Small Business Spotlight: Totem Supply Company

Small businesses are important to communities and running a small business is tough work. That’s why we feature a small business in one of our communities every month! 

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Chillicothe is for Dreamers.  That’s the phrase printed on one of the most popular custom t-shirts at Totem Supply Co. Store owner Courtney Lewis is one of those dreamers.

After growing up in Chillicothe and graduating from Ohio University in Athens, Courtney Lewis decided she wanted to live in a big city.  She moved to Cleveland with a sense of adventure and excitement.  She found inspiration while living there for five years.  The majority of people she met were proud to be from Cleveland.  They held the city and its landmarks in high regard.  She began to miss her hometown and found that she had much pride in her hometown as well.  Realizing that small towns sometimes get a bad rap, she wanted to encourage the same pride in Chillicothe that she had witnessed in Cleveland.

After moving home in 2009 and while working in graphic design, she noticed there was no place to purchase Chillicothe memorabilia.  In 2012 Lewis started to sell custom t-shirts while working at her former career.  All shirts featured logos of former local businesses whose memory lives on in the community.

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In November 2013, with her t-shirt sales doing well, she decided to take a leap of faith and open Totem Supply Co.  Her vision of the nostalgia-based business was to highlight the small town and service the townspeople who enjoy being from the area.

Located in the historic district of downtown Chillicothe, Totem Supply Co is a retail store filled with merchandise created by local authors, designers, and artisans.  Memorabilia with references to Chillicothe are of the upmost popularity.  Everything from Chillicothe logoed coffee mugs to Ohio patterned pillows are arranged beautifully in clusters of like items making it easy to shop.  Some of the other items available include handmade deodorants, greeting cards, jewelry and sustainable toys for children.

T-shirt sales have flourished in the store and remain one of the top selling items.  Lewis often looks back into her childhood memories for which former business logos to use next but she’s also been contacted by families requesting her to make their families’ former businesses into shirts.

Printed on soft cotton tees, these shirts are comfortable to wear and tug at many people’s heartstrings.  Recently, Lewis was contacted by a customer who had purchased a Schachne’s t-shirt for her elderly mother.  Her mother had worked at this popular downtown clothing store in her earlier years.  The customer told Lewis that her mother lit up when she was given the shirt.  This gift sparked a lengthy conversation about her time working at Schachne’s and other stories from her youth.  “It’s so cool to spark memories,” Lewis says.  “There’s something so special for generations to share stories.”

Totem Supply Co. is open Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 pm. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.  Visit them at 11 West 2nd Street in Chillicothe or follow them on Facebook.

 

 

Small Business Spotlight: JT’s Auto and Truck Glass

Being a small business owner is a tough job. That’s why we spotlight a different business each month to help you learn about unique businesses in your own back yard.

Have you ever been driving down the road only to have a rock fly up and hit your windshield?  Did it leave a small chip that you think is too minor to fix?  Well, JT Thacker of JT’s Auto and Truck Glass thinks you should fix it before the problem gets bigger.

JT should know as he has been working on cars and trucks since the before the age of 18.  Much of that time was in auto body collision repair and specializing in working with big trucks.  In 2006 he began doing glass replacement and windshield repairs part-time and found that he enjoyed that aspect of the business very much.  He said he loves being able to satisfy the customers with a completed job in a shorter time and being there for customers when they needed him.

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JT and Angela Thacker are pictured standing alongside one of the mobile chip repair vehicles they use for their business JT’s Auto and Truck Glass in Chillicothe.

With the help of his wife Angela, he decided to take the business full time in 2008.  Based in Chillicothe, the business has grown over the past eight years to serve Greenfield, Circleville, Waverly, and all areas in between.  Now JT, along with a staff of two additional technicians, offers service for all vehicle makes and models as well as heavy equipment for private owners, commercial and fleet vehicles.

The work they do includes glass replacement for windshields, windows and sunroofs and on-site repair of window cracks, chips, bull’s eyes and stars.  They also provide Aquapel glass treatments to repel rain from your windshield and on-site diagnosis for window operation issues.

Working with insurance companies can sometimes be daunting for the consumer but JT will work with all insurance companies to take the hassle out of the equation and make auto glass claims a little easier for you.  All you do is make the initial call and they do the rest!

JT said he loves what he does.  “I have found the best way to serve the community and make a living,” he said.

To learn more about JT’s Auto Glass call JT at 740.703.3922, visit their website                       or check out their Facebook page.

 

Small Business Spotlight: Modern Technology To Heirloom Gifts

We understand that being a small business owner is tough. That’s why we plan to spotlight a different business each month to help you learn about unique businesses in your own back yard.

Looking for a gift for that person who has everything? Look no further. Buckeye Designs and Engraving specializes in unique gifts. With inspiration from Uncle Wayne Barker’s experience in graphic design, Ben Barker used his project management skills to open Buckeye Designs and Engraving. Together they produce everything from personalized wine glasses for weddings to engraved watermelons for summer fairs. One of the most common requests they do is the personalization of people’s guns but they thrive on trying new ideas. They believe that the sky is the limit!

Buckeye Designs and Engraving uses advanced laser engraving technology to create personalized gifts and other items. Owner Ben Barker shows off the technology they use.

Using advanced laser engraving technology, Buckeye Designs and Engraving is able to create one of a kind personalized gifts for all occasions.  Their American made Epilog Laser system is able to etch intricate designs into wood, acrylic, plastic, marble, and much more. Attached to a computer just like a printer, the system will cut designs created in graphic design software into the medium of your choice using a CO2 laser beam.

Wayne Barker poses with a display of items in the showroom.

Family photos etched into marble, granite or wood make fantastic gifts. Wood plaques imprinted with sports teams can be displayed to show team spirit and custom pet tags can help guide your pets home should they roam off. Priding themselves on competitive pricing, this veteran owned and operated business also completes more standard business requests like nametags, nameplates and awards. So they really are a one-stop shop!

You can visit the showroom at 486 South Paint Street in Chillicothe to see a variety of their work. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. -7 p.m. and weekends by appointment.

Find them on Facebook Here or call 740.851.3851.