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NWRPC News

Posted on: February 6, 2018

NWRPC Awards Funding for The Willow Series, LLC

Northwest Regional Planning Commission’s (NWRPC) SBA Micro Loan program, awarded a financing package to assist The Willow Series, LLC. The loan program helped local children’s book author, Ava Gustafson, to print and promote the book Willow’s New Friend.

Ava Gustafson wrote Willow’s New Friend as a follow up to her first book, Willow. Both books are independently published and distributed. Willow’s New Friend is a story about an off chance friendship that blossoms into a relationship with a young girl named Joy.

Returning to illustrate is Spooner, Wisconsin’s former art teacher, Katrina Dohm. Dohm has had great success capturing Gustafson’s dreams of Willow in an imaginative full color world. Dohm has illustrated a number of other books as well. Gustafson is also working with Dara Beevas of Wise Ink Publishing in Minneapolis, who specializes in projects such as Willow, and Willow’s New Friend. Wise Ink assists independent authors in all aspects of publishing, identifying target audiences, and developing strategies to reach them. They design a tailor-made roadmap of the publishing process from beginning to end.

The purpose of the NWRPC loan is to generate momentum for the first and second books in the Willow series. The first book has been on book shelves for over a year. The second was released for Christmas 2017, with a third one underway. Gustafson donates $1.00 of each book sale to various charitable causes, which change quarterly. To date, Gustafson has donated to Smile Train, Love a Child, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Joyce Meyer Ministries, and Life Outreach International.

Northwest Regional Planning Commission’s SBA Micro Loan fund has helped Ava Gustafson and The Willow Series, LLC achieve its self-publishing and distribution goals by awarding two rounds of loan financing for printing and marketing purposes. The Willow Series, LLC has created and retained 1 job in Spooner, Wisconsin and has enlightened the imaginations of children around the region. To see if your business would qualify for a startup, transition or expansion loan product at NWRPC, contact loan fund manager Ken Pearson at (715) 635-2197.
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