Business Person of the Month: Marsha Rish

Honeymoon Bungalow and Time Warp Boutique are the only vintage shops in Baton Rouge; other stores may have some vintage items. But Marsha Rish specializes in vintage, which means items in her stores are dated as mid-century, i.e. 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. When Rish and her husband decided to go into the antique business fulltime, they wanted a way to make the business unique so they decided to specialize in vintage items–furniture, housewares, decorative lighting and more.

Rish always wanted to own her own shop; even as a child she liked to play store. Her interest in the vintage business grew out of a hobby. At one time she rented a booth in Denham Springs, which did not work out because of the distance. Also “vintage did not sell well there.” Honeymoon Bungalow opened in 1998. Her husband came up with the name partly because people always say they still act like honeymooners. It seemed historically appropriate for two reasons: the bungalow is an architectural style from the early twentieth century arts and crafts movement and also small cottage motels often advertised themselves as ‘honeymoon bungalows’ to attract the wedding trade in the forties and fifties.

“Honeymoon Bungalow represents the whole of a couple’s life together, the items they’ve accumulated over the years, the things they saved for, the things they splurged on, the things they love.” The store is a vintage department store — furniture displayed in one area; kitchen items, another; and a separate room for the “library.” Rish loves books and only carries hardbacks at the store. She likes to read non-fiction, science, history and vintage comedy like James Thurber.

Time Warp started as six dresses in an armoire in Honeymoon Bungalow. The vintage clothes proved to be very popular and the customer base grew rapidly. In 2006 the store spun off to its own building, and now ninety percent of the stock is vintage clothing from the 20’s through the 80’s. Rish observes, “people buy more clothes than furniture.” And they follow fashion trends, so “if plaid is in at the department store, we carry vintage plaid.” Time Warp also carries vinyl records, turntables, bar and smoking collectibles, art works and gifts.

Read more….

Fuel Economy

With the recent increase in gas prices, consumers are becoming more interested in fuel-efficiency. www.fueleconomy.gov is an online resource brought to you by the United States Department of Energy and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

The website provides fuel economy ratings for cars and trucks from 1985 to the present. Many models include real-world estimates (provided by website users) and environmental impact ratings. One tool allows you to compare different car models side by side. These comparisons break down fuel usage into dollars, so you can better estimate the cost basis for purchasing more fuel-efficient vehicles. For example, a 2008 Toyota Prius will cost an estimated $3064 less per year to fuel than a 2003 Ford Expedition ($1338 vs. $4402 per 15000 miles at $4.11 per gallon).

Articles provide gas-saving tips. There is a downloadable, printable fuel economy guide that includes fuel economy data for all the models in a given year. Also the Tax Incentives Information Center lists the vehicles that qualify for federal tax incentives, while breaking down the tax-credit rules and how to fill out the associated income tax forms.

How Do I Find Flood Zone Information?

**Updated May 2011**

The LSU AgCenter has probably the easiest to navigate online flood maps. Search for an address in East Baton Rouge Parish. Search Other Parishes in Louisiana.

Please read the special supplement: Using Flood Maps When Waters are Rising for valuable information concerning the current Spring 2011 flood situation.

Printed East Baton Rouge Parish flood maps are available at each branch of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library. They are also available online from the FEMA Map Service Center. There is an online tutorial with instructions on printing a letter or legal size copy of these maps. The flood zone designations, such as X or A, are defined at FEMA Flood Zone Designations.

Residents of East Baton Rouge Parish can also go to the East Baton Rouge Parish Geographic Information System. After searching for a particular address, click on Details, where you can find the property’s flood zone designation as well as lot and block number, subdivision, voting district and much more.

How Do I Find Information About Antiques and Collectibles?

Here are some tips about finding information about antiques and collectibles at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library.

Attic Treasures

Once a year, the library holds the Attic Treasures program, which features local and regional collection specialists who identify and evaluate items that the public brings in. Call (225) 274-4440 for more information.

P4A Antiques Reference Database

P4A Antiques Reference Database has information drawn from the fifty leading regional auction houses located throughout the United States, plus other selected specialist auctions. In it, you’ll find pictures of hundreds of antiques and collectibles offered at auction. The sale prices are included and often there are auction notes about the item.

To access p4A Antiques Reference, go to East Baton Rouge Library Online Databases and enter your library card number. Then click on p4Antiques Reference under My Library's Databases.

Print Resources at the Library:

Print resources in the Library can be found under the Dewey Decimal numbers 745.1 for Antiques and 790.132 for Collecting. For more specific information on particular kinds of collectibles, try searching the Library's Online Catalog for the type of collectible, e.g. porcelain, silverware, toys, etc. The subject headings for collectibles follow the form "Dolls–Collectors & Collecting."

Here are some suggested titles: 

The Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide

This pricing guide provides accurate and up-to-date information along with careful descriptions and many photographs for a wide range of collectibles.

The Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price List

This publication is intended for the average collector and reports prices based on actual retail sales. The Kovels also publish a monthly newsletter and many more specialized books on antiques and collectibles.

Miller's International Antiques Price Guide

Useful for the first-time buyer or the professional, this publication offers photographs, price ranges, market developments and collecting advice.

Magazines:

The library has several magazines about antiques and collecting. Check the Library's Online Catalog for availability.

  • Antiques and Collecting Magazine
  • Coin World
  • Country Living
  • Linn's Stamp News
  • Magazine Antiques
  • World Coin News

Business Person of the Month: Marcus K. Lewis

As an entrepreneur, Marcus Lewis is dedicated to getting the word out about the business he started in 2003. He was recently profiled in the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report. There's an article about the business on the website of the National Association of Minority Contractors-Southern Region. He even appeared in Ebony Magazine’s 2006 edition showcasing the "Top Bachelors of the Year." He says he didn’t anticipate how large an impact that national exposure would have. "I still meet people who recognize me from that article."

Lewis attended Delgado Community College with plans to become a mortician, but later went to work in industry. He continues to work shift work at a plastics plant, but was inspired to go into custom clothing after he visited a fine clothing store in the area. At first he thought he'd like to open a store himself, but after he investigated the business, he felt an affinity for the close-up, one-on-one, personal service of the custom clothier.

When he started Lewis Pierce Fine Clothing (named in honor of his grandfather) he had only a website as home for his fledgling business. He would see clients in his home or visit them at their home or office. Though Lewis has many well-established, older clients, the majority of his business comes from young entrepreneurs like himself, many of whom work from their homes. His clientele has reached such a point that he was able to rent a seven hundred square foot space in March where he consults with clients by appointment only. "If I show my clients I'm growing, we can grow as a team." Lewis feels that taking on rental of shop space will keep him focused on growing the business. "Besides I wanted to separate my business and personal life."

read more…

Guide to Government Grants and Loans

“Millions in free government money for your business.” – Fact or Fiction?

“The truth is that federal and state governments do not provide grants for starting and expanding small businesses. However, the U.S. government does offer a wide-variety of low-interest loans and venture capital financing programs to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. In addition, some federal and state agencies award a limited number of grants for very specialized business activities such as scientific research and development.”

At Business.gov, you can find info on:

  • SBA (Small Business Association) Loans
  • SBA Loans for Veterans
  • USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Rural Development Loans
  • State and Local Loan Programs

Check it out! Explore some other parts of the site for small business guides, government forms, and links to state and local info.

How Do I Get a Free Credit Report

One way you can prevent identity theft and credit fraud is to check your credit report periodically.

By law, each of the major three credit report agencies must provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. These three agencies created AnnualCreditReport.com to centralize the process.

You can access your credit report in one of three ways:

  • Online: The quickest way to access your free credit report go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com. You will access your credit report directly from the website.
  • Telephone: Call 1-877-322-8228 and follow the instructions.
  • Mail: Download the request form. Print it out and then fill it out. Mail the completed form to:
    Annual Credit Report Request Service
    P.O. Box 105281
    Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

Warning: According to the Louisiana Attorney General, only one website is authorized to fill orders for free credit reports: AnnualCreditReport.com. Other websites with similar sounding names, or slight mispellings, may have conditions attached to accessing the credit reports. Some may try to charge you, while others might be more malicious attempts to steal your personal information. Also, never respond to an email claiming to be from AnnualCreditReport.com because it will never email you to ask for personal information.

Helpful hint: You can decide whether to get credit reports from all three credit agencies at the same time, or from one every four months. If you get them at the same time, you can compare the three, because different creditors report to different agencies. But then you must wait 12 months before accessing the reports again. If you space out the reports and get one from just one of the three agencies, then you can get one every four months.

If you would like to opt out of receiving pre-approved credit card offers, as well as insurance offers, you may go to OptOutPrescreen.com or call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).

For additional credit services, such as placing a fraud alert on your credit report you may contact each of the three major credit reporting agencies directly:

  • Equifax:
    • For annual credit report: 1-800-685-1111
    • Place a fraud alert on your credit report: 1-888-766-0008
  • Experian:
    • For annual credit report and to report fraud: 1-888-397-3742
  • Transunion:
    • For annual credit report: 1-877-322-8228
    • To report fraud: 1-800-680-7289

Community Information Database

How can I find a math tutor for my sixth grader? Where can I receive a copy of my birth certificate? Whom can I call to join a local gardening club? Is there anyone available to speak to groups about journalism? Is there any place to recycle my old computer?

The East Baton Rouge Parish Public library fields these and similar questions all the time. In fact, to facilitate answers for these questions we have compiled the Community Information Database (CID), a continuously updated resource containing records for over 1,200 agencies, organizations, clubs, tutors, and speakers serving the East Baton Rouge Parish area.

