Small Business Spotlight: Statues And Their Stories
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Meet Stephanie Wollman. She grew up painting statues. Many community members flock to her business on Russell and Louise for bird bathes, religious symbols, angels, flower pots, and military statues.
Stephanie says she gets the production materials and rose quartz right here in sioux falls.
“Every dollar that I generate in revenue here, I am in turn feeding it back into the community,” said Wollman. “When I go out out eat, when I do my shopping, at local small businesses, put gas in my car, I’m helping somebody else have a job at the same time.”
Stephanie home schools her four children, but statues teach these future entrepreneurs more than just math and history.
“It’s teaching my kids so many different things,” said Wollman. “Not only how to run and manage a business and how finances work, but also how interact with people who are older and younger than you, how to deal with situations where maybe somebody’s not happy our satisfied.”
Stephanie recalls the day a family came in grieving over the loss of their young son from a drowning accident, looking for a keepsake for his grave.
“Parents showed up and I showed them the statue and they were just, they were just crying and balling,” said Wollman. “They’re like ‘it looks just like our son.’ They’re just like ‘this is perfect, This is what we need to put out there to remember our son by.’”
Touched by their story, she gave them the statue for free.
“If I can help them heal in this emotional process of losing their son I was happy to be able to be apart of that,” said Wollman.
John L Brown II says 60 percent of the employment in South Dakota comes from small businesses like Stephanie’s.
“Well, small business is the backbone of the community,” said Brown. “It’s really the cornerstone. Small businesses support the community all year. They’re the folks who actually support your sports teams or the people that put out the little containers when people are ill.”
Brown says big businesses are about shopping; small businesses are about the experience.
“They are the people who are your friends and neighbors,” said Brown.