Author Archives: Megan Donoghue

Megan Donoghue

About Megan Donoghue

Megan Donoghue grew up in Florida and is currently a student at the University of Central Florida. She will be graduating in December with a degree in journalism and anthropology. She enjoys traveling, scuba diving and writing about her adventures.

Steve Koeppelle, Owner, Scottsdale Jean Company - AZ Business Magazine June 2010

Steven Koeppel, Owner Of Scottsdale Jean Company, Comes Out On Top By Selling Bottoms

Steven Koeppel
Scottsdale Jean Company
Title: Owner
Est: 2005  |  www.scottsdalejc.com

“You can never learn too much and you can never be too smart – ask a lot of questions.” – Steven Koeppel, owner of Scottsdale Jean Company

When it comes to battling with the best in the retail clothing world, Scottsdale Jean Company is Arizona’s largest, successful independent retail store, standing strong against big guys like Macy’s and Nordstoms.

Despite its name, Scottsdale Jean Company carries more than jeans. While jeans make up 55 percent of the business, men’s and women’s clothing collections, jewelry, accessories, and sunglasses make up the rest. More than 100 designer brands, including Michael Stars and True Religion, fill the 10,000-square-foot store in the Scottsdale Airpark. The store also carries the exclusive line of skin, hair and body products, Kiehl’s.

Scottsdale Jean Company began when Koeppel sold his automobile business in the New York City area in 2004. He then moved to Arizona with a few ideas, but saw a void in the market for the business he has since established.

Even though moving from cars to clothes may have been a difficult transition, Koeppel learned that “business is business.” His experience running a large chain in New York proved to be invaluable when opening up Scottsdale Jean Company. Koeppel self-funded his Arizona business from the beginning and was successful from day one.

“If you have a good foundation you can do anything,” Koeppel says.

Although the company closed a second store in Peoria, Scottsdale Jean Company has 18 employees and is still staying profitable during this economic downturn.

“We have a very well-run, viable business. It is just a matter of waiting through these times, doing what we have to do, and wait for things to turn,” Koeppel says.

Plans for the future consist of expanding the store out of state and rebuilding the company website.

“We are now one of the premier stores in the country and we put a great name in the industry. We do sizeable business online and we ship all over the world, which has helped us to develop and build a name not just in Arizona, but everywhere,” Koeppel says.

The company’s website features a personal shopper and live, online help to answer any questions while visitors browse the site. The website is a marketing tool that can track where most of the traffic is coming from and how it got there. According to Koeppel, this is a great way to gear specific advertising toward that market.

“The most important thing in Internet marketing and online sales is people finding you. We optimize keywords and are getting about 1,000 visitors a day at this point,” Koeppel says.

When all is said and done, Koeppel’s No. 1 advice to fellow business owners is to “make sure you have a thorough business plan. Not everyone opens their doors and is successful the moment they open.”

Arizona Business Magazine June 2010

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Solar Trees: Growing Green

We’ve all heard that money doesn’t grow on trees. Does it grow on solar trees?

One of the latest solar inventions, the Solar Tree, is digging its roots into the business world and residential communities. The idea of the solar tree first sprouted on the streets of Vienna. The concept was a little different, but the overall theme and name are the same.  In Europe, solar trees are used in place of streetlights. The artificial trees provide enough light throughout the night, even if the sun doesn’t shine for four days in a row.   These solar lights even look like trees with branches that hold 10 solar lamps. Designed by Ross Lovegrove, the solar trees saved the city 524,000 KWh of electricity and $96,800 in 2005.

 

Solar Trees: Growing GreenIn the United States, San Diego-based Envision Solar is spearheading this energy-efficient invention with its own Solar Tree. Envision CEO and architect Robert Noble, who wanted to give parking lots more purpose than just a place to keep your car, created its aesthetically pleasing design. With its Solar Tree system, Envision Solar is on a mission to turn parking lots across the country into gardens of alternative energy by “planting” scores of the devices. Each “tree” is topped with a 1,000-square-foot canopy that is covered in solar cells built by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Kyocera.

This system of “planting” several Solar Trees is called a Solar Grove. The Solar Groves work best on large parking lots, and they not only use the sun as a way to produce energy, they also shade cars, displace unwanted run-off, and even have a place to plug in electric vehicles. According to Envision Solar’s Web site “a Solar Grove can pay for itself in as little as five years, and create positive cash flows from the first day of operation by avoiding the cost of existing electricity bills.”

