The NIACC Pappajohn Center and North Iowa Area Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are proud to recognize Tiffany Rottinghaus of Mara Bridal and Special Occasion as the Pappajohn Center Entrepreneur of the Month for February 2018. Rottinghaus opened Mara Bridal in Charles City in November 2017.
Rottinghaus worked with the Pappajohn Center and the North Iowa Area SBDC to open Mara, and developed her business plan through Launch & Grow. Rottinghaus says, “The biggest thing about Launch & Grow for me was gaining confidence. It was a safe place to figure out the details before getting out into the real world. It was the beginning of learning what it takes to gain a good network of professionals – accountants, lawyers – that you need to know to run a business.”
When her first location for Mara fell through, Rottinghaus quickly repositioned herself and purchased a nearby building instead. Converting the historic home into a store required revising her plans and putting in some hard work, but revealed an unexpected bonus: a small standalone studio converted into an elegant space for seasonal purposes like prom dresses and tuxedo rentals. By staying open to change, she took a stumbling block and turned it into an important part of the boutique. The prom dress studio has proven to be a popular addition to Mara. Rottinghaus’s nimble approach to obstacles and zeal for opening her own boutique are part of what makes her an entrepreneur to watch.
Every month, the Pappajohn Center recognizes the North Iowa entrepreneurs who make our region a success. To self-nominate or nominate a business, visit the Pappajohn Center website at http://www.niacc.edu/pappajohn/entrepreneur-of-the-month/