We are constantly amazed by the passion our seller community has for eBay. This year we received over 2,400 submissions to the SHINE Awards for Small Business across our five categories: Rising Star, Global Business, Minority or Woman-Owned Business, Charitable Business and Young Entrepreneur.
Whether it was building a business from scratch, bringing a brick and mortar business online or taking the plunge to sell full-time on eBay – the stories we received this year were truly inspiring. While it was a difficult task to narrow it down to just 15 finalists, we’re excited to share their shining stories with you!
Throughout the week, we’ll be revealing the outstanding finalists across our SHINE Awards for Small Business categories, beginning with Rising Star and Global Business. Starting a successful business is never easy, but our finalists in the Rising Star category did it in record time. These small businesses have either joined eBay’s community within the last 24 months or have seen significant growth on eBay over the past 12 months. Our finalists in the Global Business category truly exemplify what it means to run a global business – leveraging eBay’s global customer base to expand their business overseas.
We hope you find our six finalists in the Rising Star and Global Business categories just as inspiring as we do. You can read their full stories by going to ebay.com/shineawards – and don’t forget to vote for the ones that inspired you most in each category once per day through July 14.
Melinda Burger | Hawaiian Fine Jewelry
Based in Hawaii, Melinda uses her surroundings to design and create beautiful custom jewelry. After the commercialization of Waikiki, Hawaii and the closing of the traditional international marketplace, Melinda was faced with a tough decision on how to continue her business. Rather than close-up shop, Melinda took her business online with eBay and the rest is history. Melinda’s eBay business has grown 50% in the last year alone!
Michael Smith and Meghan Mooney | Get Lowered
From humble beginnings, Michael Smith started Get Lowered Cycles out of his garage back in 2007. While still in college, high school sweethearts, Michael and Meghan, gradually grew the business – fueled by a common passion for motorcycles. Nearly a decade later, the couple continues their passion through operating a successful motorcycle parts, accessories, and apparel store full-time. Through hard work and determination, Michael and Megan have grown the business 62% YoY.
Katy Zilverberg | A Boutique for Him
Two years ago, Katy left her traditional 9-to-5 job to pursue a career in small business consulting. Katy began selling on eBay to supplement her income while trying to grow her consulting business. However, it wasn’t long before she realized selling on eBay was her true calling – and she went all in. Today, A Boutique for Him is a full-time, eBay boutique specializing in a variety of goods ranging from men's clothing and shoes to tools, electronics, gadgets, and more. Katy has only been in business for two years, but in the last year, she saw 50% YoY growth.
Jason Barnes | All Time Toys
Jason, owner of All Time Toys, worked his way up at the store for nearly 10 years. When the opportunity came in 2016 to buy the store, he jumped at the chance. However, not even two months later his local town, Ellicott City, MD was devastated by a flash flood. As Jason was trying to move his inventory to higher ground during the flood, he noticed a woman stuck in her car and his quick thinking helped save her life. Jason got his store back up and running and now operates a successful online marketplace and local toy store, bringing his passion for toys to a global audience. Jason exports about 20% to customers overseas.
Denise Martell | Al's Snowmobile Parts Warehouse
As a seasonal business based in rural Vermont, Denise made the decision to expand her father’s snowmobile business and source additional cash flow in the off-season by selling on eBay. Today, Al’s Snowmobile Parts Warehouse offers one of the largest selections of snowmobile parts online. Denise’s cross-border sales make up about 30% of her eBay business.
Schad VanLeeuwen | Speed Addicts
You could say Schad was born with motorcycling in his blood. His grandfather had been a national racing champion, and Schad grew up lending a hand in the family parts and accessories business. To help sell some of their old inventory, Schad began listing it on eBay. Soon, he’d started running his own company, Speed Addicts, out of his freshman dorm room in Santa Barbara, CA. Today, Speed Addicts boasts multiple offices, retail space in Los Angeles, and nearly 100,000 positive customer reviews. Schad sells about 25% to customers outside the United States.
Be sure to check back tomorrow to learn more about our finalists in the Minority or Woman-Owned Business, Charitable Business and Young Entrepreneur categories.
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