The prices of these “power plants” vary by size, installation, site conditions and a company’s energy usage. Envision Solar will work with a company to create a financial analysis and see what’s right for the business. Also, many states offer incentives for using solar energy. These can be found at www.dsireusa.org.

Solar Trees: Growing GreenOne of Envision Solar’s better-known Solar Grove projects can be found at one of the nations “greenest” college campuses, the University of California at San Diego. Each tree generates more than 17,000 hours of clean energy per year and eliminates 13.2 metric tons of carbon emissions.

Various other kinds of solar trees can be seen all across the U.S. and are not solely produced by Envision Solar. One of the more ambitious projects is at Google’s California headquarters.  Energy Innovations, a company that also produces solar panels for parking lots, installed the 1.6-megawatt design.

Solar Trees were initially created by Envision Solar for large businesses, but have now been transformed to work on a smaller scale. Envision Solar recently started a new line of residential solar applications. An example of this is the LifeTree, a single post steel structure with a cantilevered canopy. It costs around $18,500 and provides about 1.4 kilowatts of clean energy.

Living in Arizona provides businesses and consumers with more than enough sunlight to take advantage of this cost-effective energy system.  Solar Trees are a way to conserve space and energy. They can save a company and consumers money, and make an “eco-friendly” statement. Solar energy is the future and planting these solar “trees” has never had a bigger payoff.

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Arthur Andrew Medical

Justin Marsh, Of Arthur Andrew Medical, Uses Japanese Enzymes To Cure People

Justin Marsh
Arthur Andrew Medical
Title: Founder and CEO
Est: 1999  |  www.arthurandrew.com

Justin Marsh, co-founder and CEO of Arthur Andrew Medical, is shining a light on an unconventional approach to improving health. But it all started far from the world of medicine.

Marsh left college with an electronics engineering degree and began his career working as a subcontractor for Motorola, Intel and AMD, developing and installing software.

“Ultimately, it wasn’t my education that allowed me to get into my current industry, it was more by chance and some key contacts that pointed me in this direction,” Marsh says.

Marsh switched careers when he joined the medical field as an investor, eventually buying out all of his partners to become the CEO of Arthur Andrew Medical. The company’s name derives from the middle names of the two founders, Thomas Arthur Aldrich and Justin Andrew Marsh.

The Scottsdale-based company began in 1999 as an international broker and distributor of enzymes and probiotics. To launch the line, Marsh took out a portion of equity from his house and relied on revolving credit. In 2003, Arthur Andrew Medical had a breakthrough when it found enzymes in Japan that it claimed surpassed any available in North America. Enzymes — along with several other benefits — convert our food to energy, eliminate viruses, and purify our blood. When they are formulated with materials found in nature, their beneficial uses can increase. These formulations are known as nutraceuticals or dietary supplements.

Arthur Andrew Medical teamed up with specialized doctors to formulate these enzymes and create nutraceuticals as a natural and alternative way to heal and help patients. The company’s line now consists of seven products that perform several different functions.

The business originally began with the intent of selling only to health care professionals. But Marsh says that as customers wanted more availability of the product, the company decided to open up the line to distribution across the U.S., and one day it plans to expand internationally.

The company has a staff of 10 and a sales force that includes more than 20 contractors and distributors. Besides the office in Scottsdale, Arthur Andrew Medical has a satellite office in San Diego. With four competitors worldwide, including three right here in Arizona, the company must work hard to earn consumers’ trust. One challenge the company struggles with is creative marketing.

“We are not permitted to say that we can diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without first spending millions of dollars on FDA approval,” Marsh says, adding that as a result, the company relies on patient and doctor referrals.

With a claimed 70 percent rate of returning customers, this hurdle hasn’t stopped Arthur Andrew Medical from achieving success.

“Unlike pharmaceuticals, our products are effective without any concern of becoming habit-forming or causing damaging side effects,” Marsh says. “We have had success with patients that were considered untreatable with conventional methods.”

Marsh says his main goal is for people to know that, depending on the product, the FDA does not always have the final say.He adds there are options that can help when conventional medicine can’t.

“We approach medicine in an entirely different manner,” Marsh says. “We know our products work and we know there are no risks.”

Today, despite the poor economy, the company continues to grow. Marsh says Arthur Andrew Medical is on track to exceed its growth expectations for this year, with record-breaking sales logged in March.

“It seems the public eye is beginning to see the value of nutraceuticals as the cost of maintaining good health is much less expensive than recovering from poor health,” Marsh says.