Spokane Journal of Business

Small Business Watch


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Son revives family’s auto repair business

Cory Howard has opened an auto repair shop on north Hamilton Street called Save More Automotive, reviving the name of a business that his father, Ron Howard, originally had opened in 1990 at the corner of Francis Avenue and Nevada Street and that closed in 2012.

Howard says Save More occupies a leased 3,500-square-foot building at 2605 N. Hamilton that has five service bays and is located on about a half-acre lot. It offers all types of general automotive repairs and services all makes and models.

Since opening two months ago, he says, he and the two other technicians employed there have had double the amount of repair work they had planned for.

“Business has picked up a lot quicker than I expected it to,” Howard says.  

He says he essentially grew up in his father’s auto repair shop at the northeast corner of Francis and Nevada where a Spokane Boys Inc. plant nursery and landscaping supply business now operates. He later branched out and started his own shop in Coeur d’Alene, he says, and sold it after operating it for a year with the intent of going to back to work for his father.

However, his father suffered a sudden heart attack, putting him in a coma and ultimately leaving him in a vegetative state, which forced the family to close the business. Howard says he took a job with Parker Toyota and worked for that North Idaho dealership for two years before deciding, “it was time to continue my dad’s legacy.”

“I don’t have much money. I don’t have investors. But, I have the determination to make it work just like Dad did,” he says, adding, “It’s a long road ahead, but Save More Automotive is back.”

—Kendall Heintzelman

NanaMac’s opens store in Riverstone

NanaMac’s Boutique, an online seller of women’s modern vintage-style apparel and accessories, has opened a retail outlet in the Riverstone development, in Coeur d’Alene, says Jeremy Shute, operations manager and co-owner of the business with Susan Hinkley.

The store occupies 1,900 square feet of space at 2018 N. Main in a retail bay sandwiched between Escape Outdoors clothing store and Grooveberries frozen yogurt shop, near the Regal Riverstone Stadium 14 cinemas. It previously had been located in the couple’s Post Falls home.

The business is named for co-owner Susan Hinkley’s late grandmother, whom Hinkley describes as an elegantly chic San Franciscan who inspired her fashion sense.

NanaMac’s niche is offering a wide variety of clothing, including limited-production apparel and accessories, Shute says.

“For women 18 to 60, we have something for everybody,” he says.

Since Hinkley and Shute started the business in February 2013, it has outgrown their home and a small warehouse in Post Falls, Shute says.

Until last May, Hinkley and Shute ran the business with no other employees, he says, adding that since then, NanaMac’s staff has grown to six employees in addition to the owners.

Shute projects that storefront sales will grow to about a third of its online sales in 2015.

“The way it’s looking now, we’re looking at moving into a larger warehouse with 3,000 to 5,000 square feet of space by midyear,” he says.


—Mike McLean

Two women open fitness studio here

Two local businesswomen have combined their talents and experience in the fitness industry to open Movemore Spokane, says Maria Sevilla, co-founder of the business with Katie Cooley. 

Sevilla, a Pilates teacher, and Cooley, a yoga instructor, are leasing 3,000 square feet of space on the second floor of a building at 731 S. Garfield and are teaching classes there each week. They also employ six part-time teachers there. 

“We’ve both been in the fitness movement industry for more than 10 years,” Sevilla says. “We’ve both had our own businesses for a long time, so we thought with combined efforts we could offer something more valuable for people,” she says. “We’ve created two studios in one to offer a community space, somewhere people can go where they feel like they’re being taken care of, and we can focus on client care.” 

Classes are available in yoga, Pilates and Barre, either on a drop-in basis for $15 per class or in packages of 10 for $12.50 per class for yoga, and $25 per class for Pilates. An introductory package that costs $99 per month for six months also is available, she says. Yoga classes are limited to 10 people, and the maximum for Pilates classes is four clients. Workshops on body-mind connections and back care, among others, also are available, says Sevilla. 

Sevilla says that through mindfulness movement, yoga, Pilates, and healing nutrition classes, teachers work with clients of all ages to restore the body’s natural inclination toward health and balance.

 “We try to offer other classes suitable to address clientele injuries or surgeries and classes geared toward an evening population,” she says. “We focus on mindfulness.”


—Judith Spitzer

Distillery planned in Airway Heights

A new distillery, named Savage Boar Spirits, is slated to open in Airway Heights once the owners secure permits, says co-owner Brenda Wilbur. 

“We’re in the application process for both our state liquor license and the federal permit with the (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau),” she says. “To be a distilled spirits plant, you have to have a federal permit.” 

The distillery, which operates under the entity Savage Boar Inc., will be located in a 2,400-square-foot building at 11902 W. 21st in Airway Heights. Wilbur, her husband and co-owner Alex Wilbur, and fellow co-owner John Barrom bought the vacant building for about $125,000. 

The Savage Boar owners have been handling the framing and sheet rock work to add an office space, she says. 

The distillery will have the three founders as employees, Wilbur says. Alex Wilbur will work there full time once the business is open, while Brenda Wilbur and Barrom will keep their current jobs and work at the distillery part time, she says. 

The business will start out making vodka, she says. 

“It’ll be made from locally grown wheat,” she says. “We have a supplier in the Palouse area.”

After the distillery is operational, it’ll make whiskey too, Wilbur says. 

“I’d say gin would probably be in the 2016 range, too,” she says.  


—Katie Ross

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