TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – The Topeka artisan shop, Leaping Llamas, has been named one of the 2022 Existing Business of the Year by Kansas’ Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
Leaping Llamas opened in 2016 by owner Alicia VanWalleghem to give local artists more publicity for their artwork so they can flourish and succeed, and even expand the Topeka art scene.
When VanWalleghem was ready to start a business, she decided to contact the Topeka SBDC branch located at Washburn University, 719 S Kansas Ave., to develop the art shop’s marketing and business strategies.
“I have utilized the Kansas SBDC throughout the entire tenure of Leaping Llamas, and the consistency is what stands out to me,” said VanWalleghem. “Whatever your issue may be, they are there to either walk you through it or find the resources for you with a quick turnaround time.”
Every year, each SBDC branch selects two or three clients who exemplify small business excellence throughout each region and honor them for their achievements. The Topeka Washburn branch chose to select Leaping Llamas as this year’s winner.
“It was such a shock that they told us we won it,” said VanWalleghem. “It means the world because it means that all the work, we put in in the past 6 years has been recognized, that we are a legitimate business.”
According to SBDC, Leaping Llamas will be recognized for its award at a local event. Information about the award recognition has not yet been made available at this time.
If interested, the Leaping Llamas Artisan Shop is located at 725 S Kansas Ave.
To see the PDF with the full list of 2022 winners, click here.
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