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    Posted November 19, 2010 by
    Wausau, Wisconsin
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Economy Tracker: Your stories

    More from WausauFamily

    November Economy Tracker Update


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     iReporter WausauFamily is profiling Guy Daniels throughout 2010 as part of CNN.com's Economy Tracker. Daniels is the co-owner of Expressions Ink tattoo parlor in Wausau, Wisconsin, and has been making careful financial decisions to stay afloat during the economic recession. You can see past interviews with Daniels here.
    - katie, CNN iReport producer

    CNN are following the lives of six families, spread throughout America, on a yearlong project titled “Economy Tracker”. A project designed to share with their viewer’s life, at a grassroots level, on how the economy is impacted their lives throughout 2010. These updates have been used on television and across their different multimedia outlets.


    Becki and Guy Daniel’s are one of these families CNN are following. The family owns a small business, Expression’s Ink, in downtown Wausau,WI.


    How would this family respond to the challenges and uncertainty the year was to bring? Unemployment in the city spiked past 10%. Their business, a tattoo studio, depended on the little extras in people’s pocket to exist. When concerned about putting food on the table, or affording oil to heat their home, most would put off getting that butterfly on the shoulder or that barb-wire arm wrap. What would they do if the open sign brought no clients in?


    At first Guy was hesitant about committing to the project. A year is a long time. What if they were forced to shut their doors and the business ceased to exist? Nobody could accurately predict what the year would bring. The family lived as most Americans, week to week, and one serious illness or crisis could bring it all down. They live a simple life, have two children, and are just trying to stay afloat.


    This is Novembers update, with only one remaining. Each month Guy and I meet and talk about things; the good, the bad, and their hopes for tomorrow. The last eleven months have been really interesting. Guy shared that the past year has been like a rollercoaster. Their perseverance and attitude has stood out the most. They really are a good example of the American spirit. They move forward when opportunity presents itself and circle the wagons when times get tough. What appealed the most is the families’ willingness to help others, unrelated to their business. Last month the studio held a raffle for a friend in need, and the week before the studio held a fundraiser to help a local autism program. This month they are helping with Toys-for-Tots for the Christmas season. Good people doing some really nice things in their community.


    The near collapse of our economy defined the character of business’s, families, and individuals. History will record this as an extremely difficult time for millions. What people do with challenges, whether professionally or personal, will make or break them. Do they respond to the fear of the unknown with panic, or do they learn new ways to live and conduct business? Do they stay bitter about what was or have appreciation for what is? Guy and Becki are taking things one day at a time and doing things the right way.


    History will record everything. How we dealt with the challenge, as a country (actually as a world) will also be recorded. Some responded with dishonest actions and cheating. When buying a large bag of chips, to discover six chips and the rest air, feels like a trick. When purchasing an item that once weighed 12-ounces and learning they are now 10, and priced higher, feels like deception. Decisions made with deception the goal. Screw the consumer and make sure profit is made. Which I guess is nothing new; trickery tactics to part another from their money has existed from the get-go.


    Then there are businesses that have played by the rules (like Guy and Becki). Honesty and respect are their foundation. Not just with the consumer but also with their workers and job-seekers. These are the businesses people will remember and spend their hard earned dollar with. The businesses that helped others, with their time and resource’s, will be remembered. How they treated job-seekers and whether their tone suddenly change to a belittling one with them. It’s interesting watching this take place.

    Thanks Guy for this months update.


    Their studio website is at


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