Second Odd Balls Yarn Shop to open at Chisholm Trail Shopping Center and Outlet Mall; more to come

WICHITA — A year after opening her first store, Tracie Anderson is taking the next step in her plan to grow her Odd Balls Yarn Shop by opening a second store at Chisholm Trail Shopping Center and Outlet Mall in Newton.

Anderson opened her first Odd Balls in March in 4,000 square feet at Brittany Center at 21st and Woodlawn to sell high-end knitting and crochet supplies, luxury fibers, weaving looms, spinning wheels and needlepoint supplies, among other things. She also offers about 80 related classes at any given time.

This March, Anderson is opening in 3,000 square feet at Chisholm Trail next to Charlotte’s Bargain Fabric & Stitchery.

She says she did market research first.

“The traffic out there’s phenomenal.”

Anderson already is thinking of a third Wichita-area Odd Balls for next March.

“That’s pretty aggressive, but that’s our goal.”

Her bigger goal is to franchise her business and help others with their dreams of having similar shops.

She’s working with the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Wichita State University.

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Bill Guy Technology Solutions owner Bill Ramsey is named SBA’s 2011 Kansas Small Business Person of the Year

WICHITA — Bill Ramsey, owner of Bill Guy Technology Solutions, was in his office Thursday morning when he received a letter from the Small Business Administration.

His wife and son were there, too, and saw his face drop.

“My wife was like, ‘What? What’s wrong?’”

Nothing was wrong, but Ramsey couldn’t believe what he was reading was right.

It said the SBA named him the Kansas Small Business Person of the Year for 2011.

“There’s got to be a mistake,” he told his family. “I’m not reading this right.”

So he called the SBA.

“They knew exactly who I was,” Ramsey says. “I’m just stunned.”

Ken Elliott with the Kansas Small Business Development Center nominated Ramsey.

Elliott has been Ramsey’s business counselor.

Ramsey started his business as a one-man shop in 2001 to help businesses manage their computer networks.

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