Chasing Little Arrows
When the Fulkersons began Chasing Little Arrows - a Grand Ridge, IL business focused on baby care products, they knew to turn to the IL SBDC at the Starved Rock Country Alliance; "Amy and everyone on the SBDC team has been an amazing support system!" Steven had established Armored Lawn Care with the help of Amy Lambert of the SBDC in 2017. Armored Lawn Care had grown steadily into a trusted business with a waiting list of clients, lined up for services.
At first, Teirra Fulkerson envisioned sourcing quality cloth diapers from a wholesaler. Yet, she couldn't find a diaper made of sustainable materials manufactured in the United States. In Spring 2020, they turned to Lambert, an expert in product development, to develop a superior diaper. Teirra mentions, "Amy directed me to really take an honest and detailed look at the marketability of products we're wanting to make. My brain hurt for days but I'm so glad she also challenged us to expand and dissect our start up costs. We feel we have a much stronger footing than ever." They also turned to God in prayer. Teirra states, “My husband and I are firm believers in the power of prayer. We had prayed for a business idea to provide a constant income. We heard baby care as God’s answer.”
Teirra enlisted some of the families in her circle as a test community. She began sewing prototype products herself in a workshop in her home. They wanted a durable diaper, good for not one but up to three babies in a row. “Using cloth diapers will save a family up to two thousand dollars from birth to potty training,” said Teirra. They will be cloth diapering their fourth child in Chasing Little Arrows diapers soon.
Ramping up production in anticipation of eCommerce sales, the Fulkersons still tweak the design, hoping to find a lighter, more water-absorbent fabric. Teirra has been developing the eCommerce site herself. Despite being in startup mode, the Fulkersons faithfully donate a portion of the proceeds received to local nonprofits and ministries in the Illinois Valley area.