The Vic McCarty Show

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“Small Business Focus” on the Vic McCarty Show this week features Kevin and Sue Burns, owners of Baabaazuzu in Lake Leelanau. Their story starts with the great idea formed by accident that evolves from a home based business into a thriving company.The business began when Sue Burns’ well-meaning husband Kevin shrunk two of her sweaters while helping with laundry. Instead of throwing them out, Sue made jackets for her two daughters. After parent at school began asking for similar jackets, Sue, a former graphic designer, launched BaabaaZuzu in her basement.Today, the company’s customer base has expanded from soccer moms to retail boutiques throughout the United States, Canada and, most recently, Japan. BaabaaZuzu now operates out of an old sawmill, with the Burns’ dog, Pele, serving as both company guard and greeter.The company culture is hardworking yet family oriented: Flex-time is encouraged so employees can work around their children’s school and daycare schedules. “Year-round employment, especially in the manufacturing sector, is a rarity in our area,” Burns says. “The local community appreciates this, and we have no intention of moving away.”Although BaabaaZuzu created its own unique niche, competitors have already appeared on the horizon, and Burns notes that three different companies have attempted to sell cheaper imitations of BaabaaZuzu products. BaabaaZuzu stays focused on quality. “Our customer base has realized the difference and remained loyal,” Sue says.We’ll also talk this week about the 5 Classes of Entrepreneurship as defined by start up expert Brian Shin. Join us online weekly on the air at 10:30 AM EST on WMKT 1270 AM.

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