UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center
December 08, 2016

Lessons Learned from a Shaving Mug

Springfield, Missouri Entrepreneur Dante LaCivita of startup The 1906 Gents

“Too many businesses focus on profit over quality,” explains Dante LaCivita of Springfield, Missouri. This discovery came soon after acquiring his grandfather’s shaving mug and brush. Although several decades old, that brush and mug had endured the test of time, motivating Dante to build a business with a similar commitment to quality, stories and memories.

Having tinkered with a previous entrepreneurial opportunity, men’s grooming products was the first business he dedicated himself to fully. Two partners joined in, but they soon parted ways. “It’s a tough lifestyle,” says Dante. “You have to persevere. You have to struggle. It requires a lot of adapting to what’s available and affordable at any given time.” Following a hard year tinkering in the basement, bringing on a new partner, and a deep time commitment, Dante quit his fourteen-year job as a social worker to dedicate himself full-time to The 1906 Gents.

Finances quickly became a frightening aspect for him. “When both cars break down and no money is coming in, that’s when you question your sanity.” Dante discovered, however, that small things get you back on track when you adapt and adjust. He credits his wife and the Springfield entrepreneurial community for their encouragement and support. Ongoing feedback from clients has helped him modify his business to provide what they need while improving the quality of service critical to his philosophy.

Dante had always wanted to do something that gave him purpose, but felt he lacked the outlet to do so. When his daughter pointed to an elaborate doll house at a store and asked if that was something they could build together, he was deeply touched by the impact he was creating for his children.

Built from that experience, Dante advises other entrepreneurs to keep learning and to not hide your ideas. “Find those that will help and be receptive to their ideas and feedback.”

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Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus, Missouri and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.


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