OUT TO LUNCH finds creative business consultant Aileen Bennett conducting business Acadiana style: over lunch. Each week Aileen invites guests from Acadiana's business community to join her. Beyond the foundations of the Acadiana economy - oil, cuisine, music - there is a vast network of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even some of the country's largest companies who call Acadiana home. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the wider Acadiana business community. You can also hear the show on KRVS 88.7FM.
A lot of people around here in Acadiana compare the recent downturn in the oil business to the downturn in the 1980’s. The general consensus seems to be that although this downturn is having a longer-term effect within the oil business itself, it’s having a lesser effect on the overall Acadian economy. The reason everybody gives for that is one word: diversification.
And it’s true. Over the past couple of decades the scope of local business has grown to include all kinds of new enterprises, from technology to tourism.
Along with this diversification has come a whole new breed of Acadian business person. The entrepreneur. These are, for the most part, people with businesses that have nothing to do with the natural resources in this part of the world – other than imagination and hard work. People like Aileen's lunch guests on this edition of Out to Lunch, Wayne Nix and Jeff Martin.
Jeff is short and fat. Normally one would never introduce a person by their appearance. Even if it was tall and slender. But Jeff is the co-founder of a company called Short and Fat. They make shirts for short and fat guys. The company’s website – which is important, because it’s an online business – is shortandfat.com.
Wayne Nix has an MBA and he’s an RN. He’s a business guy who is also a nurse. Wayne and his wife, who is also a nurse, have a company called Rnvention and its first invention is The Multi Nix Tool.
Nurses need all kinds of specific tools. They need to adjust the flow of a patient’s oxygen, to measure the dilation of pupils in the eye, to clamp off tubes, they need scissors, and so on. The Multi Nix does all of these functions, and many more. It’s the Swiss Army pocket knife of nurses’ tools. It looks like a pair of tricked out scissors, and its finding its way into the pockets of nurses across the country.
Photos taken over lunch at Cafe Vermilionville in Lafayette Louisiana.