New Era business owner wins Pitch North competition.

June 30, 2022

– Contributed photo

New Era business owner wins Pitch North competition.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

NEW ERA — Annie Simon was recently rewarded for her hard work and entrepreneurial spirit when she won the top $5,000 prize of the Pitch North competition.

She opened her unique business, A New Era of Crafting, just over a year ago and is experiencing growing success.

“Pitch North is an idea-pitching competition created to spark change and promote entrepreneurial progress in Lake, Newaygo and Oceana counties,” states the Right Place organization’s website.

Annie was one of 25 competitors chosen as a top five finalist. The other finalists were Breann Conkle, Country Breeze Massage, Newaygo County; Tim Liberty, Camp Box, Newaygo County; Susan Matous, Zen Den Boutique, Lake County; and Thomas and Deserai Reichard, Northern Rustic Designs Furniture, Newaygo County.

“I have been doing this out of my house for about six years. I had two craft rooms, and I owned a daycare in my home.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit just over two years ago, Annie decided to switch professional gears. She soon found out that a historic downtown building was for sale in New Era and acted quickly. “I’ve always been a sink-or-swim kind of girl. I grew up very poor, and I knew in life you have to go for what you dream of.”

Although it was bittersweet closing her daycare business, opening her new craft business has been exciting and fulfilling. Annie said she is extremely appreciative of the support her husband Tim has provided during what could have been a risky business venture. 

A New Era of Crafting offers screen print T-shirts, jewelry, tumblers, and several other craft and boutique items. The store also offers crafting classes, such as macrame and painting. A garage in the back of the building is being renovated into a classroom. 

“I do custom work,” said Annie. She creates designs for t-shirts and other clothing items to fit specific needs. Thanks to the Pitch North prize, she is going to add a laser engraver, which is a printer to handle in-house creations. This will alleviate shipping out custom orders.

Interesting historical photos and information are displayed in the over 100-year-old building.

A New Era of Crafting is open year-round 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

“I love bringing something like this to our community where it can be kind of a one-stop shop for everybody if you’re a crafter; or needing something custom; or a last-minute gift.

“I just started out doing this in my home, and it went from there.”

Annie and husband Tim after winning the Pitch North competition.
– Contributed photo

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