This month, we take a look at three of Columbia’s newest businesses or locations – Housey Designs, The Job Center, and Dance2Fit with Tia.
A birthday party, a cardboard letter ‘A’ painted with a giraffe, and an LLC-gifting father are the perfect recipe for an origin story. This is Emily Housey’s origin story to be exact.
CEO of Housey Designs and a junior at MU, Emily started her business, which sells hand-crafted art, in 2017 after her handmade present became a hit among her friends.
The response to the gift not only inspired the birth of a business, but became the foundation of it. “What I founded my values on was creating things that are personable, that say ‘I know who you are, I listen to you, and I care about you,’” Emily says.
Be it jackets or tattoo designs, Housey Designs’ philosophy of service is “your vision created.” Through the Unions Entrepreneurial Program, a program aimed to kickstart students’ entrepreneurial endeavors, Emily and nine other students will work out of a retail space on MU’s campus for one year.
901 Rollins Ave. #1212B
The Job Center
Headquartered in Ohio, the staffing agency The Job Center just opened their first Missouri office here in Columbia in August. This is their 20th location. CEO Kyle Decker says, “It (Columbia) reminds me a lot of Ohio and feels like home.”
The Job Center’s expansion came on the heels of a new partnership with American Outdoor Brands. The exclusive staffing agency for AOB, The Job Center will be helping the manufacturer staff their new state-of-the-art facility. It was a decision that made sense given The Job Center’s expertise. “What we really focus on is light industrial work, so manufacturing and distribution,” Kyle says.
As The Job Center looks to fill open positions, you will see their yard signs across the city and announcements online about job fairs, and you may even see their 40-foot mobile recruiting center rolling through town.
Stop by their office and you will find free coffee, water, and Wi-Fi. Kyle emphasizes that they want to treat people the right way.
303 N. Stadium Blvd., second floor
Dance2Fit with Tia
Weight loss journeys can be difficult, and Tia Tucker, owner of Dance2Fit with Tia, understands that. She aimed to make changes in her life and lost 100 pounds in the process. She was inspired to lose weight because of her granddaughter. “I looked at her and couldn’t imagine someone telling her that her grandma couldn’t be here because of bad choices I made,” Tia says. That’s when Tia took action and started to help others.
She began offering dance fitness classes in 2018 for others in the community working to lose weight, signaling the rise of Dance2Fit with Tia.
Tia didn’t think she was much of a dancer in the beginning stages, but that no longer matters as she fosters a judgement-free environment where everyone is welcome no matter their skill level. In fact, one of the rules of participating in Tia’s classes is “no judging”— yourself or others.
To keep the energy level of the classes up, Tia plays hip hop and other popular contemporary hits.
903 N. Old 63 #5