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Lazy Ballerina Winery Wins $50,000 in Marketing Assistance from Local Competition

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October 06, 2021
SAINT JOSEPH, Mich., (October 6, 2021)  A Southwest Michigan winery will be revamping their marketing strategy with the help of advertising firm Holt Bosse after winning the Big Fish Grand Prize Award in the Small Fish, Big Pitch competition. 
The competition selected nine entrepreneurs from Southwest Michigan to give their best sales pitch in front of a judges panel and audience at Shadowland Ballroom on September 29, 2021.
Lazy Ballerina Winery, Southwest Michigan’s only female-owned winery, won $50,000 in marketing services from Holt Bosse. The category was for businesses in operation for more than five years. Lauren Kniebes, co-owner, plans to revamp their website, create targeted online advertising, focus on brand consistency and create other content for future marketing use. 
The winery opened a St. Joseph tasting room in 2015, and has since expanded with a Bridgeman tasting room, Benton Harbor production space and a private event space. 
The Small Fish, second place, Award of $30,000 in marketing funds with Holt Bosse was designated for a business that had been operating for one to five years. Lauren Velasco, owner of I Heart Spanish, won. Her company teaches Spanish to children at local elementary schools through music, games and fun. Additionally, they share heritage and culture with the community through dance and educational workshops. 
The People’s Choice Award of $20,000 went to Rachel Leins, owner of 42N Naturals LLC. Based in South Haven, Lien’s company handcrafts plant-based skincare products using locally sourced ingredients. The company has a large focus on community and climate. 
The competition was hosted by Holt Bosse in partnership with Cornerstone Alliance. 
“We want this to be an avenue that’s going to catapult them into the stratosphere of doing more pitches in front of investors, lenders and even potential partners,” Brandon Campbell, Director of the Women’s Business Center at Cornerstone Alliance, said. 
About Holt Bosse
Holt Bosse is a small-town, full-service marketing agency with big city ideas. Located in St. Joseph, Michigan, we create and protect the brands of regional, national and global companies. For more information about Holt Bosse and their services, visit or call (269) 932-3623.
About Cornerstone Alliance
Cornerstone Alliance is a non-profit, investor-governed economic development organization. Our focus is to increase employment opportunities, private sector capital investments and the local tax base in Michigan's Great Southwest. We offer specialized business services particularly in economically distressed areas.
About Cornerstone Alliance Small Business Services
We provide technical, business, and financial assistance to small businesses with an emphasis on income disadvantaged and women owned businesses. The Women's Business Center and Cornerstone Alliance and the Microloan Program are funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.