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: Sweet William Blossom Boutique

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! 

Nestled in historic downtown Chillicothe, Ohio is a boutique shop unlike any other. While some may call it a flower shop, using only that title underestimates the range of specialty products they are known to carry.

Opened in August 2011 by co-owners Anni McDonald and her Aunt Lori Botchie, Sweet William Blossom Boutique is truly a family affair. Anni attended Ohio University in Athens and while there worked for a florist learning many of the techniques used in the shop today. After graduating with a degree in Communications and Marketing she held a couple of jobs while searching for her passion. Feeling unfulfilled from those jobs, she approached Lori with the idea to open a flower shop. Lori was inspired by the idea but visualized a store that sold more than just flowers. She proposed adding fruit arrangements and sweet confectioneries to the line of products. Lori’s degrees in Business Management and Communications, also from Ohio University, make them the perfect pair for this venture.

Sweet William Blossom Boutique offers fresh seasonal flower arrangements custom designed to suit their client’s needs. Focusing on the flowers and not fillers to create eye-catching collages, their works of art are identifiable as SWBB creations due to their distinctive design. They specialize in floral arrangements for weddings, sympathy, and proms/homecomings. Located inside the boutique is a self-serve floral area called the Blossom Bar. Accessible as a grab ‘n’ go option, the Blossom Bar offers a selection of different styles of flowers and vases in different price points so customers can design their own bouquets for less.

One aspect of the business that sets them apart from other flower shops is their fruit arrangements. Using apples, strawberries, pineapple, grapes, blueberries and other assorted fruits, they cut and shape the produce to create one-of-a kind edible art.

Another edible aspect to the business is their gourmet caramel apples and specialty strawberries. The apples come in nine signature flavors such as salty caramel, buckeye, and their best seller apple crisp. All apples are Granny Smith in variety and are the perfect size for sharing, although they are so delicious you many not want to. Strawberries come in three different forms: chocolate-covered, crème-filled, and chocolate cheesecake. Orders can be all of one type or any combination of the three. McDonald says that their strawberries were a top seller this past Valentine’s Day.

McDonald and Botchie are committed to providing local products whenever possible and even sell candles in store made by another local company. These candles, produced by Small Batch Candle Company, are showcased in repurposed glass bottles. Pair one of these candles with flowers or confections and you have the perfect gift for any occasion.

Sweet William Blossom Boutique is located in the heart of downtown Chillicothe at 90 West Second Street. Visit them from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You can also call them at 740.779.9600. Follow them on Facebook or on Instagram.

 

Santa Claus Is Coming To VCNB!

Santa illustration.jpgSanta Claus will be coming to town for visits at several VCNB offices this December. Here’s the scoop on where and when to find him! Bring your own cameras to get pictures of the jolly old elf with your kids and grown-up kids!

December 9
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Friendly Bremen Banking Center, E. Main St. in Lancaster
Visit with Santa and tell him your fondest Christmas wish!

December 16
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Friendly Bremen Banking Center , Bremen
Meet Santa and come prepared to share your Christmas wish list!

December 16
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Canal Banking Center, Canal Winchester
Enjoy a Christmas Party with Santa, face painting and cookie decorating. Kids can also drop off their letters for Santa and wait for handwritten letters in the mail. If you’re bringing a letter, be sure to include a return address so Santa knows where to find you!

December 17
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Ross County Banking Center, Western Avenue in Chillicothe
Visit with Santa while you enjoy cookies and punch. There will also be a drawing for a jumbo prize. Don’t miss out!

December 17
10 a.m. to Noon
Friendly Bremen Banking Center, Pataskala
Have fun with a Christmas Party with Santa, face painting and cookie decorating. Kids can also drop off their letters for Santa and wait for handwritten letters in the mail. If you’re bringing a letter, be sure to include a return address so Santa knows where to find you!

There you have it! The magic of Santa will help him travel to several of our banks, spreading joy and providing lots of photo ops for the good little boys and girls! Come see us and be sure to bring your camera!

VCNB Gives Back

Sunday was World Kindness Day and, as a community bank, we think that’s kind of a big deal. In fact, the idea of being good to our customers, employees and communities is something we embrace every day.

We try to be a good corporate citizen and to lead by example, supporting as many community functions as we can across all the communities where we do business. Since our footprint has expanded a lot during our 149 year lifetime, the area where we try to do good is also expanding. From as far south as our hometown in Vinton County up through Logan, Lancaster and Chillicothe to Grove City and all points in between, we donate money and time to countless community and school groups.

