Introducing the 2019 Shine Awards for Small Business Winners

eBay News Team

More Than Words named Small Business of the Year.

This week, 1,600 sellers attended eBay Open 2019 in Las Vegas. Over the course of three days, sellers were provided updates on the latest eBay news, practical insights to apply to their businesses, and the opportunity to network with eBay’s diverse seller community.

The most anticipated moment of the week was the announcement of the 2019 Shine Awards for Small Business winners. Sponsored by Intuit Quickbooks, the Shine Awards celebrates sellers and entrepreneurs who pursue their dreams by founding businesses they believe in.

“The Shine Awards for Small Business recognizes the most inspiring sellers on our platform,” said Jay Hanson, VP and COO of Americas, eBay. “Our sellers sit at the very heart of this business, and it’s our responsibility to support and celebrate their successes.” 

In its fourth year, Shine applications were accepted from April 24 through May 15, 2019. With more than 1,600 submissions received, eBay identified eight inspirational sellers who exemplify the passion, dedication and entrepreneurship that make up our global marketplace. 

From July 15 to 25, the eBay community submitted nearly 23,000 votes to select the 2019 eBay Small Business of the Year out of our eight inspiring candidates. Upon winning, the Grand Prize recipient has the opportunity to select a nonprofit organization supporting small business growth and inclusive entrepreneurship to receive a $10,000 donation from eBay. 

Yesterday, we were honored to announce all of our winners at eBay Open’s concluding ceremony. 

We are proud to present the 2019 Small Business of the Year Award to Jodi Rosenbaum of More Than Words. As the Grand Prize recipient, she has chosen to donate $10,000 to Sky's The Limit, an organization that helps underrepresented entrepreneurs build and grow their businesses.

Jodi Rosenbaum: More Than Words

Jodi Rosenbaum founded More Than Words (MTW) in 2004 with a vision to provide at-risk young people the training needed to run a successful business. As a nonprofit social enterprise, MTW empowers nearly 400 Boston-area young people, ages 16-24, who are in the foster care system, court-involved, out-of-school or homeless to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. The young people run a successful $4M bookstore—which includes a brick-and-mortar store and eBay ecommerce bookselling operation—and leverage the business to hit measurable, positive outcomes in education, work and life. 

Platinum Winners:

Clara Jeanne LaCelle: Surfinjunkie

In 2002, a failed business attempt left Jeanne LaCelle with several thousand dollars of sellable makeup inventory. When her friend introduced her to eBay, she applied the same grit, resilience and resourcefulness she had growing up in foster care to start her eBay business. Over the years, Jeanne grew her business and put her four children through college, completely debt-free. With her children taken care of and her financial burden erased, Jeanne turned her energy to supporting charities. She’s donated over $150,000 to girls in the foster care system and helps train them on life skills to thrive.  

Elijah McCloskey: Freewheel Madison

Freewheel Madison was founded in 2003 by a group of Wisconsinites who wanted to expand access to transportation in the city. When he was 16 years old, Elijah McCloskey, then homeless on the streets of Madison, Wisconsin, discovered Freewheel and built himself a bicycle. Equipped with a new form of transportation, Elijah found steady work, attended university, and eventually returned to Freewheel, where he has become Executive Director. With resources from eBay and brick-and-mortar sales, Freewheel has provided transportation to over 12,000 people locally and globally, and Elijah has invested over 75% of his personal income back into the program. Elijah believes in the power of community -- in the past year, he has organized meet-ups with other nonprofits, teaching them how to sell successfully on eBay and raise money for their businesses.

Gold Winners:

Todd Hallada: 2Bros Sports Collectibles LLC

When Todd was 16, options for work were limited due to his disability. This is why he decided to open a business on eBay to sell sports cards. After receiving his Master’s degree and a stint working in corporate America, Todd decided to re-invest in his hobby. With help from his brother Tom, the brothers made their store 2Bros Sports a full-time business. Both Todd and Tom were born with muscular dystrophy and are wheelchair-bound. This never stopped Todd, who grew 2Bros Sports’s inventory of over 3 million sports cards. The brothers now own a retail store and manage their warehouse with six full-time employees.

Sahil Kumar: Wholesalebiz01

As a young entrepreneur, Sahil Kumar has applied his education and early work experience to running a successful business on eBay. After graduating with an engineering degree and struggling to find work, Sahil discovered his entrepreneurial spirit. He connected with a college friend working for an electronic recycling company, which inspired him to repair and recycle entire devices and resell them into the market. In his one year selling on the eBay platform, Sahil has seen over 100% increase in sales. Sahil also employs his mother and women from his community, who have taught him about customer support, product and shipping management and how to run an efficient business.

John Macris: Philadelphia Candies

John is the third-generation owner of Philadelphia Candies, a manufacturer and retailer of specialty chocolates. Celebrating its 100th year of business, Philadelphia Candies has been satisfying sweet tooths since 1919. Located in Western Pennsylvania, one of the most economically depressed areas in the U.S., Philadelphia Candies has provided numerous jobs within the area and has helped to strengthen the local and national economy. Selling on eBay has revitalized Philadelphia Candies, allowing the retailer to share its sweet treats around the clock with both new domestic and international customers. 

Dov Schreiber: frames_n_optics

Dov began his eBay journey in 2014 to help finance his degree in biology with hopes of later becoming a physician. Having always been fascinated by eyewear and the significant difference they could make in a person’s life, he began selling frames and sunglasses part-time. Following graduation, Dov went all in and made his eBay business a full-time career. Dov has now expanded his product offering from 12 pairs of eyeglasses to more than 3,000 and sells internationally to over 100 countries. 

Nanette Zupon: American Artifacts

On eBay since 2006, Nanette sources unique, hard-to-find vintage and antique items for customers around the globe. Passionate about vintage and reducing her carbon footprint, Nanette prefers to source locally and give new life to under-appreciated items. An avid learner, Nanette contributes her success to product expertise, participation in eBay beta programs and business pivots along the way. She also shares her wealth of knowledge with aspiring and beginner eBay sellers and the broader eBay community.