Spotlight on home-based businesses

Peggy Baille discusses her business, Stampin’ Up!, with Kitsap Mall customers at last year’s Home-Based Business Expo. - Courtesy photo
Peggy Baille discusses her business, Stampin’ Up!, with Kitsap Mall customers at last year’s Home-Based Business Expo.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Advertising can be challenging and expensive for home-based businesses.

Silverdale Chamber of Commerce officials hope to provide business owners with a great way to show off their goods.

The chamber is sponsoring the fourth annual Home-Based Business Expo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at Kitsap Mall.

“Home-based businesses have an extra hurdle because with no storefront it is hard to advertise their business,” said Darla Murker, executive director of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce. “We give them that storefront for a day.”

Roughly 20,000 people pass through Kitsap Mall on a given day, according to Murker, and the business expo allows home-based business owners to tap into that market.

This year’s event features businesses ranging from on-site computer repair to a health food business.

Laura Shaw, of Port Orchard, owns the Comfy Canine Boutique and is a first-time participant in the expo.

“We are trying to start a dog boutique, but so far we haven’t gotten enough to start a store,” Shaw said. “I’m hoping this (business expo) will help.”

The Comfy Canine Boutique sells unique dog toys, dog spa products, dog nail polish, clothes and hosts dog birthday parties.

“We love to see people spoil their animals,” Shaw said. “Animals are our family.”

Shaw, a former veterinarian assistant, loves pets and wanted to have a business of her own.

“I wanted to still try and do the mom thing and have a business,” she said.

Tracy Freckleton, of East Bremerton, has participated in the business expo for two years.

“As a business owner, it’s been great for me,” Freckleton said. “People can see my business and what I have to offer.”

Freckleton has been a Mary Kay independent sales consultant for almost 10 years. She is participating in this year’s business expo.

“The expo is always profitable for me,” Freckleton said. “These events that the chamber put on for us are great.”

Twelve home-based businesses are registered for this year’s event. The registration fee for area chamber members is $175, non-members $275. The registration deadline is tomorrow at noon. Space is limited.

Exhibitors are provided with an 8-foot table and two chairs. They are encouraged to bring their own back drops.

Murker hopes this year’s event will be a success and looks forward to next year.

“As a chamber, we want to do what we can to support businesses,” Murker said.

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