Small Business Success!

Everyone who owns or manages a small local retail shop can tell you, IT’S NOT FOR SISSIES! To be a success, the driving force behind the business must be creative, enthusiastic, full of energy for those 24/7 work days and willing to adapt to the needs of the customer. Here in The Market District we are so proud of our own Kim Williams and have much to learn from her earlly success. Enjoy this article from the National Retail Federation Big Blog taken from an interview from STORES. Kim will be speaking at an NRF event in Washington, DC in January, but we can glean a few of her secrets to success right now. If you want to meet Kim and her mother Nancy, just stop by 1485 Market St. (upstairs). You’ll be glad you did!

Spend five minutes with Kim Williams and you’ll get the sense she’s like your best friend, guidance counselor and room mother all rolled in to one. She is also an incredibly savvy businesswoman who worked her way up in a retail department store after graduating from college, took off a few years to raise her family, and then jumped back in headfirst to start her own business.

As owner of The Polka Dot Press and second-place winner of NRF’s This is Retail contest, Kim launched her stationary business online seven years ago and opened her first store last year on Tallahassee’s Market Street. While she was being interviewed by STORES magazine for the September issue, she also let us hang around long enough to get her insights on how to be successful in retail, share what (and who) is….     READ MORE


On Satuday October 27th, The Market District will host it’s 3rd Annual Halloween Scavenger Hunt. The event is a fun and safe way for children and their parents to enjoy Halloween. Although not required, feel free to make the most of your experience by wearing a costume and bringing a treat bag! Some retailers will be handing out candy as well.

Your clue sheet can be picked up at either the FARMER’S MARKET in the pavilion at Market Square or at ETERNAL GROUNDS COFFEE SHOP in Village Commons (FreshMkt/HomeGoods).

You may also download and print your own copy here Scavenger Hunt Clues pdp

Merchants can download and print Scavenger Hunt Flyer pdp

Look for this poster in participating stores!

Please stop by Tropical Smoothie Cafe (1415 Timberlane Road in Market Square) and help in the last few weeks of their charity drive to raise money and awareness for Kidz 1st Fund. A foundation started by Jimbo and Candi Fisher to help their son Ethan and others like him with a very rare disease called Fanconi Anemia. (What is fanconi anemia?)
YOU can donate in a couple different ways:
1. Purchase a paper football in-store which proudly displays your name.
2. Purchase either a Guava Punch Smoothie or Baja Chicken Flatbread Sandwich and a portion of the sale will be given back to KFF.

Also, be sure to sign up with the Tropical Smoothie Cafe text message club by texting FRUIT1 to 30364 and you will have an opportunity to win 1 of 6 signed footballs by Jimbo Fisher on Tuesday 10/16. Tropical Smoothie loves our coach, our team, and our community. Let’s all fight Fanconi….!!

The local merchants in The Market District have been generous over the years when partnering with local non-profits in Tallahassee. This October offers a special opportunity to give back to our community. On Thursday, October 4th, we’re Turning The Market District Pink in celebration of Cancer Awareness and we’re supporting the Living Well Foundation.

This Thursday –  CHOOSE TO SHOP at Participating Locations:

Bedfellows (1485 Market St. Meet the Artist Joanna 4-7)
Bela Lili Monogramming & Gifts (1350 Market St.)
Bloom Room (Mkt Sq)
Chrysalis Fine Fabrics & Furnishings (1410 Market St.)
Cotton etc (1355 Market St.)
Eldridge Kids Shoes (in the Gallery on Market St.)
Gidgets (in the Gallery on Market St.)
Glasshopper/Awards4U (above Hopkins on Market St)
Honeytree Natural Foods (Mkt Sq)
Killearn Antiques (Mkt Sq)
Mozaik (lunch with Joanna and Jen 12:30-2)
Momo’s Pizza & Brew Pub (Dinner with Joanna and Jen 7-9)
Narcissus (Timberlane Rd and Market St.)
Pink Narcissus (1350 Market St.)
Premier Health & Fitness Center (Maclay Blvd.)
So Pure Salon (1410 Market St)
Spriggs Laid Back Luxe (the Gallery on Market St.)
Simply Entertaining (1355 Market St.)
Super-Suds Tallahassee (Market St.)
That’s Mine Monogramming (Market & Maclay Commerce)
The Polka Dot Press (1485 Market St.)
Ten Thousand Villages (Mkt Sq)
Walking Shoe Shop (Mkt Sq)

Joanna Francis, now 47, was initially diagnosed in 2005 with Stage III breast cancer. It was a difficult road to recovery after a bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. After years of staying home to mother her three boys, she returned to work as a dental patient coordinator assured that her battle with cancer was in the past. In 2008, she began to experience pain and discomfort which eventually led to a re-diagnosis of breast cancer with metastasis to her skeletal system. The challenges of ongoing treatment and testing took a toll on her career and she had to accept the fact that she would no longer be able to work.

