Odessa’s Newest Business


Odessa’s newest business has moved, or rather is still in the process of moving, into the formerly empty storefront on First Avenue that was once the Napa store and, before that, housed quite a few other local businesses. Jeff and Sharri Proulx are moving Etched Dreams from the high-rent district of Redmond to the much more reasonably priced, prime downtown spot it will occupy in Odessa. “The overhead in Redmond kills new business,” said Jeff.

Etched Dreams is actually an Internet-based business. Rather than a retail store, the Odessa location will be a workshop for completing the etching work and a small showroom and retail outlet facing the street, where samples of their work will be on display. Most of the etching they do is on glassware, and only good-quality glass is used. They can also use the etcher on other materials, such as wood, stone, ceramics, etc. They have been busy designing and completing beer mugs to be offered for sale at this year’s Deutschesfest.


Jeff and Sharri Proulx –Courtesy photo.

Their business is thriving. So what prompted the move to Odessa? They say that Odessa picked them. They found the people friendly and welcoming, and they found everything they needed to keep their business thriving. They also saw opportunities. Struck by the idea of losing young people to the big cities, they wanted to contribute something that would help stem that outward flow and create work right here in town.

The two have dreams of sharing their expertise with new entrepreneurs and creating startup businesses through partnerships. They want to take some of the guesswork out of starting up a new business by acting as teachers and mentors to those with the drive and ambition to want to be their own boss.

The first person to take advantage of their mentoring in what they hope will be a long line of entrepreneurs starting businesses in Odessa is Miranda Taylor. She plans to offer customized apparel and accessories. Starting out with quality clothing lines purchased in bulk, she will add logos, names, graphics and sayings to outerwear and to hats, purses and the like that she will sell online. Her customer base will be the entire world.

The design work will all be computerized, and Sharri Proulx will teach her the applications and the use of a hot press that seals the logo or graphics to the clothing. The approach is to have the entrepreneur start off debt-free. As the business grows, it can then afford to purchase its own equipment and hire others to help out through crunch times such as Christmas.

Taylor is a single mother raising a young daughter. She has lived in Odessa for only a couple of years but has thrown herself into community volunteerism. Last year, she was assistant Biergarten chairperson under DeJay Buck, and this year she has assumed the role of chairperson. She is currently employed by the Odessa School District as a paraprofessional/bus driver, but she has dreams of being her own boss.

Jeff and Sharri Proulx have been married for 11.5 years and have five grown children between them. In fact, Sharri was recently out of town for a few days, welcoming her 10th grandchild into the world.

Etched Dreams will fill an empty storefront and bring added revenue to the town. But the bigger picture is even more exciting and encouraging. The whole idea, says Jeff Proulx, is to bring new money into Odessa, not just recirculate what is already here.

From the Odessa Record, with permission- September 3, 2015 | Volume 115, Number 21