Pikeville, KY. – Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR) and SOAR Innovation, a collaboration between SOAR and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s Office for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, is launching a How I Made It series across Appalachia Kentucky.
The free event is intended to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to share their stories and inspire other entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs in their respective communities.
The inaugural How I Made It event will be at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, February 25 at Kelsey’s on Main in Jackson, Ky. (Breathitt County). Kelsey Sebastian, the owner of Kelsey’s on Main, and Shawn Thatcher, owner of Thatcher’s Downtown and North Fork Grille, will be the featured speaker.
Sebastian returned home to Breathitt County in 2014 to open Kelsey’s of Main after majoring in hospitality, management, and tourism at the University of Kentucky. Thatcher, who worked as a welder and heavy equipment operator, was one of the thousands who lost their jobs in the downturn of the coal industry. After welding and assembling a smoker for a friend, he developed a love for barbeque. Thatcher’s Downtown opened in 2017 and in 2019, Thatcher also helped establish the North Fork Grille.
“As we continue to build capacity around entrepreneurship and startups across the region, we felt it was important that we create a stage for successful entrepreneurs to share their story and inspire others who are entrepreneurs and those who are dabbling with the idea of starting their own business,” said Jared Arnett, executive director of SOAR. “We look forward to hosting these events and showcasing the remarkable and talented entrepreneurs across the region.”
The How I Made It events are free and open to everyone. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. You can preregister by visiting.soarinnovation.tech/how-i-made-it-series. Registration will also be available at the door.
Upcoming How I Made It events include:
Tuesday, March 24 | Venue to be announced | Tonya Johnson, co-founder of PureLux Spa
Tuesday, April 7 | Venue to be announced | Jared and Josh Ravenscraft, founders of New Frontier
Tuesday, April 28 | Venue to be announced | Kevin Flora and Josh Coppock, co-founders and owners of The Holler Creative.
SOAR Innovation provides a variety of services to entrepreneurs, startups, and aspiring entrepreneurs who have the capacity or desire to leverage technology to reach markets beyond where they are planted.