Kistler's site a forum for feedback

Filed under: One on One |

Julie Kistler launched UrbanEmbers.com, a forum for Web surfers to share their local business experiences, earlier this year.

When you visit a restaurant, and the food is great, the atmosphere warm and employees bend over backward to meet your every need and ensure an enjoyable experience, you want to tell someone about it.

Julie Kistler has launched a Web site, www.urbanembers.com, that allows you to do just that.

A Colorado Springs native, Kistler recognized the need to have a forum where anyone can sound off about a great – or poor – business experience.

The site also lists of a range of locally owned businesses and includes coupons for the budget-minded Web surfer who prefers to click and clip rather than flip through ads.

For business owners, it’s an opportunity to put their names where people are looking for services.

The Urban Embers venture is just getting off the ground, but Kistler has big ideas for the future; one consists of creating a function that lets visitors type in their ZIP code to find a listing of neighborhood restaurants.

Kistler also takes a fresh approach to business and marketing. She envisions a small table in her office as a campfire where clients come not for a business meeting but for a fireside chat where creative marketing ideas ignite.

Kistler took time recently to tell CSBJ about herself and her business.

Organization: UrbanEmbers LLC.

Position: CEO/founder

Hometown: Colorado Springs

How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: Native

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

A few words about your company: UrbanEmbers is a full service marketing company committed to rekindling the local community with an informative and easy-to-use Web site that lists locally owned businesses. It also includes a list of professionals, consumer coupons, a bidding board, business ratings and community events. UrbanEmbers provides locally owned businesses with process improvement, service marketing, assistance in promotional campaigns and market research to include: focus groups, customized surveys, target marketing and secret shopping.

Recent accomplishments: Developed a community oriented Web site, launched UrbanEmbers.com, and opened our marketing firm at 1920 Vindicator Drive, Suite 209.

Biggest career break: Being able to realize my passion and have the opportunity to follow my dream. I am a very ambitious business professional that strives to bring a new service to the community with my native roots and thirst for service excellence.

The toughest part of your job: Breaking through the perception that the Internet is a secondary marketing medium. The Yellow Pages are dead; the Internet is the medium that people use today to find the products and services they are looking for. Consumers are demanding rating and reviews to express their voice and to assist them in making informed decisions.

Someone you admire: I admire Gen. William Palmer for his vision of this beautiful city, Spencer Penrose for his generosity and passion for our community and Winfield Scott Stratton for the unselfish service and belief in the residents of the Pikes Peak region.

About your family: I am married to Carl and we have three sons (14, 13, and 9) and one daughter (8).

Something else you’d like to accomplish: I would like to bring more art and culture to the region by sponsoring events that give back to the community.

How your business will change in the next decade: UrbanEmbers will perfect the technology of consumer personalization and localizing the Web by introducing and implementing this powerful marketing technology model in communities that are being blanketed by "big box" stores. We will bring the "hometown atmosphere" back to each community with local business awareness and "hometown service."

What book are you currently reading? "Good to Great" by Jim Collins, "Unstoppable" by Cynthia Kersey and "Power Selling" by George Ludwig

What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs? Improve the east-west travel access within the community.