This year we expect to spend more than $220,000 in our local communities!

We also reward our employees for their volunteer efforts. In an average year, our employees collectively donate several hundred hours each year to organizations close to their hearts. Animal shelters, food pantries, school events and countless community events benefit from the generosity of our wonderful employees who like to help out where they can.

During the holidays we like to spotlight some local groups that need public support and give our customers the opportunity to help out as well. Throughout the month of November we’ll be collecting donations for the following:

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Thanks to Dollar General of McArthur for kicking off their coat drive with a big donation of coats, hats and gloves for kids. Rachel Hoyt, Carol Faber and Heather Ramey are pictured with a few of those items!  

Vinton County National Bank in McArthur – Monetary donations will be collected for the Vinton County Local Schools Backpack Program. New and gently used coats, hats, scarves and gloves will also be accepted for kids in need in Vinton County schools.

 

Vinton County National Bank in Wilkesville – Monetary donations will be collected for the Vinton County Local Schools Backpack Program.

Hocking Hills Banking Center in Logan – Monetary and donations of items will be collected for the Hocking County Humane Society. Click here for more info. 

Salt Creek Banking Center in Laurelville – Monetary donations will be collected for the local Backpack Program.

Ross County Banking Centers in Chillicothe – Monetary donations will be collected for the Good Sam Food Pantry.

Ross County Banking Center in Richmond Dale – Monetary donations will be collected for the Mission Family Ministries and Goshen Run.

Pickaway County Banking Center in Circleville – Monetary donations will be collected for Emergency Clearing House Association of Pickaway County.

Pickaway County Banking Center in Ashville – Monetary donations will be collected for local Backpack Program.

Pickaway County Banking Center in Commercial Point – Bank will purchase canned goods for a local church at Thanksgiving and will also participate in Secret Santa at the church.

Friendly Bremen Banking Centers in Lancaster and Bremen – Monetary and non-perishable food donations will be collected for local food pantries.

Friendly Bremen Banking Center in Pataskala – Monetary donations will be collected for a local food pantry.

Canal Banking Center in Canal Winchester – Bank will accept monetary donations for the Canal Winchester Food Pantry.

Franklin County Banking Center in Grove City – Bank will accept monetary donations and packages of new men’s and women’s socks for Socks For Soldiers.

 

If you’re in the area and would like to help out a local organization, we hope you will stop by a branch and make a donation. The bank will also contribute funds to each of the organizations we are spotlighting this holiday season.  All of these collection efforts are for good causes and we are excited to help them!

 

Pack An Extra Form Of Payment

If you’re planning a vacation this summer, you’re probably eager to pack your bags and hit the road. But before you go, there’s one more thing to pack – one or two extra forms of payment.

We know that you love your plastic and we swipe our debit and credit cards more today than ever before.  After all, it’s quick and easy, it’s safer than carrying a lot of cash and, if you’re a VCNB customer using Rewards Checking or our Platinum Visa© Card, you earn UChoose® Rewards Points on purchases.

PrintUnfortunately, plastic is not always foolproof. While most businesses accept credit and debit cards, some mom and pop establishments, festivals and farmer’s markets are not equipped to do so. Also, technology is imperfect and occasionally even major retailers experience a hiccup that prevents them from accepting cards.

Also, with the increased use in debit and credit card usage has come an increase in the amount of fraudulent activity related to cards. That’s why we have a great Fraud Department here at VCNB to monitor your activity round the clock. If we see something that is clearly fraudulent or that looks suspicious, we will place restrictions on your card and then give you a call to confirm that you are actually making those purchases. This is meant to protect you and your money but can sometimes cause an inconvenience for the customer.

We occasionally have customers who are on vacation, spending outside their regular pattern of activity, who will be flagged by the Fraud Department. If you can confirm that it’s really you spending your money, the restrictions will be released and you can go about your vacation. If it’s not you, we will shut down your card to prevent future fraudulent activity and take actions to get you a new card. If that’s the case, you will need another way to pay.

There are many options for a second or third form of payment. If you plan to pay primarily with debit, take along a credit card and some cash too. If your primary payment is going to be credit, a second credit or debit card and some cash might come in handy.

Here at VCNB, we offer credit cards as well as a Reloadable Travel Card. You can use it to make purchases anywhere worldwide that Mastercard© is accepted. It costs $5.99 to purchase but we are waving this fee through the end of July. The Travel Card and other reloadable/gift cards are available in any VCNB branch. Click here to learn more. 

