Pam Schallhorn, Author I first want to thank all 174 of my wonderful followers.  I’ve been posting to this blog since August 2010.  Now I want to redirect you to a new blog I’m going to be co-authoring with two of my colleagues at the University of Illinois Extension.  The blog is called Building Entrepreneurial Communities [just click here & subscribe]

My co-authors are Kathie Brown, CED Educator in Fulton, Mason, Peoria & Tazewell counties and Nora Feuquay, CED Educator for St. Claire, Madison & Monroe counties. The blog is focused on “helping Illinois communities build entrepreneurial resources” and will feature articles on: creative entrepreneurs’ impact on communities; building resilient downtowns – best practices; using public markets as business incubators; need for building entrepreneurial communities ; effective buy-local campaigns; local government policies for building entrepreneurial communities; examples of entrepreneurial communities;  providing financial incentives that work; Millennials’ desire for an entrepreneurial culture; examples of place-making, urban planning & design and much, much more.

Hope you’ll join me!!  UIE

Presenting at the Community Development Society Conference in July


My abstract has been accepted and  I will be a presenter at the Community Development Society’s 46th Annual Conference in Lexington Kentucky in July.  I am very excited.  My presentation is called The Impact of Creative Entrepreneurs on Community, Place Making and Poverty.  My talk will focus on the work that was done in Rockford, Illinois between May 2010 and November 2014.  I have presented at State conferences before in Chicago; however, this will be my first national conference.  I want to thank all of my students, the Rockford City Market and the Rockford Housing Authority for giving me the opportunity to do the training and research that has culminated into this presentation.  Anyone planning on attending the conference, I hope to see you there!

What do you mean they don’t employ anyone?

I have been doing research on the number of jobs that small businesses create for a presentation I’m giving next week.  I have found that for some reason the stats and the government for that matter don’t count the one job that many of these entrepreneurs have created for themselves.  They are not considered small businesses unless they have at least one employee and until then are affectionately (I am being sarcastic here) called “non-employers”.  Not self-employed or entrepreneurs or artists, just “non-employers”.

Well, here is what I have to say.  In 2008, I started working for the Small Business Development Center in Rockford, Illinois.  The unemployment rate in Rockford had reached 21% and was the highest in the State.  Rockford lost 17,000 jobs during a three year period.  What I’m getting at is that there were a lot of people out of work and looking for jobs.  A few really hard working people decided to get off the couch, quit watching T.V. and start their own business.  They went into lawn care, cake baking, pizza making, and crafting.  Some became bicycle-taxi drivers, soap makers and candle makers.  When no one else was there to do it, they employed themselves.

It is true that many went on to create jobs for others and continue to grow as we move out the Great Recession into the “not so great recovery” (I just heard this phrase coined yesterday and I love it.)  Anyway, I firmly believe that we need to reconsider our thoughts on and be more appreciative of those that have created a job for themselves rather than staying on unemployment until someone created a job for them.


RCM Oct - New Mix Group w/ Anita Luna

Having fun at the Rockford City Market: Ruth, Mary, Jamie and Anita Luna of AnJan’s Eats “Smell the Smoke Baby”!!

I want to thank Cindy Miller Hardy for her kind words on a recent FB post (see below). Thanks Cindy. Just FYI I’m now doing some of the same things I did in Rockford here in Southern Illinois with the University of Illinois Extension. Miss all of you so much! Good luck to all the City Market Businesses and I want to thank Cathy McDermott for all her hard work. Keeping this Market going has been a lot of work for her and a lot of other great people!!

Rockford City Market held in downtown Rockford has been building momentum since it started a couple years ago. The blighted downtown area has reaped foot traffic, new businesses and a weekly event held each Friday from 3pm to 8pm in the warmer months. This is a example of revitalization in an area – most wouldn’t venture to. Hats off to Woodfire Brick Oven Pizza for helping make this a success & hopefully for many years to come. Pam Schallhorn aided many in her avenues with CreatingtheCreativeBusiness. She can be proud of her significant contributions to small business ventures!

Also see full story at: about the economic impact of the Rockford City Market and some former CtCB students.

Good news and some not so Good…

As most of my students already know, I’ve left the Rockford region and taken a job with the University of Illinois Extension as a Community and Economic Development Educator in Washington, Jefferson, Marion, Clinton and Bond counties in Illinois.  I’m really excited about the opportunity.  This will allow me to take my teaching and research to a whole new level.

Bad news is I will not be teaching my Creating the Creative Business classes in Rockton, Rockford or Chicago in 2015 as planned…bummer I know.

More good news though.  I’ll still be writing and posting blogs here at about problems, issues and successes creative businesses have. Let me know if you have any questions, please just post a question or a success.  Would love to hear from you.

I know I’m not losing students I’ll be gaining more.  To my students in the Rockford region – you have been an inspiration to me and I hope I’ve helped you at least in some small way to reach your dreams.

Next CtCB class begins in Rockford Sept. 24th – Sign up now!

CtCB Flyer Rockford 9-24-2014The next Creating the Creative Business class will begin on Wed. Sept. 24th and run until Nov. 12th.  The class meets every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 7:30pm for eight weeks.  The class will be held at the Rockford Design Center at 315 North Main Street, Rockford, IL.

Call 815-980-9515 or email to register.  Cost of the class is $125.00.  Those who qualify as low income may attend the class for no charge.  

The class is fun and interactive.  Some of my super successful students include:  Zina at Zammuto’s; Bella Luna Bakery; author of Women Dig Guy’s that Cook; Socks that Rock; Bliss Beads; Nita Bugs Jewelry; Woodfire Pizza; Anjan’s Eats; Lulu’s Corn; Ronit’s Kitchen; Old Farm Products; Paul Henderson, Artist; and 30+ other Rockford based creative businesses and artists.  Start or expand your own creative business now and learn how to make money with your art!


Outsider Artists Head to the City Market on August 15th!

Coronado by Jamie KasperOne of the things I really try hard to do is find opportunities for the students of the CtCB class to sell their art.  Juanita Hughes, Jamie Kasper (photo is one of her sketches with the rose growing out of the cracked sidewalk in downtown Rockford), Mary Watson, Ruth Gee and Bill Benson will be at the Rockford City Market between August 15th and Oct. 17th.  Don’t miss this opportunity to buy some very unique local art from very unique local artists!

Here is something Mary Watson shared on her Facebook today – Thank you Mary!!

August 15th thru October 17, 2014, RHA is sponsoring marginalized local artists a vendors spot at this summer’s Rockford City Market. Myself, along with Jamie Kasper are two of those artists being offered this great opportunity. Thanks RHA and RCM! Big shout out to Pam Schallhorn. Through her wonderful class, CreatingtheCreativeBusiness class, which I took and graduated from earlier this year, I earned this chance to do something positively different in the city I now call home. Finally, a big UPS to the Rockford Area Arts Council for supporting our local artists!
Transform Rockford! Yeah!!!!

FYI – next CtCB class starts in Rockford September 24th – more details coming soon.  Sign up by emailing 

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