Alumni Spotlight - Danielle Auth '10 and Matt Colgan '11
By Lauren Campbell
Danielle Auth and Matt Colgan have a passion and a plan for revitalizing Peoria and it starts with supporting small businesses.
While at Bradley, both Auth and Colgan were involved on campus; Danielle was a member of Residential Life Staff and Matt participated in Bradley Recycling. They met after graduation, hit it off, and are now engaged.
In August 2011, the couple moved to Austin, Texas. While there, they fell in love with the culture of the community and the emphasis placed on supporting small businesses. Auth and Colgan realized Peoria had the same potential and set out to create a company with the unique and eclectic personality they found in Austin.
“It was never ‘Should we be in business together?’ it was just ‘When are we going to be in business together?’” Auth explained.
One year later, The Main Statement opened. Located on Main Street just a half mile from Bradley’s campus, The Main Statement stocks only American-made items. In addition, shopping local is a cause that Auth and Colgan really advocate; 90% of the items stocked at the shop have come from within 50 miles of Peoria. The store is full of unique, quirky gifts and accessories for men, women, children, and pets, too.
Beyond the philosophy of buying American-made, The Main Statement strives to provide the means for local artists to sell their work. “There are so many people locally that are artistic and creative but don’t have a place to sell their products” said Colgan. “We want to make sure we have an outlet for them to use.”
They credit their Bradley educations for helping them achieve their success in creating a small business. According to Auth, her degree in accounting made the financial end of becoming an entrepreneur “far less terrifying.” Colgan believes that his sociology degree and marketing classes have helped him to understand what people want and need when it comes to his store.
Auth and Colgan are looking forward to using their store as a way to grow the community and unlock the potential that Peoria has to flourish as a city.
For your holiday shopping, be sure to support The Main Statement on Small Business Saturday, November 24, 2012. The Main Statement is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.