Big March OL!BA Announcement Unveiled


The brand-new logo & MaverickPR Firm designs were unveiled at Shop Local Omaha’s Local Independent Business Alliance’s (OL!BA) March 10th event. Donna Fiarkoski owner of the Joy in the Journey won the Public Service Announcement (PSA) drawing from Patrick Stibbs’ On the Spot Productions. Stay tuned to hear the PSA on the 101.9 air waves soon!

All Shop Local Omaha members and locally owned business were invited to attend. Thanks to Rick Fox and Julio’s West for hosting the festivities. If you missed the unveiling party on March 10th, click on the video link below for a recap.

Thanks to everybody who attended and keep spreading the word about Shop Local Omaha!


Local Business Alliance to Share ‘Big’ Announcements at March 10th Event

Study after study concludes on a dollar-for-dollar basis, the local economic impact of independently owned businesses is significantly greater than that of national chains. In short, one small purchase at a local, independent business can make an impact on that business – and the local economy. That’s the message Omaha Local Independent Business Alliance’s (OL!BA) Shop Local Omaha has worked to spread around the city for the last seven years.

The Shop Local Omaha initiative, which works to promote local, independent businesses, is looking to enlarge its membership and have an even stronger voice in the community. Their reach will go even farther thanks to the partnership with two community partners. Since its inception OL!BA has held monthly membership meetings, but a couple weeks from now, it will be hosting its most anticipated event ever.

Save The Date for March 10th

Save The Date for March 10th

Current members and local-owned independent businesses are invited to attend the Monday, March 10, meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. at Julio’s West, 2820 S. 123rd Court. At the event, see OLIBA’s Shop Local Omaha brand-new look for 2014, produced by UNO’s very own maverickpr; as well as get introduced to the new Big O radio marketing program available from On the Spot Productions.

“I’m very pleased to join OLIBA and Shop Local Omaha on March 10th,” says Patrick Stibbs, president of On the Spot Productions and on-air personality for The Big O 101.9, “I’ve been working with local businesses for almost 30 years, and I realize it’s getting tough and tougher for them to advertise. We’re excited to announce this marketing plan to make their ad dollars stretch to become more cost effective and successful – and the chance to network with other businesses!”

Also learn about the www.shoplocalomaha website, The Reader advertising campaigns and catch up on other 2014 promotions. Free snacks, drinks and drawings for free radio spots will be handed out. No R.S.V.P. required.

OL!BA’s Shop Local Omaha is made up of a core group of business owners and developed a four-fold mission:

• To educate the public about the importance of buying local,
• To promote the success of local, independent businesses,
• To encourage a “hometown” quality of life through diversity,
• And to advocate for local, independent businesses in media and government.

Ellen Scott, a founding board member and manager of the children’s department at The Bookworm, believes the organization has made progress in accomplishing its objectives during the last several years.

“I think there’s a lot more awareness of local independent businesses now,” she said.

OL!BA is an affiliate of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), which offers guidance and resources to independent business organizations.

Local business owners said they felt compelled to join OL!BA’s Shop Local Omaha primarily because of its mission to educate the public about the benefits of supporting local businesses.

The group meets once a month, publishes a monthly e-newsletter and maintains a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It also regularly updates its website.

Any locally owned, independent business is welcome to join OL!BA for $75 per year. Dues go toward promotions and administrative fees. If you can’t attend the March 10th meeting, visit  for details.

Editor’s note: For interviews contact founding OL!BA Board Members:

-Ellen Scott, manager of the children’s department at The Bookworm, or 4o2.392.2877.

-Rick Fox, owner of Julio’s West, or (402) 330-2110.


Key Studies on Big-Box Retail & Independent Business:

~By Becky Bohan Brown, Shop Local Omaha | OL!BA communications coordinator and founder/blogger of population-we, LLC.

Curb Appeal Salon and Spa Celebrates 15 Years This February

No two words are more welcoming to hear than Happy Anniversary; especially, if you’re a locally-owned independent (indie) business. One of Shop Local Omaha’s Local Independent Business Alliance’s (OL!BA) very own, Curb Appeal Salon and Spa, celebrates a very special date this year. February 1st, 2014, marks the 15th Anniversary for when Curb Appeal Salon and Spa officially opened its doors at 518 S. 10th St. in Omaha.

Owner Troy Davis contributes his indie businesses success and longevity to embracing openness to change with the times and being fluid in a changing market.

Something that has changed a lot over the 15-years is hair trends. Davis shares with us two that will go down in the hairstyle hall of fame, if there was one that is. “I don’t know if it’s the strangest trend (as far as look), but the ‘Jennifer Aniston’ or ‘friends’ haircut made me want to drive off a bridge,” Davis said. “I think just because soooooo many people asked for it and wanted it. It was the last mega-trend. The closest thing since was Victory Beckam’s bob. But that didn’t even come close to Jennifer’s!”

ImageJust like their urban edgy mantra states, Curb Appeal Salon and Spa, does not always follow all fad spa treatments but strives to deliver their customers unlimited individual appeal. However, the business does fall prey to fads on occasion, one Davis explains: “We have never really followed spa trends…so there’s nothing in that department that we have offered that I regret. However, in the salon, I am really embarrassed by the feather trend. I sold the last of all of our feathers, along with all of the equipment, to my dog’s groomer. Who started implementing it her practice on dogs!”

He offers some heartfelt advice to budding entrepreneurs and other indie small business owners. He said, “My only advice is diligence and hard work! Opening and running your own business is one of the hardest things you can do in life. But, the most rewarding! If someone wants a crash course in confidence…open a business.”

Curb Appeal Salon and Spa will officially celebrate its anniversary on Feb. 1st by giving back to the customers who’ve supported the indie business these past years. They will offer facials, massages, manicures and spa services at a very reduced price. But Curb Appeal Salon and Spa didn’t stop there and will conduct a raffle giving away some $1,500 in products and services.

If in the market for a spa treatment Davis highly recommends: microdermabrasion and any YonKa facial. “They are the BEST! With the BEST results!” he said.

Davis also shares his view on why other Omahans should shop local. “Shopping local helps to support the local economy. Spending your money at a locally-owned business puts money in the hands of the people who live and shop in your community,” he said. “To me it’s a simple karmic law…what you put out comes back to you. You want to be successful in life and business? Spend you money on the people around you.”

For more information on Curb Appeal Salon and Spa, visit

~By Becky Bohan Brown, Shop Local Omaha | OL!BA communications coordinator and founder/blogger of population-we, LLC.