Growing up, my mom had a picture on the wall in our house that stated "Children Learn What They Live."  It went on to describe a number of activities that form various environments and how they affect the lives of people. I've learned that this same ideology has poured into my adult life, as I've surrounded myself by go-getters. Doing so makes standing still almost impossible.

The following are local individuals with either unique or nostalgic businesses, and they're making moves! If you're around them and standing still, you run the risk of being run over or dragged along:

1. Jennifer David Nix

Jennifer has been sharing her craftiness with a number of endeavors, and bedazzling shoes is just the latest.   There's no doubt that we will be seeing something else from her soon as she expands her artistic nature.

2.  Howard Speights

Howard is the owner and operator of Howard's Truck & Auto Repair, LLC. In addition to being one of few qualified to work on heavy machinery, he also runs a food truck and helps others learn how to start various businesses.

3. Ayesia Lyles

Ayesia is the owner and operator of Shuga Jane's Baking Co.  At first glance, you thought those tasty-looking treats had to have come from an older woman, right?

4.  Derrick Crummie

Derrick has his hands in some of everything.  He was the mastermind behind the Renaissance Man pageant, The Writer's Block arts event, and a number of other ventures.  Now, he has added the title "author" to his ever-growing list of accomplishments.

5. Eugene Tinker

Eugene Tinker is not only the owner and operator of Jay's Farm Place, an outdoor event venue in Sawyerville.  He's also the CEO of Certified Technical Experts, Inc. (CTE), a certified small 8(a) Technology consulting firm,  providing positive solutions to the toughest IT challenges and specializing in Legacy System Modernization, Sustainment Services and Information Assurance.  CTE has partnerships with corporations such as Microsoft, Oracle, HP, RedHat, IBM, Pearson Vue, Symantec, Cisco, InstallShield and has expanded operations into other countries including Germany, Japan, Cuba, and Zimbabwe.

All of these individuals are from Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas and are proving that with a vision, it doesn't matter where you begin.  If you know of a small (or new) business owner who deserves recognition, please send me an email at