And, of course, cash is still accepted almost everywhere.

By the way, if you’re planning to travel, take a minute and give us a call. If we know you’re out of state or out of the country, you’ll be less likely to experience a disruption in service. Also be sure to give us your mobile phone number. If our Fraud Department does need to reach you, you don’t want them calling your home when your card is being rejected in a restaurant far from home.

 

 

 

Ask A Lender: What Is A HELOC?

We introduced a new HELOC special earlier this week and it occurred to us that while bankers like to talk in abbreviations, everyone may not know about a HELOC and what it means. So we asked Cassie Stout to help us out and explain a HELOC. Cassie is the Manager of the Ross County Banking Center on E. Main Street in Chillicothe. As a Retail Banker, she is able to address all of a customer’s needs including help with loans and deposits. She has been with us since 2006 and is a popular fixture at our Ross Main Office.

Cassie Stout

Cassie Stout

Here’s what she had to say:

What is a HELOC?
HELOC stands for Home Equity Line of Credit and is a way to turn the equity in your home into cash.

Why would someone want or need a HELOC?
HELOCs are great for home improvement projects like kitchen and bath renovations, a new garage, or really any upgrade. A HELOC is also good to have if you need cash out for debt consolidation or to fund big life expenses like college or special occasions.

What are the costs related to a HELOC at VCNB?
We offer HELOCs with little to no upfront (closing) costs, and also waive the annual fee for the first year! After that, the annual fee is just $50*.

Why should someone apply for a HELOC at VCNB?
VCNB HELOCs are a great deal for many reasons. The application process is easy, plus we have great rates and low fees.

What do you wish customers knew about a HELOC that they don’t think to ask?
When you open a HELOC with us, you get great payment flexibility for a full fifteen years. That means you can pay just your interest or pay off more at any time. This is a good setup for my borrowers because they can use their HELOC for their initial purpose (like home renovations), but can then have the security of an available credit line for many years to come.

Learn about our current special at our website!

*A Home Equity Line of Credit in an amount over 100,000 will require title insurance and survey fees to be paid.

A Season Of Giving All Year Round

Lots of folks think of December as a season of giving but here at VCNB we try to maintain a spirit of giving all year long. We think it’s important to give back to the communities where we do business.

While there are a few causes near and to the heart of who we are as a bank, we enjoy supporting all sorts of community and school causes. From park renovations to school programs and from Christmas presents for kids to food pantries, downtown revitalization projects, arts festivals, fire department gear and everything in between, it seems like there is no shortage of efforts that need community support.

We also spend a lot of resources on financial literacy, especially for kids and teens in school. We talk to high school kids about credit and about the basics of managing their finances once they graduate high school. We also work with elementary students through programs like Get Smart About Credit, Bremen Bank Days and Teach Children To Save. Another major project for us, an EverFi program called Financial U, uses video, 3-D gaming, avatars and social networking to bring financial concepts to life for this digital generation. Offered at ten schools in VCNB communities, EverFi helps school districts meet state financial literacy standards.

Our employees often get in on the act too, donating their time and resources to support countless organizations that are important to them. Many of our employees volunteer for animal shelters, nursing homes, food pantries, the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. Hundreds of hours are given by our employees to support efforts they care about.

This month in Ross County, employees of our Ross County Banking Center have been involved in a contest to raise funds for the Salvation Army. Several of our offices have collected funds for organizations like food pantries and Project Backpack.

Autumn Warthman, Branch Manager at the Hocking Hills Banking Center, knows a thing or two about giving back to the community. Warthman’s office has helped with some major projects in the Logan area including the rehabilitation of Kachelmacher Park. Her office donated funds and her employees gave sweat equity to help with the project.

Warthman says that she sees giving back to the community as an important part of doing business. “I think it’s important to give back to help in whatever ways we can, especially for youth education like EverFi. We want people to know that we don’t just do business here. We support the community and we’re here for them in other ways besides banking,” Warthman explained.

We are grateful for the opportunity to do business in so many great communities and look forward to 2016 and the opportunities to do more good!

Special Santa: Making Christmas Merry For Chillicothe Kids

A record number of children in the Chillicothe area will enjoy a merry Christmas this year thanks to the generosity and hard work of the Chillicothe Jaycees and a small army of local businesses and community members. The Jaycees’ Special Santa Project will provide gifts for over 1,200 kids this year, ensuring that these kids have a reason to smile on Christmas morning.

