Do you want to grow your small business? Join us Monday, June 18th, at 11:30 AM for a lunch and learn session with ReferenceUSA. With ReferenceUSA, you can do all kinds of sales and marketing research, learn about other businesses in your area, and more! A light lunch will be served. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take your business to the next level can be intimidating. What do your customers want, and where do they want to go to get it? Where’s your competition, and what are they doing differently? If you’re asking yourself these questions, it’s time to do some market research!
ReferenceUSA‘s advanced search features can show you density maps of the locations, sales volume or employee size of businesses in a given area. This is a great way to choose a location for your new business.
Mergent Intellect offers a variety of Nielsen demographic reports on a geographic region of your choice. Reports include historical and projected population and number of households, plus data on race, ethnicity, household size, household income and more.
Not sure where to start? Gale’s Small Business Builder has the Small Business Resource Center built right in – they’ve got great tutorials and instructions on how, when, where, and why to start your market research. All of these resources are free with your library card!
Are you ready to start your own business? Get away from the daily grind and come to the library to learn about digital resources that can help turn your entrepreneurial dreams into a reality!
Just getting started? Check out our small business infoguide for a quick guide to all our resources, and then head to Gale Small Business Builder to work on your business plan. With Gale Small Business Builder, you can enter in your goals, your target audience, and even do preliminary market research. You’ll also be able to set up financial records and track your growth.
Ready to get a little bigger? You can learn pretty much anything business-y through the Gale Small Business Resource Center, which has explanations on everything from taxes to handling human resources issues. Mergent Intellect and Reference USA are great resources for marketing research – find out where your clients are, and how to go get them! Or just teach yourself online with ebooks and videos from Safari Tech Books or the Small Business Reference Center.
Don’t want to leave your business to come to us? Our new business librarian will come to you! Contact us at email@example.com or by calling (225) 231-3750 to set up a consultation at your convenience.
It’s the library, so you KNOW it’s free – and that’s just good business sense.
Have you ever thought about what it takes to own a franchise? Could you turn your business into a franchise? Come learn from two of the best franchise owners in the Baton Rouge area, as they provide valuable information and tips for those seeking to buy a franchise and for those seeking to expand their business by establishing a franchise system.
Are you a small business owner? Do you want to be? The Gale Small Business Builder can help you follow your dreams no matter where you are in your REM cycle with tools for beginners, experienced business owners, and even tools for those who want to set up a nonprofit.
First, you’ll set up your entrepreneur profile. This lets you define your goals, your motivations, the skills you bring to the table, and the support your business already has. The Gale Small Business Builder even provides an easy way to keep track of business expenses, financial projections, and plans to start and grow your marketing campaign.
Gale Small Business Builder provides forms you can fill out with the information you’ll need to start, maintain, and grow a successful business. Here’s what the entrepreneur profile looks like; you can use it to keep track of the resources, skills, support, and network contacts that can contribute to your success.
For further assistance, contact us at (225) 231-3750 – or check out this blog post by our Career Center.
You’ve settled your kids, relatives, friends, and significant others into the semester – now it’s time to learn something for yourself. Lynda’s self-paced, online courses can help you learn a fun new creative skill or make you more competitive on the job market. Take a look at the top ten courses here in Baton Rouge, and see what you could learn!
- Programming Foundations: Fundamentals
- Time Management Tips Weekly
- Angular 2 Essential Training
- Tableau 10 Essential Training
- Time Management Fundamentals
- Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Essential Training
- Illustrator CC 2018 Essential Training
- Python 3 Essential Training
- CompTIA A+ (220-901) Cert Prep: 5 Networking
- Teacher Tech Tips Weekly
These and many, many more are free with your library card! You can access Lynda wherever you use the internet.
Job fairs can be a great place to make connections with employers. . .but only if you know how to do it well. If you’d like to improve your job-fair know-how, please join us for a free seminar Monday, January 29th, from 10AM – 2PM. Career Center staff will discuss what to expect at job fairs, how to prepare, how to make a good first impression, and how to avoid common mistakes.
You can register online, or by calling the Career Center at 225-231-3733.
This seminar is a great chance to prepare for the upcoming Job Fair on February 1st at BRCC, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, hosted by EmployBR and Capital Area Re-Entry Coalition. Attending the Career Center’s seminar will make you a VIP for the fair!
401 Longwood Court, Unit C
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
The range of group classes, private lessons, video tutorials, and online articles that is Fair Fit Studio was born in Andrea Eastin’s midcity home four years ago, but Eastin herself has been part of the handmade fashion world for much longer. After achieving a bachelor’s degree in Painting and Drawing from the University of Iowa and attending workshops in dye and surface design at the Penland School of Craft, Eastin attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a Master of Fiber and Material Studies degree. There, she also taught a beginner-to-advanced curriculum of four classes in sewing, with an emphasis on clothing construction and fashion. She set up a fashion line in New Orleans until the disaster of Hurricane Katrina forced her and so many others out of the city, but later moved back to complete what felt like unfinished business. “I came back to New Orleans and I got really involved with the fashion scene there that was growing because of the post-Katrina influx of new people and new initiatives,” Eastin said.
