Courtesy Anne Tegeler

Since Anne Tegeler of Tegeler Design and Remodeling, Hiawatha, Iowa, was awarded Big50 just three years ago, the company has seen substantial growth. “We probably have the largest showroom in the state of Iowa showcasing high-end kitchens,” says Tegeler, who has been with the company for nine years and, in October 2005, bought ex-husband and co-owner Jeff Tegeler's shares in the business. (He is still connected with the company as a freelance designer.) The showroom, which was expanded from 3,800 square feet to 8,000 square feet, now accounts for 75% of revenue and has two main areas of responsibility: remodeling services and fabrication.

In the off-site fabrication shop, Tegeler Design makes its own countertops — primarily stone, natural granite, or quartz, but also wood and laminate — and shower surrounds. “[The fabrication shop] has really taken off,” Tegeler says, adding that the company may be looking for a larger showroom to bring the fabrication work on site.

Tegeler has also been working to improve systems, especially marketing, which she does year-round. “You never know when customers will be looking,” she points out, “and you want to be top of their mind and get shopped.”