CCPL pro­files Beth Tu­mas, founder of Aris­tos’ Har­vest

Cecil Whig - - JUMPSTART - By LAURA METZLER

Spe­cial to the Whig

When Beth Tu­mas walked into the Small Busi­ness In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter at the Ce­cil County Pub­lic Li­brary back in 2012, she came with a dream to cre­ate a small busi­ness that pro­duced and sold nat­u­ral honey and goat milk prod­ucts lo­cally, with fresh home­made in­gre­di­ents.

At the time, Tu­mas didn’t own a sin­gle bee or goat, but she had a vi­sion and a passion. She just needed a plan of ac­tion.

Fast for­ward to to­day, and Beth op­er­ates her small busi­ness, Aris­tos’ Har­vest, along with nu­mer­ous colonies of bees, a herd of alpine goats and other an­i­mals (she has re­cently ex­panded her busi­ness to a new farm). She sells honey, soaps, lip balms and hand salve at stores like Pick­led Pick- les in Ox­ford, Penn., and Rooted in New Lon­don, Penn. Her mis­sion state­ment for Aris­tos’ Har­vest is that it will be “a work­ing farm that bal­ances our an­i­mals, our­selves and the en­vi­ron­ment through ed­u­ca­tion, busi­ness and en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship.”

Tu­mas cred­its some of her busi­ness suc­cess to the help she re­ceived at the Ce­cil County Pub­lic Li­brary’s Small Busi­ness In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter (SBIC). There she met with the Small Busi­ness Li­brar­ian one-on-one and learned the process of start­ing a busi­ness and how to map out her goals in a busi­ness plan.

Tu­mas is es­pe­cially grate­ful for the free on­line Gale cour­ses the li­brary of­fers. She took a free course ti­tled, “Start Your Own Busi­ness,” and learned about the dif­fer­ent le­gal busi­ness struc­tures and the tax im­pli­ca­tions of each form. She cred­its the course for giv­ing her a firm foun­da­tion to make smart de­ci­sions in the early stages of her busi­ness.

Tu­mas also cred­its the knowl­edge she gained at the free pro­grams of­fered by the SBIC at the li­brary with her suc­cess.

“The free Quick­Books classes taught at the li­brary re­ally tasked me with or­ga­niz­ing my busi­ness,” Tu­mas said. “I re­al­ized the im­por­tance of keep­ing track of in­ven­tory and now, at any point, I can know if I am mak­ing or los­ing money. I am so grate­ful I learned this in the early stages of my busi­ness.”

At an­other pro­gram Tu­mas at­tended — “From Hob­by­ist to En­trepreneur: Build­ing an On­line Busi­ness,” pre­sented by lo­cal busi­ness owner and ar­ti­san Sara Ren­zulli — she learned the adage, “Don’t be afraid to pro­mote your­self.” Tu­mas said that re­ally stuck with her and has given her the courage needed to self-pro­mote her busi­ness, some­thing she was not ini­tially com­fort­able with.

If you are in­ter­ested in learn­ing more about the Small Busi­ness In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter, which pro­vides free as­sis­tance and re­sources to any as­pir­ing or es­tab­lished en­trepreneur, email sbic@ cc­plnet.org or use the con­tact in­for­ma­tion at the end of this ar­ti­cle. For more in­for­ma­tion on the free Gale Cour­ses, visit ce­cil. ebranch.info/dig­i­tal-li­brary/ga­le­on­line-cour­ses/.

Or, if you are in­ter­ested in learn­ing more about Aris­tos’ Har­vest, visit Tu­mas’s web­site at aris­toshar­vest.com, email her at aris­toshar­vest@gmail.com and be sure to like her on Face­book. Tu­mas will be at Pick­led Pick­les on Fri­day, Nov. 18, from 5 to 9 p.m. to meet cus­tomers and to cre­ate a bees’ wax craft for those in­ter­ested.

Each week, li­brar­i­ans at Ce­cil County Pub­lic Li­brary will use their in­for­ma­tion and re­search ex­per­tise to high­light re­sources, tools and ideas ex­plor­ing a va­ri­ety of top­ics, such as small busi­ness, job seek­ing, dig­i­tal ser­vices, tech­nol­ogy, read­ing and learn­ing. For in­for­ma­tion as­sis­tance on to­day’s topic or oth­ers, con­tact them: ask@ cc­plnet.org, face­book.com/ce­cil­coun­ty­pub­li­cli­brary, (410) 9965600 x481 or ce­cil.ebranch.info.

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