The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

September 30, 2013

Milestones & Miracles earns the title of Vision Shared Entrepreneur All-Star


CHARLESTON — Milestones & Miracles of Shepherdstown was selected by attendees of the Vision Shared Entrepreneurs’ Café All-Star competition as the winner of a $5,000 award for expansion to retail sales. Also a finalist in the competition was John Petretich of Virgin Timber Products in Fayette County.

Milestones & Miracles, LLC, was formed in 2010 to create products which support the notion of allowing “kids to be kids” while helping bond families through engaging, fun and meaningful experiences. Milestones & Miracles created “1-2-3, Just PLAY With Me,” a comprehensive, developmental card set, aimed to promote interactive play in children from birth to three years of age by uniquely doing what other resources fail to do, linking development with play suggestions and fostering creative learning through purposeful play.

“We are an example of what crowd funding events can do to advance a small business. The exposure and award monies won at our local cafe and the state all-star cafe have not only provided us with financial assistance but also with networking opportunities and experience with promoting our business and goals in a public arena,” said Lacy (Owens) Morise, co-founder of Milestones & Miracles.

The Vision Shared Entrepreneurs’ Café Program provides venues for entrepreneurs to present their ideas and funding needs for community support. On the community level, organizers host events to provide micro awards to entrepreneurs with ideas that best suit their community’s needs. The Entrepreneurs’ Café All-Stars event featured representatives from Wheeling, Huntington, Fayetteville, Shepherdstown, Charleston (The Charleston Area Alliance THRIVE Program), Williamson, and Clarksburg.

“We are honored that we were considered alongside many hard working West Virginians and appreciate the overwhelming enthusiasm and encouragement of the business sharks at the all-star event. The winnings from the WV All Star Café allow us to take the next step for our business which is retail sales so that we can reach more children and families. We will be pursuing relationships with retail vendors to get 1-2-3 Just Play With Me on store shelves,” said Nicole (Stump) Sergent, co-founder of Milestones & Miracles.

Vision Shared has steered the organization of six community café programs modeled after successful programs started in Huntington, West Virginia and plans to launch Café Morgantown on Thursday, Oct. 17.

“Vision Shared is pleased to continue to develop programs and concepts that provide support for West Virginia entrepreneurs,” said Rebecca McPhail Randolph, president of Vision Shared.

“Milestones & Miracles offered a great presentation and a strong case of support for 1-2-3 Just Play With Me. We look forward to following the success of their developing retail presence.”

The event was sponsored in part by The BB&T Center for American Capitalism at Marshall University, WV Market Place, Charles Ryan and Associates, and additional private support. For more information about Vision Shared, Milestones & Miracles, and the All-Star event, visit www.visionshared.com/allstar.