If you follow SocialPie at all, by now you probably know an my buddy Lisa and her hubby, Bud, are finalists in AmExOpen’s Big Break for Small Business contest. Big Break’s final winners (there will be 5 of them) are determined by online voting. (You can watch their video here and vote for them to win!)
The garden center is owned by Lisa’s husband Bud and Jim Brown, in tiny Dixon, IL. Lisa and I have been friends forever. We met in 4th grade at John Glenn Elementary School in Donahue, Iowa. Donahue is super-tiny town of 298.
Lisa now lives about 90 minutes from Donahue in Dixon, IL; and I’m outside of Philadelphia. We reconnected at our class reunion and keep in touch through Facebook. Mostly through posts on SocialPie’s page, and Facebook Messages.
The adventure that Big Break has brought to Distinctive Gardens has been great. It’s been fun to watch from behind the scene’s with her going through the process, watching them stretch their business in the process. And not surprisingly, Dixon, Il is the tiniest of all the finalists hometowns.
Today’s post captures the timeline of how Distinctive Gardens came to be finalists for AmEx Open’s Big Break.
April 21 ~ “SocialPie” facebook page posts a link to the Big Break competition. Lisa saw the post.
April 23 ~ Distinctive Gardens enters the first phase of competition with a written submission answering three questions:
1.Tell us about your business. What makes you excited to come to work every day?
2. How do you envision Facebook impacting your business?
3. How could a Big Break help your business and your customers?
May 25 ~ A call comes informing Distinctive Gardens is a top 40 semi-finalist from over 11,000 entries across the country. Later that night a phone interview is conducted. Both the written and oral submissions then go to a panel of three judges who decide the top 10.
June 2 ~ A call comes from Digitas in NYC, informing Distinctive Gardens they are one of the top 10 finalists.
June 10 ~ The Big Break camera crew of from Boston, NYC, LA, and Chicago converge on Distinctive Gardens and spend an entire day shooting and interviewing to make a 90 second video for the competition. (Vote HERE 🙂 The crew: Jon,Jerry, Kristyna, Casey and Leif parachute (not really) into on Dixon IL and eat mounds of homemade cookies.
July 5 ~ Facebook and American Express OPEN launch public voting on the top 10 videos to determine the top 5 winners.
The Prize: American Express Open has teamed up with Facebook to give 5 small businesses a Facebook business makeover and $25,000 to grow their business. Wish Lisa luck, and go vote (and tell your friends, too) for Distinctive Gardens!