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Breaking the mold

Young entrepreneurs hope to
inspire others, even in a tough economy

Unique business strategies
keep three go-getters on top

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

Katie Coe has learned a lot about herself since beginning her own marketing firm, A123 Promotions Agency. At age 23, she is one of a handful of young entrepreneurs making her way to the top during tough economic times.

Katie Coe

Katie Coe

Coe noticed a need among businesses and the workforce for a business such as hers. “My company provides job experience and very good pay to students and others like me who are too often forced to take minimum wage jobs.”
Her business has been so successful that Coe now has four locations: Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati and Evansville, Ind., and is constantly expanding. Born in Louisville, Coe’s family moved to the United Kingdom, where she grew up in Windsor, England. The family returned to Louisville when she was 11.
She opened A123 Promotions Agency in September 2007 at 7227 Columbia Ave. in Louisville. The business is a full-service model and promotions agency representing women, men and teens. A123 Promotions Agency recently expanded its modeling and talent division with the availability to do runway shows and print campaigns.
“We seem to be growing and growing,” said Coe. “Every quarter gets better and I think that it’s worked because there is always a demand for good people to do good business.”

Christan Turner

Christan Turner

Through the process, Coe has looked inward to find she is “a self-starter whose company is thriving in an era of fears of recession. I hope my story might help inspire other young people to believe in themselves and to follow their dreams.”
Coe says her hands-on approach to every client who walks through the door makes a difference. “There is no way a large impersonal corporation can compete with that,” she said.
Madison, Ind., native Christan Turner has developed two companies, Pinnacle Ten, a model management company, and will soon launch Ryan Michael Adverting Firm. “I worked for an agency in Louisville, and after being there for one day, I knew I could do it far better than anyone else,” said Turner, whose business is located inside the Trolley Barn in downtown Madison.
She has taken that confidence and combined it with a God-given ability to become president of her own company. “Our branding competes with national companies, and people have respected getting it here in the Midwest. It is simply a matter of time before this company takes off to the level that I envision it becoming,” said Turner, 28.
Pinnacle Ten is located at 719 West Main Street in Madison, Ind. Services also include web design, photography and make-up artistry.
Her two companies provide clients with all their advertising needs. Turner’s staff brings young, fresh views to the world of advertising. She said her staff’s creativity and determination will see them through current economic woes.
“I have learned that every day is new, every challenge is new, every laugh and cry for success is new, and I never want that to change,” Turner said of the experience of beginning her own business.

Stephan DeLorenzo

Stephan DeLorenzo

Stephan DeLorenzo of Madison, Ind., opened his own business, Digital Dreams Inc., in fall 2006. “I’ve learned a lot about the real world and fast; learned what hands-on experience can teach a person and I believe it’s the best way to learn,” said DeLorenzo, 19.
Digital Dreams specializes in multiple types of media transfers to DVD. The business is capable of photo transfers, slide shows, photo restoration and video taping for special events.
DeLorenzo said he eventually hopes to turn his business into a franchise and “have them all over the United States.” In his opinion, “most businesses don’t strategize to that high of a goal.”
He hadn’t even considered beginning his own business until his father suggested it to him after searching for such a service. DeLorenzo’s business is unique in that it is the only one of its kind near Madison. Once customers see the difference in what he can do with their home movies and weddings videos, and realize that he is cheaper than the competition, he believes they will easily chose his business above other more established businesses.
Success can be measured by many things, said DeLorenzo. “For my business I’d have to say that I measure the success of it as to ‘Am I doing a good thing or service for others, and are they happy with it?’ ”
DeLorenzo is making a profit while making people happy at the same time by preserving precious family memories. He is one of many young entrepreneurs who have proved through persistence and determination that they have what it takes to beat out the competition to become president of their own companies at an early age.
“Being new and small you have to work extra hard to get folks to listen to you, then work double hard to make sure they are more than pleased with the results,” said Coe.

• Learn more about these entrepreneurs at their business websites: Katie Coe: www.a123promotions.com; Christan Turner: www.PinnacleTen.com; Stephan DeLorenzo: www.DigitalDreams.com.

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