Home businesses thriving in Mendon

Mandy Powell lives in Mendon with her husband and two sons. She spends her days making sandwiches and reading stories to her children. In her spare time, she prepares her product for the downtown farmer’s market. There, she promotes her hand-made item to the community. For almost six years she has produced shiny new charms at affordable prices from her home and pays the state $15 per year for the license to do that.Powell, 32, is one of many residents in Mendon paying a small fee per year for a city license to operate their own business from their home. Powell loves to be creative. She makes jewelry by hand in her living room. She creates necklaces, earrings and rings while caring for her children. She sells them at local markets and city festivals. She even allows customers to purchase her products over the phone. Powell has operated her business since 2002. She said owning your own business from your home is a great hobby.”The best part is the freedom and just as a hobby for a little extra money,” Powell says. “It’s handy for certain things for sure, if I can support someone locally I will.”Powell said she had never concerned herself with how much she earned. It was the drive to be creative that keeps her making jewelry. The materials she uses most frequently are sterling silver and semi-precious stones, which she buys online.”It’s doing well,” she said. “It adds a nice little extra income.” One of her plans is to establish her own Web site so she can work from home and spend more time with her family.Every Tuesday and Thursday, Jared Kidman, 30, arrives early at the Mendon Station to clean the floors and clear his mind for his class. The ages of his students range from 5 to 20. Kidman’s class gathers, puts on their uniforms and engages in sequence of ancient combat. Kidman runs his own martial arts school in Mendon where the parents of the students pay him to teach their kids. His classes take place at the Mendon Station and sometimes at his home. While his business is operating freely and doing well, Kidman has never needed a business license to teach martial arts.”I’m not selling something,” Kidman says, “I’m teaching something.”Powell and Kidman are two of many residents who prefer a community-related practice, by operating from their homes. It is not easy starting a business in Mendon; therefore there are very few retail businesses within Mendon city limits. Owning a business in your home is much easier than store businesses for Mendon residents. Mendon residents are slightly reluctant of new businesses in their town. On Oct. 29, when candidates were running for mayor and held a meet-the-candidates-night to tell of their plans for the city, some stressed the dangers of a new business district in the city. One candidate said, “Personally, I don’t want to live near a Walmart.”Fonnesbeck Greenhouse, owned and operated by Tawna and Barry Fonnesbeck, is the only retail business in Mendon. It started as a backyard hobby, then evolved into a successful business with orders from Salt Lake City to Montana, according to Tawna Fonnesbeck.”It’s basically in-home,” says Fonnesbeck. “It opened in 1990. It started with two greenhouses; we have six now.”According to the city recorder Paul Cressall, there are more than 24 in-house businesses within Mendon. Mendon is sparsely populated compared to its neighbor city Logan, with only 1,178 residents. He says the businesses are essential to small communities because they are so providing of services.”We have hairstylists, auto mechanics, software engineers,” Cressall said. “People are always looking for services. Some people don’t like small communities because they don’t have enough services.”City councilman Phil Coulter says in-house businesses help the owners connect with their families the most. He says the reason so many run a business in their home is because it so inexpensive. “You look at a lot of them and it enables them to look after their kids,” says Coulter. “We really don’t have much retail. It’s all contractor businesses.”For Mandy Powell, the in-house business industry is a hobby that might need to be put aside for her family.While business is thriving for Powell and she does hope to further it, she says her jewelry crafting business has been dying down recently because of her commitment to her family. She missed many festivals (where she sells her jewelry) this year to take care of her kids.”My kids are my priority,” she says. “While they are in school I might do other things.”

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