As a single mother to Jon-Michael now 18, Bowden now 15 and Harrison now 13, the challenges of running a household were many. Joanna began the struggle to balance the many aspects of fulfilling the duties of motherhood while assuming her new role as a patient with a chronic illness and potentially terminal diagnosis. Monthly visits to multiple doctor’s appointments, hospitals and testing centers gave Joanna the opportunity to observe and interact with other patients and she began to realize that her difficulty with life management was a universal problem. She became focused on the idea of making a change in the patient experience.

In 2011, Joanna founded the Joanna Francis Living Well Foundation as a compounding relief fund designed to provide financial assistance to women living with breast cancer. Her goal for the foundation is to support the non- medical necessities which come with living a full life. There are so many ways in which to experience the journey of cancer recognizing it as a tarnished blessing. The foundation will provide a continuing reservoir of replenishment for patients, families and others who are encountering a similar path so that we are all “living well”.                                   

    “Living Well” is a compounding relief fund which provides social assistance primarily for metastatic breast cancer patients who have “school to college aged” children.

The goal of the foundation is rooted in the desire to help patients and families benefit from financial relief for social services. The purpose of the foundation is to provide opportunities of support and financial assistance for unforeseen living expenses while living with terminal breast cancer. Learn more at

When it comes to world class fitness… there’s only one place to go – and you know where! Premier Health & Fitness Center at 3521 Maclay Blvd, right here in The Market District. It’s 55,000 square feet of total fitness… Two heated pools… an indoor track… Full sized basketball court… Aerobics classes, Premier Cycle, pilates, yoga, Zumba and more… Premier Health & Fitness Center

But did you know there are personal programs tailored for your specific needs and goals. Private nutrition counseling is available for: weight loss, weight gain, eating a healthier diet, athletic performance, chronic disease control and diabetes, lowering your cholesterol, pregnancy, vegetarianism, meal planning, and more.

Dietitian Anna Jones offers a Fit n’ Trim class that is a comprehensive weight management program. More on this -> here. But here is a wonderful recipe from Anna. I can’t wait to try it!

Edamame & Black Bean Salad

1 small red onion, chopped
2 (12oz) pkgs frozen shelled edamame, thawed
2 (15oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp chopped fresh italian flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of one lemon or lime
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions: Add first 9 ingredients to a large bowl. Mix together. In spearate bowl, combine rice vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil, juice, salt & pepper. Stir with a whisk. Add dressing to beans and vegetables. Mix gently. Chill for 8 hours or overnight. Makes 12 (1/2 cup) servings.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 230 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 153mg Carbohydrate: 18g Fiber 8.8g Protein: 13g

 In August, you may have seen the SCBC Bloodmobile parked at 1410 Market St. So Pure Salon owner, Anosh Gill, coordinated the event that he hopes will become an annual event.

Now in just a few days, So Pure has a focus on WOUNDED WARRIORS.  On Tuesday, September 11th, 

  • bring in items to donate to the troops and receive a $9.11 discount on any service.
  • discounts will also be given to all police officers, firefighters and active duty military with ID.

All items will be donated directly to a marine unit and to The Wounded Warrior Project. Visit for a list of acceptable items to donate. Appointments are going fast so call to book today!


With visitors and alumni coming to the Capital City for the fall football games and holiday shopping, The Market District Merchants Association needed an updated directory to place at Tallahassee’s Downtown Visitor Center and at the lodging facilities around I-10 and Thomasville Road. Local small business owner Sam Varn contributed the updated design and with the talent of Michael Yates of Awards4U, The Market District now has a wonderful shopping and dining guide for guests to the city.  Download Here -> The Market District_directory_aug 2012 

Lila Jaber, local business owner and attorney at Gunster Law Firm donated the printing of our new directory so that we could get in out immediately.  Lila and her husband Saed own shops on Market St., Cigars of Tally and Heels & Handbags.  They love giving back to the Tallahassee community as shown by their current partnership with Workforce Plus.  “HEELS TO HANDBAGS, DISCOUNTS TO WORK” drive. For every donation of gently used women’s attire, the customer will receive a discount on a new item or items. Discounts will range from 20% to 50%. Every item you buy will be discounted in recognition of your donation. For example, most shoes including boots will be 50% off. Onex shoes will be 20% off. Purses will be 25% to 50% off, etc.


