Small Business Expo Inspires

By Chris Tomlinson
Houston Chronicle.

WWR Article Summary (Tl;dr) The Small Business Expo in Houston drew plenty of women in small business looking for solid advice on everything from marketing to insurance to funding a business. One popular element of the expo included a panel of four business owners who had appeared on the television show Shark Tank.


Some of the bravest people in Houston recently gathered at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

They came looking for a little advice, a dose of inspiration and some reassurance that their dreams are not too big. If you didn’t know them, you would mistakenly call them average.

They share a disdain for salaries and hourly wages, and they embrace the uncertainty and chaos of starting a business of their own. Those on the sidelines will mistake their brave pursuits for foolhardy, but they are the people who drive America’s economy, hire the most workers and pay the most taxes. Their gumption deserves admiration.

One of them is Andrea Rodricks, who is at the end of the diving board about to take the leap.

“I have a paycheck right now, and it’s definitely easy. But it’s not fun, it’s not exciting,” she said while strolling the aisles of the Small Business Expo earlier this month. “You want to build something for yourself, for your future and do it on your own.”

Rodricks is planning to buy a jewelry wholesale business, purchasing stones from cutters and selling them to retailers for mounting. Rodricks has been saving for more than five years, and has spoken to banks and private backers. She may borrow from her 401(k).

The exhibitors at the Expo, whose booth fees make her free admission possible, are competing for Rodricks’ business.

“The vendors are helpful, from marketing to who is going to answer your phones to social media to insurance for your business,” she said. “I’m nervous, but very excited.”

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