Our Ross County Banking Center has actively supported Special Santa for several years and is proud to do so again in 2015.

Ryan Adams is the Branch Manager at our Ross County Banking Center on Western Avenue and serves as External Vice President for the Chillicothe Jaycees. “This is our biggest year ever,” Adams explained. “There are well over 1,200 kids in the program so far. We always expect an increase from year to year but the growth has been much more than expected this year.”

Devoted to community development and improvement, the Jaycees is a civic organization for men and women ages 21-41. The group is one of the area’s oldest civic organizations, serving the Chillicothe/Ross County community since 1932.

Jaycees members are given the opportunity to develop professional skills through community service while bettering the community through events and projects. Adams said the Jaycees raise thousands of dollars every year to fund a number of projects. In addition to Special Santa, they sponsor events including an enormous Easter Egg Hunt and Movies in the Park. They also partner with the Lion’s Club to host an annual Halloween Parade.

The Jaycees own and operate the Jaycees Public Golf Course on Pleasant Valley Road where they hold events like golf tournaments and even Junior Golf Clinics that are free to local kids.

“We do a lot of neat things. Much of what we do is based in partnerships with groups like the Lions and with local businesses,” Adams said.

Special Santa though is their most popular and most needed event. Adams explained that there is an application process where parents of children newborn to 12 years of age can submit their child’s wish list. Paper ornaments, donated by Printex, are displayed in local businesses and include the child’s first name, age, sex and six items they want for Christmas. While the Jaycees do much of the buying, people who want to help can claim a tag, shop for the requested gifts and return them to the Jaycees.

The Chillicothe-Ross Public Library assists with the application process and permits the Jaycees to use the old Central School, behind the library for this popular holiday operation.

“Special Santa was established in 2000 to help buy toys for kids. I don’t like to say needy kids because anyone can fall on hard times. The loss of a job, illness, there are a lot of reasons why someone may not be able to afford gifts for their kids this year,” Adams lamented.

He called the need in the community “overwhelming” as he described the number of applications and the types of gifts some kids request. “It’s kind of overwhelming when you think about it. I don’t think people really understand the severity of need in this community. And then to have a child request a warm coat, hat, mittens, shoes, underwear instead of a toy – it’s overwhelming.”

Adams credits the community for embracing Special Santa and all the fundraising that goes on to make it happen. “It is amazing to have this kind of community support. This is possible because we have a community of people and businesses that buy into the program and that want to contribute, want to jump on board and make it work,” Adams said.

There is still time become involved if you want to help. To learn more, email specialsanta@chillicothejaycees.org or call 567-703-6305. The Chillicothe Jaycees is also always looking for new members. Learn more about the organization and how you can become involved at their website.

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.

What’s Your Next Step?

Next Step 160x600 Audience Network (VCNB)

We have been busy talking about next steps here at VCNB. Everyone has a next step in life. Maybe it’s a huge step like getting married, starting a family or buying a home. Maybe it’s a small step like the bathroom remodel you have been planning for years. Perhaps it is a far off step like retiring or becoming an empty nester. As we look around the VCNB Financial Family we see people taking next steps every day: babies, promotions, military service, weddings, retirements, new homes, smaller homes, new hobbies, children going off to college, and adults going back to school. There have been some unhappy next steps along the way as we have said goodbye to parents, siblings and mentors as well. While we hope all your next steps are happy, the good and the bad are all a part of life. With this in mind, we want to be with you along the way for whatever your next step in life is, no matter where it takes you. Home loans, savings accounts, cutting edge services and good old fashioned customer caring are some of the things we do every day. Plus, for a while we are offering you a chance to earn money for becoming our customer. Now through June 30, you can get $100 for opening a new checking account with a debit card. You can also earn $50 for opening a new savings account. These accounts can be opened online or in any of our seventeen branches. We also want to help some neighbors in need as they take their next steps. That is why we will donate $10 for every qualifying checking or savings account opened during the promotional period. The money will be shared by two charities – Sojourners of Vinton County and Maywood Mission of Lancaster – to purchase shoes for people in need. We will donate up to $1,000 at the end of the promotional period.

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Click Image To Enlarge Terms and Conditions.

Click the terms and conditions at right to view a full screen description of complete details. Visit www.vintoncountybank.com for account information or to get started opening an account. You can also stop by any one of our seventeen branches to speak with an expert and open your new account today. Are you thinking about your next step? Comment below to tell us what it will be! We are excited to hear your stories!