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Erik Vonk Richland Rum Brunswick GAOne Million Cups Draws more attention

By Lindsey Adkison

Tammy Fluech, the owner of Typerbird Creative knew it was something she’d have to do as a speaker during the monthly One Million Cups event.

So Wednesday at 9 a.m. she’ll step up to the microphone at Tipsy McSway’s in downtown Brunswick to let everyone in town know a little bit about her business — Typebird Creative.

“I’m a graphic designer and I do branding, logo creation and really any type of print work or digital design. I started my business eight years ago and then on the side I have a personal project in fabric designing,” she said.

While she isn’t thrilled to take the stage, she is excited to share her vision with her new community.

And Fluech is excited about that opportunity and the chance to get feedback from others.

“I like that you can explain what you do to people and share the obstacles you face. And I like that people can give their input. Criticism is really important, not always pleasant, but important.”

Like Fluech, Justin and Sarah Callaway, the owners of Sandy Bottom Bagels, are equally excited to present at the meeting.

“We look forward to opening a dialogue with experienced, local professionals as we discuss our short-term and long-term goals for our business. Feedback in a forum like this will provide invaluable insight in the best way to move our business forward,” Justin Callaway said.

While the program has gained steam, a few short months ago not many had heard of the One Million Cups program. But it turns out, a lot can happen in a short amount of time — just ask Skip Mounts.

Five months ago, the economics professor at College of Coastal Georgia first introduced the community to a non-profit entrepreneurialship program he had discovered while visiting the Kaufman Foundation in the summer of 2015.

Since that time, he’s organized a local chapter, partnering with a number of area groups to get the movement off the ground.

“Also, our three main sponsors, Tipsy McSway, Wake Up Coffee, and the film class at the Golden Isles Career Academy, have just been great to work with. This is a community effort and program being driven by the College,” Mounts said.

And now, he feels they’ve accomplished that.

“I think we are doing well. This Wednesday will be our month. We have been averaging about 50 attendees, of which a third are new. The audience seems more comfortable asking questions. Overall, everyone seems more comfortable,” he said.

“As I go around town, many folks are commenting about past events and specific presentations. Many folks just tell me that it is great for the community. So, all of this said I think we are doing pretty good.”

The format is fairly simple — two entrepreneurs sign up and are allowed six minutes to speak. The audience then asks questions while enjoying the signature beverage — coffee. Mounts says that while the business community has learned a lot about the program through the previous meetings, they aren’t alone. He’s also learned a thing or two.

“I have learned that there is a much wider variety of small business entrepreneurs that I had expected. This even has spilled over to the nonprofit community as well,” he said.

“I think many businesses in our community realized that they do things that might be considered entrepreneurial.”

Mounts adds that many more creative people in the community are slowly discovering that they have a place at the event. But, it has been a challenge to get the word out.

“A challenge that is getting better is getting the word out. We need to raise the level of general awareness of what we are trying to do,” he said.

“The easiest thing is to get people to present. Many folks say that they are honored to be asked and they seem to have genuine excitement about the presentation.”

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