Business Experts

Creative Retailer: Meet The Experts

Creative Retailer calls upon leading experts to deliver accurate and unbiased editorial content. With business messages coming from every direction, our editors and business experts sift through the clutter and present the most necessary topics to you. Each issue contains guidance our readers rely on for moving their businesses forward.

Learn more about our business experts below.

Heidi Kaisand

Heidi Kaisand is the publisher of Creative Retailer® magazine, a trade publication guiding small business owners to success. She is also the owner of Hen & Chicks Studio in Conrad, Iowa.  This brick-and-mortar store, with a strong online presence, carries quilting, sewing and craft supplies, offers longarm rental, and has a retreat center where people can create for days. Heidi indulges her creative spirit by helping individuals and groups succeed at quilting, scrap booking, and other art forms. Her goal each day is to help retailers and customers be creative and successful.

When Heidi’s not working, she loves to spend time with her family (Jeff, Henry, Virginia, and Goldie), sewing and scrap booking as often as possible.

Email Heidi

Beth Montpas

Beth Montpas is a Life Coach, Speaker, & Trainer. She loves to motivate & inspire others to design their best life and reach their full potential — because if you don’t like the part you’re playing in your life story, you can write a new script! It’s never too late to say, “this is not how the story is going to end!” Beth’s passion is running high vibe book clubs for women to shift into their true selves. Whether you are facing a major life change; like a layoff or downsizing, family changes, or financial loss; or you want to manage your time, be grounded and have deeper, more meaningful relationships with those you love, Beth’s book clubs and lifestyle coaching is the vehicle for change you’ve been searching for.

Kizer & Bender

This dynamic duo are frequently keynote speakers, they are consultants who have helped thousands of businesses in the retail, restaurant, hospitality and other service industries. They are contributors to MSNBC’S Your Business, they made Meetings & Conventions Magazine’s list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers and they have been names two of Retailing’s Most Influential People.

Leanne Pressly

When advice in social media planning, web design and marketing are needed for a business, it’s smart to choose a consultant who knows the language being spoken. Quilters and makers, meet Leanne Pressly, the CEO and #bosslady of Stitchcraft Marketing! Leanne comes from a strong maker background and her niche agency serves only craft companies, such as quilting shops and related businesses.

Sommer Sharon

Sommer Sharon has been working with content strategy, SEO (search engine optimization) and digital marketing for more than 17 years. She started in the business so long ago it wasn’t even called SEO at the time! She and her company, Sleigh Consulting, make up the team who can help get your website in front of the relevant customers, can assist with presenting your brand’s message in the clearest way and can manage all aspects of digital marketing.

Jacob Curtis

Jacob Curtis, CPA, is a co-owner of Utah Valley Quilting and the founder of Curtis Accounting Solutions. With years of experience working in the quilting industry, he understands the challenges of owning a quilt shop. Go to for additional practical and valuable tools to guide you as you piece together financial freedom!

Tom Shay

When Mark Twain spoke “A man who has had a cat by the tail knows a lot more than the man who read about it” he didn’t know Tom Shay, but he painted an accurate picture of the man. What’s the cat? Owning a small retail business. Tom’s passion is the small business and what makes it work. He can and does tell–through website, podcasts, speaking engagements, newsletters and articles¬– what makes a small business successful.

Gwen Bortner

Gwen Bortner is a business consultant focused on the craft enthusiast industry. 

Monthly Education and Networking Meetup

Online workshops provide opportunities to collaborate and exchange ideas with business experts and retailers representing a variety of creative businesses who have much in common and can learn from one another.

Industry News

Look here for the latest updates in a variety of creative industries and relevant news that supports independent business growth.

Educational Events

There is so much to know about running a business. As the leader of your company, it’s essential to learn continuously to push your business to the next level. Creative Retailer events will help you improve your business.

Meet our staff

Heidi Kaisand




Creative Retailer Partners