Small businesses aren’t going anywhere. Take the stand with us.

One of our new missions with Business Beware is our recently launched Small businesses have become a forgotten race among the business world and many large small business networks claim that a small business is one that makes $5 million a year or more. We can be the first to tell you that those facts are incorrect. Most small businesses make $1 million a year or less and have 1-11 employees. That actually accounts for over more than 70% of small businesses in the US. With our mission, we are sharing stories of small business owners who have been in business for years to the ones who just started out despite the economic tsunami we’re in at the moment. People love to focus on the big brands and big name millionaires when it’s the small businesses that are the ones who are STILL the backbone of America. Everyone has a story to tell and inspiration can come from anywhere. Have a story you want to share? Send them to iamamomandpop(at)

Say Hello To: Lugbill Designs

My first project out on my own will always be special to me. First, some background… My last few years of design school, I worked as a designer at a design/build firm in my hometown of South Bend, IN. About 3 1/2 years ago, my husband and I decided to move to Chicago. We figured that a big city would have more career choices for me. My husband has his own businesses, so he was flexible. After countless weekends driving back and forth to the city looking for jobs (2008 was not a good time for this!), I finally found a job at a small, high-end design company. Working there was a rough experience. Deadlines promised to clients were missed, construction was always behind, and every decision seemed to take longer than it should.

After one year, I took the plunge and started my own interior design and remodeling company (2009). Lugbill Designs was born. Like many new businesses, the first year was slow. However, with the help of online advertising, we slowly started to see business trickle in. To this day, the business overhead is very low (home office), so a majority of gross profit was actual profit. I attribute the ongoing success of my firm, to having such low overhead starting out.

2.5 years in, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to go out on my own. I’ve had some great opportunities, including working as a design consultant on an HGTV series, and multiple $100,000+ budget projects. As great as those are, my first full project, the bathroom remodel shown above, will always have a special place in my heart. I associate it with the start of a new life. Every time I see this picture, I am utterly amazed at how this has all played out.

I am mom and pop.

– Erica Lugbill

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