur Leslie Mackie feels proud to be a part of "slowing down people's lives." The Café provides a warm place for people to take a seat, enjoy a meal, and indulge in a good conversation "while the world just flies on by outside." But behind the scenes is a well-planned, award-winning, environmentally conscious business that strives to provide an affordable luxury while paying attention to quality and a commitment to its staff. Employees receive generous health benefits. A member of the Seattle Climate Partnership, Macrina is in the process of building the only LEED certified bakery in the Pacific Northwest, located in SODO, and something to feel really good about.
Victoria Thomas Gentry - (206) 441-3441
2018 1st Ave
Whether helping people express their personal style through creative hair design, or serving the community through events, fundraisers and art shows on its premises, VAIN, located in downtown Seattle and Ballard, has flourished despite economic challenges. Entrepreneur Victoria Thomas Gentry has forged VAIN beyond the scope of a hair salon to include a boutique, community space, and gallery supporting local artisans. In the words of one of her 48 devoted employees, "Every time I see someone leaving our salon looking like a million bucks, or a local artist's first solo show, or total strangers supporting our community efforts, it reinforces that a business doesn't have to be big to make a big impact. It can be small and still be strong. It can celebrate an individual and still appeal to the masses. It can drive great growth and success as a result. It can be VAIN."
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