This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. 5 COLUMN From humble beginnings, immigrants ascend

“Listen! I will be honest with you, I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes, These are the days that must happen to you: You shall not heap up what is call’d riches, You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve, You but arrive at the city to which you were destin’d,You hardly settle yourself to satisfaction before you are call’d by an

irresistible call to depart ... .” From Song of the Open Road by American poet and visionary Walt Whitman

restaurant work — whatever job she could. In bookkeeping, she was meticulous. In sales, she excelled. In restaurant work, she fit in with those far younger than herself. She even took college classes before

beginning the work day. Why? The reward of lifelong learning. My parents’ stamina could have fueled

continuing entrepreneurial success with the right mentorship, I believe. Groups like TiE (The International Entrepreneur), which I learned about while writing the three-part series on immigrant entrepreneurs that concludes in this issue, give me hope that others new to this country will find the needed camaraderie and guidance to weather lean years and persevere. Like many children of immigrants, my sisters


Part 3 of the immigrant entrepreneur series starts on Page 1.


Maria Shine Stewart


f the precious few family photos I have, I cherish one in black and white with my dad at a storefront window, carefully rolling a long bolt of fabric.

That may seem like a fairly simple thing

in a box of photographs – barely worth a mention. My mother has said, “I still remember how happy he was when that picture was taken.” In post-war Europe, a

pair of husband and wife entrepreneurs – my parents – strived to create a new life. The fabric of their dreams, indeed, was fabric. As Germany rebuilt after the devastation of the Nazi regime, people needed the basics, including the ability to mend their clothes. My parents’ store thrived then, with buttons, zippers and cloth being

important commodities. “Everyone was struggling,” my mom once

said. “People did not buy new clothes. They fixed what they had.” As a little girl born and bred in the United

States, I never observed quite that same look on my father’s face. My parents were unable to replicate their post-war success in the United States. Although they gave up their dream of their own store, they worked relentlessly to keep us housed and fed. My father channeled his powerful energy

into manual labor. The fact that he had advanced training in textiles, a classical education with Latin and Greek and even some medical school, did not deter him from doing the best work available to him in a new land where he was not fluent in the language. My mother did bookkeeping, retail sales,

and I felt pressure to succeed in school, but never at the expense of a balanced life. Neither parent exhibited “tiger mother” traits of current media sensation. (See Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and its aftermath if you missed the hype.) My parents took pride in our successes, but did not attempt to shape us into creatures we were not. Our home was frugal, but caring. As a child, I did factory piece work in our

kitchen. My father built things rather than buying them new. One innovation made me the star of the

neighborhood. It was a puppet theater crafted from my former stroller with a curtain of purple, formerly one of my mother’s dresses. My father spurred my creative thinking by

asking what he called “smartness questions,” riddles to challenge me. In an era before personal coaching, he was a coach.

In a world before the feminist movement,

my mother was his equal partner. Although I lacked many possessions, I was raised with my parents’ resourcefulness and fiercely protective love. April 19 would have been my father’s 107th

birthday. My mother is in her

90s. This was a sentiment I felt in the immigrant

entrepreneurs I interviewed who also are parents. Listening to their shared stories, I have been struck by values and habits that make the United States not only a hub for immigrants, but also a beacon for the world. Some use the phrase “melting pot” and

others “salad bowl,” but I prefer to think of our nation as a mosaic, a dazzling one. The website for Richard T. Herman and Robert L. Smith’s book Immigrant Inc., which is full of success stories, sums up the values we might emulate as “education, thrift, family loyalty and ambition.” When I was born, my father decorated

the house with American flags. When both parents sailed into Ellis Island five years before, they saw the Statue of Liberty on the misty horizon and felt a dream come true. Though immigrants may strive and falter

— as we all do — they hold up a prism of possibility. They can inspire us to activate the best in ourselves. The American dream is neither a cliché nor

a naïve vision unless we stop believing in it. Here, we possess fertile ground to plant and harvest more dreams. As a nation, we could do far worse than to

continue to be a haven for new immigrants and to cultivate that same spirit of adventure and risk-taking within ourselves.

As well as serving as eastern Cuyahoga contributing editor for the Tri-County Business Journal, Stewart is owner of Shine Writing Services ( in Richmond Heights.


Smartphones offer smart mobile marketing options

s cellphones continue to evolve along with technol- ogy, smartphones continue to grow with popularity. For

business owners, this is just not another trend, but something that is here to stay and will continue to grow as the cost of smartphones declines along with data packages offered with them. Business owners should identify where consumers look and what they use to gain product infor- mation. While that information will come more and more from smartphones, a strong website presence still is vital. A website should

Dale Stefancic

engage consumers with good content and value while addressing needs. This becomes even more critical in the infor- mation age of rapidly growing technol- ogy as people’s lives become more hectic with their jobs, families and increasing responsibilities. As a result, time becomes more

precious. Beyond engaging websites, smartphone technology offers the versa- tility of paying bills online, looking up a restaurant to meet for dinner, emailing, shopping for the next sale item and more. The number of smartphone users is

expected to grow significantly, with many sources predicting 73 million users by the end of 2011. Because of the growing prevalence of smartphones, many forward-thinking business owners are looking at including mobile strategies in their marketing mix to address each stage of the consumer purchasing funnel: awareness, engagement, consideration,


Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are

by Cindy Krum

how to market to the millions of smart- phone users already getting marketing texts, emails or links through their so- cial feeds about products and services people buy and use every day. With mobile marketing, however, it’s

not just smartphones, but cellphones as a whole. Texting is the key, based on

several statistics: n By 2012, an estimated 10 trillion text messages will be sent and deliv-

conversion and loyalty. A report by eMarketer indicates that as

of December, 26 percent of U.S. mobile phone users were smart phone users. The overall online ad revenue market grew 13.9 percent in 2010 to $25.8 billion, up from $22.7 billion in 2009. Growth is expected to hit $28.5 billion in 2011. According to the U.S. Department

of Commerce, retail e-commerce sales reached $165.4 billion last year, a 14.8 percent growth over 2009. Online sales are expected to see steady growth through 2011 with online shopping dollars that could exceed $188 billion. Business owners need to not only

identify this shift, but react to it. If your marketing budget is tight, mobile market- ing may be one answer. You need to see how your company with your product or service fits and position your business in front of this wave of marketing. Which smart phones seem to be the

most popular? Blackberry still holds 30 percent of the market, followed by Apple’s iPhone at 28 percent. Android smartphones are not far behind and are gaining quickly as the Android operating system gets rave reviews. If you have not begun to do so, look at

ered worldwide. nMore than 250 million people in

the United States carry mobile phones. nConsumers have access to cell-

phones more than the Internet. nText messages get seven to 15

times the response of an email and have an astounding 97 percent open

rate. nHere is the shocker: Less than 1

percent of local businesses have tapped into the mobile marketing market. Today, multiple marketing cam-

paigns need to be used with multiple media venues. It’s time that mobile marketing be added to the mix. How can a business begin to learn

about mobile marketing? For starters, a platform is needed. Two companies I recommend will get you all the infor- mation need to get started: and Mobile marketing allows a busi-

ness to target market country, region, gender, age, etc. Both companies track in real time and have great support and help. Costs are reasonable with pro- grams from free to $24.95 a month.

Dale Stefancic can be reached at Learn more about Dale at



Starting with our April issue, look for the Tri-County Business Journal at more than 60 locations in the tri-county area, including your local Chamber of Commerce office, restaurants, libraries and other locations. For a complete list, visit

eastern Cuyahoga


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