A local business is vying for a national spotlight

Apr 3, 2012

A Tallahassee small business has made it to the semi-finals of a nationwide contest sponsored by the National Retail Federation.  Tom Flanigan reports Polka Dot Press is competing with nineteen other firms in hopes of winning a large cash prize and national bragging rights….

Go to the National Retail Federation’s web site and click on the link to the “This is Retail” contest.  You’ll see twenty videos produced by small businesses from all over the country.  Including this one….



“What started with just an idea and one person has grown to include many and offer opportunity.”

That’s Kim Williams.  She and her mom Nancy Turner own and operate Polka Dot Press on Market Street. They now have seven employees and an intern working in the shop.  It’s a thriving enterprise and Turner says her daughter and business partner is always on the net looking for ways to do things better.  That’s how she stumbled upon the National Retail Federation site a little while ago.

“She discovered their web site one day and noticed they were running a contest.  And so she came in to me and said, ‘Hey, Mom, look at this contest.  I think we ought to do this.’  And I kind of gave her this look of like, ‘Oh, really, do you think that’s what we should be doing?’”

But Kim Williams is nothing if not persuasive and she soon had her mom on board.  Contest entrants had to produce a promotional video for their business – no more than two minutes long – on the theme “This is Retail”.

“We are very fortunate to have had a friend of ours, also a local photographer here in town Whitney Fletcher, and she did the pictures and just started staging things in order to show just what kind of business we have.”

The Williams and Turner video was among hundreds submitted to the Retail Federation.

“First of all, they selected forty.  Then it got narrowed down and we waited until yesterday and they sent us an e-mail saying, ‘Congratulations; you have been selected to participate in the top twenty.’”

What happens next depends on the fans of Polka Dot Press.  Visitors can vote, up to ten times a day, for their favorite business video on the Retail Federation’s site through Easter Sunday.  The voting will determine who goes to the next round.

“After next week, they’ll announce the top ten and we go through the same procedure and then they announce the top five and they are flown to Washington, DC to attend their big conference and you find out if you’ve won or not.”

Top prize for the contest is twenty-five thousand dollars.  Turner says she and Williams have already talked about how it might be used…

“Well, you know, we’ll spend it wisely.  But it will definitely be an investment into our business and that’s how we’ll spend it.”

And though the competition is stiff, Turner has every confidence Polka Dot Press will come out on top.

“Our customers are just wonderful people and we love to see ‘em and I think our video reflects that.  So Tallahassee is a good town and we’re really appreciative of that.”

To see the video and cast a vote if you’d like, go to:  www.retailmeansjobs.com/vote