The Community Information Database saves our staff and patrons time. Rather than fumbling through the blue pages or scanning endless governmental websites every time a community information question arises, the directory allows for instantaneous, directed searches by keyword, subject, and name.

How is that better than using an online search engine? First of all, unlike, say, a Google search, Community Information Database records have been vetted by staff and come directly from the horse’s mouth – the organizations themselves. Web searches can’t provide that kind of fidelity. Secondly, web searches return vast numbers – sometimes millions – of unrelated and misleading hits. The Community Information Database is small enough that you will not miss a listing on account of it being buried under irrelevant hits.

In addition to saving time and hassle for patrons and staff, the CID provides more information than you will ever find in the phone books. It collates information about an organization’s services (especially in regard to governmental agencies) that otherwise would not appear in the same place in compartmentalized web pages or phone directories.

Patrons may search the directory by selecting the “Community Information” link at our homepage located at www.ebr.lib.la.us.

In addition to the online database, a print version of the Community Information Database called the Community Services Directory (CSD) is published every other year (we will publish the 2008 version at the end of this summer). The CSD contains records for 400-plus groups which provide public service to the East Baton Rouge Parish area. A copy is provided for every reference desk in the East Baton Rouge Parish Library System. Members of the public may purchase copies for $16 at the Main Library’s circulation desk.

If you have any questions about the CSD or the CID; would like to have your group included – or add yourself as a tutor; or wish to speak to a Librarian regarding the contents of the directories, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (225) 231-3750, or by email at cis@ebr.lib.la.us.

New Overdrive Media Console Available

The East Baton Rouge Parish Library just received the following press release from OverDrive Media:

OverDrive Media Console (OMC) v3.0, now available at your digital library website, offers many features that your patrons have been anticipating. You and all your users are invited to upgrade to the new OMC v3.0.

In response to the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from our Transfer Wizard, we have added a Burn to CD Wizard. With OMC v3.0, patrons no longer need to launch Windows Media Player to burn to CD. Instead, in just a few clicks, patrons can burn WMA audio titles through OMC. Clicking the ‘Burn’ button launches the Burn Wizard, which guides the user through this simple and straightforward burn process. For your audiobook users who burn titles to CD, they will be excited to learn that the new Burn Wizard splits OverDrive’s Audiobook parts into tracks (based on the existing MediaMarkers), allowing users to more easily navigate content they have burned to CD.

As announced and covered in the press, OverDrive will introduce the new OverDrive MP3 Audiobook (compatible with iPods). OMC v3.0 supports the new MP3 format. When OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks are available (coming Summer 2008), Windows users who have already installed OMC v3.0 will be able to use titles in this format. Users of earlier versions will need to upgrade to OMC v3.0 to enjoy OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks. To learn more about OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks, read the press release and Library Journal’s coverage of the exciting news.

10 Reasons to Have the Library Information Service on Speed Dial

Here are ten reasons to have the Library Information Service’s phone number, (225) 231-3750, on your speed dial.

Get directions when you’re lost

You’re on the road and the address is on 12689 Florida Blvd, but where the heck is that? Call the library and find out it’s between Sherwood and Flannery.

Find a phone number

You can’t remember the name of that car stereo place near the corner of Airline and Cedarcrest, so you can’t call Directory Assistance. The library can go that extra step to help you puzzle it out and then to find the phone number.

Settle an argument

Your friend Steve says that Sammy Sosa hit 54 home runs in 2001 but you are sure it was 64! Call the library and learn it was 64. The next round is on Steve.

You just can’t remember who wrote “Trout Fishing in America” even though you read it (albeit 10 years ago). Call the library before you rub your head raw. The library tells you that it was Richard Brautigan.

Be a better shopper

At a car lot, you can call quickly for NADA quotes.

At an electronics store, you can call for Consumer Reports Best Buys selections.

Stock up your book queue

You’re listening to the radio or to your favorite podcast and you hear a review of a book. Call the library immediately and they will hold it for you. If it’s all checked out, you can get on the reserve list and then the library will call you when its ready for you to pick up.

Stock quotes

Where did Evergreen Solar close today? Is that up or down?

Did oil go up again?

Recipe consultation

What’s a good ratio of vinegar to oil for a classic vinaigrette?

You’ve got an 18 pound turkey. How long and at what temperature should you cook it?

What in the world is in Watergate Salad?

When a dictionary isn’t handy

You’ve already settled into your hammock with a good book, and with only an iced tea and a cell phone nearby, when you run into the word “adamantine”. Call for a quick definition (having the hardness or luster of a diamond).

How do you spell Mediterranean?

Out on the town

The movie you wanted to see is sold out. Call the library to see if any of the other movies is a New York Times Critic’s Choice.

Call to see when and where a movie is playing.

Call to find out if a restaurant received a good review in the paper.

Things to do

You’re stuck in Yuma for the next day and a half. Find out what there is to do in Yuma.