Cyndi Minister, the sole owner and producer in her handspun yarn company, The Twisted Purl, is celebrating an unlikely victory.
Minister won Arkansas Sourcelink’s Battle of the Brands, a statewide bracketed voting competition between Arkansas-based companies.
Her company of one was stacked against nationally known brands like Daisy Outdoor Products and Mountain Valley Spring Water.
"I was shocked," Minister said of her victory.
Whole Hog Cafe was the one to beat in the last bracket of competition.
"Whole Hog Cafe is such a strong brand here in the state and so many people love their barbecue. I was really blown away. We actually beat them," she said.
With the win, Minister receives the title of Emperor of Entrepreneurship from Sourcelink, a group that seeks to promote and provide contacts to small business owners.
Bragging rights and a large boost in customers and online fans were also perks, Minister said.
After engagements with several news outlets and a successful campaign for votes from social media, Minister was working hard to fill orders Wednesday.
"Today I’m felting soap. It’s messy. I’m getting caught up on orders and getting stuff done," she said.
She uploaded nine yarn styles to Facebook at noon Wednesday, and 30 minutes later she was sold out.
"I’ve had an increase in sales, but I’m really excited this has brought fiber arts to peoples’ minds and also handmade things. I’m just one crafty businesswoman, and my voice is small about handmade. I’m excited everyone got together and really pushed for the handmade victory," Minister said. "That means a lot to me."
Minister said she is grateful to her fans, family and friends, and also thanked Whole Hog Cafe owner Rich Cosgrove, "for being such fun competition."
Upon the announcement of the winner earlier this week, Cosgrove gave Minister a bouquet of bacon roses, she said.
She responded with her own creation, a statue of a hog wrapped in a colorfully knitted sweater.
Sixty-four brands competed for the title. The contest, which began in march, spanned just over a month.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)