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Small Business of the Day: The Spotted Olive

By Columns FOXBusiness

We’re highlighting small businesses from around the country as nominated by you, our readers. If your favorite small business is using Twitter to communicate with customers, let us know about it @fbsmallbiz with the hashtag #mysbc, and it may be featured as an upcoming Small Business of the Day.

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Small Business of the Day: The Spotted Olive

Who: Debbie Pruess, 44, @thespottedolive

What: customizable paper goods and gifts

When: April 2008

How: Pruess was working as a corporate graphic designer in the vacation and travel industry in 2007, and was looking for a more creative outlet when she stumbled upon print on-demand sites. She launched The Spotted Olive later that year, but kept her full-time job. "I thought it would be a fun outlet, and a good side venture, but didn't expect a lot of come of it," she said.

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Then in 2008 the recession hit and both she and her husband lost their jobs. She found another job in graphic design, only to lose it two months later. Pruess then decided to focus on growing The Spotted Olive using Zazzle.com for printing. Today it is her sole form of income, and she plans to expand her offerings to Etsy.com, to provide digital printouts for customers to download themselves and use.

Where: Colorado Springs, Colo.

In her own words: "My style is fairly simple, but has a lot of retro elements, but it still feels modern as well."

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