…Bug Soother is a Columbus Junction based, family-owned small business that produces an all natural bug repellant that smells appealing but bugs hate. The insect repellent is packaged in a green spray bottle and is made from lemongrass oil, vanilla, castor oil, lemon and other ingredients.
“We try to make a really quality product. We want to give people value for their money. We were pretty surprised by the response this year,” Ms. Sojka said. “It’s important to us that we’re a small family business and we market ourselves that way.”
Ms. Sojka started making the repellent in 2005 in her kitchen.
“It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s a lot more hours than I worked at my other job,” she said, noting that she left a job at Monsanto she held for 23 years to start the company.
Her company began as a store where people could create lotions and other products by selecting a scent.
“I opened it up and found out that people did not want to do that in rural Iowa,” she said. “But I knew I enjoyed creating products.”
BVS offers online services to the financial industry. Mr. Karon said the company initially started offering video production, but he saw a niche in banking.
“Do something you are passionate about, don’t do it for the money. If you do it for the money, you’ll end up like the tech bubble,” Mr. Karon said. “If you do it for passion you will be successful. If you do it only for money, you will be more likely to fail.”… Read more →