Bedfellows is another locally owned retailer that partners with non-profits. In the spring, owner Gina Proctor hosted an ExVoto Jewelry Trunk Show. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the beautiful vintage jewelry was donated to The Cure Starts Now Foundation for Pediatric Brain Cancer Research. She recently sponsored a BACK TO SCHOOL drive for Boys Town North Florida.

These are just a few of the “paying forward” actions that happen in and around The Market District. I hope you’ll join us in supporting your local retailers and retauranteurs as they support our community.

Thank you!

Locally owned Heels & Handbags is partnering with WORKFORCE plus for the “HEELS TO HANDBAGS, DISCOUNTS TO WORK” DRIVE. For every donation of gently used women’s attire, YOU will receive a discount on a new item or items. Discounts will range from 20% to 50%. Every item you buy will be discounted in recognition of your donation. For example, most shoes including boots will be 50% off. Onex shoes will be 20% off. Purses will be 25% to 50% off, etc. 

WHEN: September 1 – 30, 2012.

WHERE: All donations will be accepted at Heels & Handbags located at 1401 Market Street, Suite 2. (850) 222-0111. All donations will be delivered to and picked up by WORKFORCE plus.

Kimberly Moore, President of WORKFORCE plus, does a tremendous job serving our Big Bend community.  She and her team help identify job opportunities for displaced, youth, and/or elderly workers through a variety of programs and with the support of Workforce Florida and the Agency for Workforce Innovation.  I’m thrilled to have met Kim a few years ago and have already worked with her staff on several community initiatives.  However, it is particularly special at this time to announce the very first civic partnership for our local business, Heels to Handbags. 

We’ve chosen to designate September as “Discounts to Work Month” and happy to announce our first civic partnership with WORKFORCE plus. Please consider participation.  No purchase is required.  Your donations of clothing are much appreciated as they assist in giving new job entrants appropriate attire to be successful at work at no cost. 

Please share this email with friends/colleagues.
Thank you,
Saed and Lila Jaber

The Gift of LIFE!


On Friday, August 17th from 11:00 – 4:00 ….

you’ll have the opportunity to give the gift of life. Thanks to the efforts of So Pure Salon & Spa, the Southeastern Community Blood Center  will be on location at 1410 Market Street in The Market District. The convenient location allows you to take a break from your busy schedule and save lives.

Walk-ins are Welcome!

If you would like to schedule an appointment click here to GO ONLINE

Southeastern Community Blood Center, a division of Florida Blood Services, is a not-for-profit blood center serving the N. Florida and S. Georgia region. As our name suggests, community is our top priority. With the help of contributions from volunteer blood donors, we strive each day to maintain a strong and steady blood supply for local hospital patients.




Good Morning Tallahassee! If you got out of bed, grabbed a cup of joe and headed over to your computer or ipad to read your favorite blogs, you may be one of the more than 324 million people viewing blog pages each month? Isn’t that amazing? According to WordPress, the blogosphere has more than 100 million blogs. That’s crazy!

Hopefully you have narrowed down your blog feeds to a few that you love. You meet each morning and they’re like old friends;  you look forward to your time together. One blog that I just discovered this week is The Skirted Roundtable. Three saavy gals, all with blogs of their own, interview top designers and broadcast an audio version via podcast. Such top interior designers as Phoebe Howard and Tobi Fairley give voice to their creativity by sharing their own inspiration, their background, their family. Yes, blogs are personal.  Of course they often build a business or expand visibility, but  it’s the personal side that keeps us coming back for more. Like an old soap opera, we delve into the lives of these designers, or foodies, or small business entrepreneurs to peek inside their world.

Another adorable site is Urban Grace Interiors. A girl, a guy, their beautiful baby girl and HUGE design talent has built a business that is booming. Just like journaling, professional bloggers capture their thoughts, but unlike journaling, they’re out there for the whole wide world to read. They’re thinking out loud!

Some local Tallahassee blogs are fun too! They drive business to the local retailer and to their own website, expanding their reach, while giving us a bit more information than we first knew about the owners. We get to know them; it’s personal!   Remember all that jazz about The Polka Dot Press and the contest that Kim Williams entered and won? If you were following her blog Connect the Dots, then you knew what was happening on a day to day basis. 

Another long established local retailer  is My Favorite Things. Lauren Teal has a wonderful blog  full of recipes and entertaining ideas. My Favorite Things EVERYDAY brings together delicious foods and hostess tips for the home which accent and enhance the  fine china, tabletop and accessories sold in the shop and on her website.  All extra effort evokes a feeling that consumers are searching for.

In this new age of creative advertising, part of a small business marketing plan may include a blog.  (source) Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries; yet still others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blogs), photographs (photoblogs), videos (video blogs or “vlogs”), music (MP3 blogs), and audio (podcasts).

What is your blogroll? Who are your favs? We’d love to get to know you too!

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