Though fashion and clothing design remained (and continue to be) one of Eastin’s passions, it was difficult to meet the production demands of clothing stores that were interested in carrying her lines. “I knew I was in a model that I did not have the resources or the capacity to make successful from where I was,” she said. “I had to just totally start over. Sometimes being able to totally start over can bring something really amazing into your life, because you’re not repeating something you know how to do.” A marriage (to local hairdresser and creative director Paul Eastin), a move to Baton Rouge, and a “stop-doing” year to give herself a chance to recharge were just what was needed to let the idea of Fair Fit Studios percolate. The move especially helped to shape the business: Where New Orleans is known for its grandiose celebrations and regular festivals, all of which require a different custom-made costume or gown and each of which places severe constraints on the natural ebb and flow of clientele, Eastin found that “here people are really looking for ways that they can grow their children’s interests. With the private lessons for teenagers and children that I do, that’s often parents that know their child loves fashion, or wants to know how to sew, and they don’t have anybody that can teach them. And so the parents really try to figure out how this can be their kid’s thing.” Private lessons may be anything from a young child designing and sewing her own Christmas dress with Eastin’s careful supervision, to a teenager building a portfolio to apply to advanced courses of study with the benefit of Eastin’s vast technical skill.
The name “Fair Fit” comes from Eastin’s academic background and personal philosophy towards fashion and clothing design – it was originally the title of her thesis at the Art Institute. In this case, “fair” means both “adequate” and “just,” and plays off rising concerns about where clothing is made and how it is paid for. “It was a form of grading, meaning sizing, that I created so that it had some play – could be customized. I named it off of my clothing line because I think it’s more fair to teach a person the skills … it’s more fair if you have the autonomy to be able to make it yourself and to make your own decisions, it’s more democratic that way, than having to find somebody to do it for you, or having to rely on what already exists to make the choice for you. It’s not fair that we don’t have these skills anymore,” she said. The Fair Fit dress and pattern will soon be available online, and Eastin will teach classes on her sizing system.
Many of the emails Fair Fit Studios receives are centered around the problem of fit and how rarely something off-the-rack is a perfect match, either physically or aesthetically. “The hard thing is, you have a unique perspective, and they’re not trying to appeal to that. So then you can either do it yourself, or you can pay someone to do it for you, which, I don’t know if you really want to go down that route,” Eastin laughed. “There’s no way to make a dress that makes everybody happy. But there’s a reason why they don’t fit right: because it costs too much money for them to fit right.” Even professional sewers struggle with learning how to design and construct clothing in a way that excites their client base, and as Eastin said, that’s because “if I go about making the way you want it for your body, you’re still going to be unhappy, because it’s not your perspective, it’s still my perspective. So if you just teach people the skill, that’s the closest to fair in fashion that I have gotten.”
Even creatively focused small businesses need growth, and to accomplish this, Fair Fit recently began offering online classes in beginners sewing and basic patterns. Eastin also dedicates more time to the blog, writing a combination of articles on everything from upcoming in-person classes to the how-tos of pattern piecing to philosophy of design. “I like to feel like I’m enterprising, just always thinking of how can we offer more. But I’m still one person,” she said. Eastin is thus committed to steady, reliable growth of 17% per quarter (a number derived based on the advice of a business coach). “It’s more about what’s that one next achievable step that’s towards growth,” she said, than about doubling profit or output as quickly as possible – sustainability in the long term over more dramatic results more quickly. “Same as with sewing, creating a business is not really that different from creating an art project. It has a circuitry. It has a series of steps. It has a way that it reaches other people, and there is an exchange. You shouldn’t go, ‘oh! But the money isn’t important to me.’ Of course it is, right? But you just make sure you’re not trying to put expectations on it that are the same as what a marketing business would grow, or a tire business.”
For aspiring entrepreneurs, the library can be an invaluable resource – Eastin has used everything from online audiobooks to listen to while she works on sewing projects, to spaces outside of her home that make it easier to concentrate on business writing, to advertising upcoming classes, to classic sewing instruction books for deeper research. “I really believe that a lot of the great references are there. A lot of people believe that you should really learn sewing on YouTube these days, but there’s such good information in the classics. Those books from the 50s, 60s, and 70s are amazing. That’s how I learned,” she said. (The fashion conscious can also use online resources like Women’s Wear Daily and the Vogue Archives to check out styles of the day as far back as the 1800s.)
Join the Fair Fit Studios emailing list to learn about upcoming classes, both in-house and online, and for more information about every aspect of fashion design. You can also follow Fair Fit’s Facebook page.