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Alexis Garrett Named 2020 Wyoming Woman Entrepreneur of the Year

in News/Business
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By Cowboy State Daily

Owner of Cheyenne-Based Alexis Drake Recognized for Leadership & Giving Back to Woman-Focused Non-Profits in Wyoming

The Wyoming Council for Women announced Alexis “Lexie” Garrett as the 2020 Woman Entrepreneur Award winner. Garrett owns and operates Cheyenne-based Alexis Drake, a design company which creates affordable and customizable luxury handbags and accessories.

“The benefits to owning a business as a woman in Wyoming include our amazing sense of
community and how in our “small town” of Wyoming, we support each other,” Garrett said.

“It is an honor to be part of such an amazing group of nominees. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Wyoming business community—the support, encouragement and love has been incredible,” she said.

The ‘Woman Entrepreneur Award’ recognizes woman-owned businesses in Wyoming and is designed to increase the attention to, and recognition of, the contribution female entrepreneurs make to Wyoming’s economy. Nominations from outstanding Wyoming female-owned business owners were received from across the state.

A Cheyenne Central graduate, Garrett earned an undergraduate degree in Studio Art from the
University of Arizona. She started Alexis Drake in 2003 and since that time has been building the brand while teaching art, obtaining her master’s degree, raising two children and working out of her garage.

She taught elementary school art full-time in Cheyenne until 2016. Shortly thereafter, Garrett moved Alexis Drake into her manufacturing and retail location in downtown Cheyenne. She employs seven individuals and her products can be found online, at their flagship store in Cheyenne and in limited shops across the state.

Garrett believes in giving back and building the future of our communities. Through her business, she has supported many Wyoming non-profits and initiatives including CLIMB Wyoming, Wyoming Children’s Society, Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative and the Alzheimer’s Association.

All the Wyoming Woman Entrepreneur Award nominees were highlighted on the WCW Facebook page last summer. Jan Torres, chair of the Entrepreneur of the Year committee for WCW, says of the applicants, “Reading the nominations reinforces my belief that women are truly both innovative and passionate about their business. Ranking and scoring is difficult because each one has a unique back story and many strengths. It is a joy.”

“We would like to thank every person who took the time to nominate these outstanding Wyoming women,” said WCW Chair Jennifer Wilmetti. “We had nominations that came from local Chambers of Commerce and Urban Renewal Agencies, friends and family, and the entrepreneurs themselves. It takes great courage and resilience to be a business owner at any time, but even more so when times are tough. Please support small businesses in your community.”

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Cheyenne brothers see success with slime

in News/Community/Business
Dope Slime Whiteaker bros
Mark Whiteaker (left) stretches some bead slime that he and his brother Joe Whiteaker (back), both of Cheyenne, make and manufacture through their business called Dope Slimes. (Photo by Becky Orr, Cowboy State Daily)
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By Becky Orr, Cowboy State Daily

Slime is sublime for Cheyenne brothers Mark and Joe Whiteaker.

The savvy entrepreneurs run a thriving business called Dope Slimes that makes and ships homemade slime across the country and to other parts of the world.

Slime is a gooey and stretchy substance that is taking much of the globe and the Internet by storm. Slime’s history goes back 30 years, but it has become wildly popular now, especially among kids who like to make it. 

“Slime looks so amazing,” Mark said during an interview with Cowboy State Daily as he gently pushed his fingers deep into a thick layer of fresh slime.

The brothers make about 100 varieties of slime in different colors, textures and scents. They package their slime in clear plastic containers and sell it on their website and platforms like Etsy and eBay. They also post their own videos on Instagram to show how to make perfect slime.

A batch of the slime created by Dope Slime, a Cheyenne company run by brothers Mark and Joe Whiteaker. The brothers sell more than 100 varieties of slime online. The basic recipe is relatively simple, they say: Elmer’s white glue, Borax and water. It is Mark’s imagination that allows the company to create slimes with different textures, scents and colors (Photo by Becky Orr, Cowboy State Daily)

Slime creators use social media sites to market their work, Joe said, adding that in one month, anywhere from 500,000 to 1.5 million searches for “slime” are logged on Google.

Mark, 16, is the creative force behind Dope Slimes. 

Using a simple recipe — “Elmer’s (white school) glue, Borax and water,” according to Mark— the brothers and a few of their employees stir the ingredients using large stainless steel industrial mixers. Then Mark’s imagination provides the magic, as he creates a wide variety of slimes — from banana to funnel cake.

Mark’s slime is known for its distinctive aromas. A fluffy cloud slime called Lavender Dreams has the pleasing scent of the flower. 

DIY Pizza Kit combines five scents to create the smells of pizza sauce, cheese and buttery dough. Cotton candy bubblegum smells as good as it sounds.

Texture is also important for excellent slime. 

“Say I’m doing a slime inspired by an ice cream. I’d like to make the texture like ice cream,” Mark said.

Mark began making slime in the eighth grade for fun. “It’s stuff to do when you’re bored,” he said. 

He started the business when he was 14, but couldn’t keep up with the demand. 

Joe stepped in to help and is now an integral part of the business. 

Cheyenne brothers Mark and Joe Whiteaker with some of the slime created by their company, Dope Slimes. The company has sold more than 150,000 units of slime online. (Photo by Becky Orr, Cowboy State Daily)

Joe, 24, handles the business end from customer service to packaging, labeling and ordering. He also manages the company’s website, which includes photos and commentary about each slime type. Although Joe earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wyoming in May, he plans to continue working with slime.

The brothers have sold more than 150,000 slime products (they also make dope putty) and their slime has won awards for its quality. 

Slime has given them a taste of celebrity as they have been invited to attend many slime conventions throughout the country. These expenses-paid trips soon will include one to a convention in Brazil. 

They have become well known partly because of their 500,000 followers on Instagram.

Two of the leading YouTube slime experts have noticed them, too. Karina Garcia, also called the “Queen of Slime,” and Talisa Tossell of London, England, gave high praise to their slime in online reviews.

The brothers are gearing up for a busy Christmas season.  

“We take it pretty seriously. It’s not just a side business,” Mark said.

For more information on Dope Slimes, visit the website DopeSlimes.com

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