America’s SBDC Iowa has chosen Doreen Roy, owner of The Wholesome Basket, in Burlington, IA as the 2018 Deb Dalziel Woman Entrepreneur Achievement Award winner. The award, given annually, recognizes women who have significantly improved their personal situation, thus having an impact on others. Established in 1999 by America’s SBDC Iowa, the award was created to help highlight the accomplishments of women entrepreneurs in Iowa and to honor Deb Dalziel, a long-time advocate of women entrepreneurs who served as a director of America’s SDBC Iowa at Southeastern Community College from 1987 to 1999. Dalziel died of cancer at the age of 44.
According to an SBDC release, Roy began her business venture in 1999 when she began making soaps for her family from natural goats’ milk. From there, she experimented with essential oils and other natural ingredients to produce additional products, such as skin creams, lotions, lip balm, and deodorant. With encouragement from family and friends, The Wholesome Basket was established in 2004.
As demand for her natural products grew, Roy found she needed help managing the growth of her home-based business. She attended several workshops sponsored by the Southeastern SBDC and Southeastern Community College to gain additional knowledge about marketing, branding, and social media.
In 2012, Roy once again turned to the Southeastern SBDC for guidance. With their assistance and her own entrepreneurial drive to test new ideas, she has gone on to open two more businesses, Gypsi and The Red Door, located on Jefferson Street in Burlington’s historic downtown district.
Janine Clover, director of Southeastern Iowa SBDC stated “Doreen is so passionate about helping, nurturing, and bettering downtown Burlington so that other business owners, visitors, and the entire community can enjoy all that downtown Burlington has to offer. She is a positive role model, continually seeking ways to improve her own business and the entire downtown, and is very deserving of this award”.