Center for Rural Affairs Names Entrepreneur of the Year Award Recipients - - David and Kimberly Nelson of Papillion receive Prestigious Award

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Janelle Moran,, Center for Rural Affairs REAP Loan Specialist, Phone: (402) 335-3675

or Elisha Smith,, Center for Rural Affairs, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1007

Lyons, NE – David and Kimberly Nelson of Papillion, Nebraska have been chosen as the Entrepreneur of the Year by the Center for Rural Affairs. The Nelsons were honored for their efforts to establish and grow their business Bling By Zing, as well as their integrity and leadership. They were recognized at a special awards banquet on Monday, February 10, held in West Point, Nebraska on the eve of the Center for Rural Affairs' annual MarketPlace conference.

The Entrepreneur Award is presented annually to an individual or individuals who best exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit that defines and is so crucial to the future prosperity of Nebraska’s rural communities.

“We are really excited about this opportunity! Thank you,” commented David and Kimberly Nelson.

Bling By Zing is a custom rhinestone apparel (i.e. bling) company based in Papillion, NE. The company offers unique, high-quality custom rhinestone designs and apparel, mainly women’s apparel. They design, develop, produce, and sell rhinestone designs for many schools, colleges, youth sports teams, cities, businesses, charities, and organizations.

David and Kimberly Nelson started Zing in October 2011, as a small, start-up home-based hobby business. The company began as a sole proprietorship which was then incorporated in the State of Nebraska as Bling By Zing, Inc. in February 2012. Bling by Zing utilizes a direct sales business model with Independent Sales Consultants who market, sell and distribute the products, similar to Pampered Chef or Avon.

In the Fall of 2012, Janelle Moran, Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Loan Specialist began working with the Nelsons after they had applied for a REAP Direct Loan. Dave and Kim were looking to move their business from home to a storefront location. The Nelsons were needing financing to make the transition and expansion happen.

In January 2013 Zing had outgrown the Nelson’s home and they moved to a storefront location. “Although we have a retail store in historic downtown Papillion, most products are sold through our large and growing network of direct-selling consultants....creative women who are interested in fashion, love bling, and enjoy owning their own businesses! We want customers to have a wonderful, personal buying experience and therefore we do not sell our products online,” commented Kim Nelson, Co-Founder and President of Bling By Zing. “At the beginning of 2014 we had 32 consultants in 7 states, including Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa.”

Nelson continued, “Through our direct sales model we are helping empower dozens of women to be their own success stories. We are proud and excited to provide an opportunity for women across the US to run their own successful small businesses, have a creative outlet, provide for their families, get involved in their community, and build life-long friendships.”

“I am honored to present the Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Dave and Kim,” said Moran. “I believe they define the true "Entrepreneurial Spirit." The Nelson are an excellent example of the success a small business in Nebraska can be. The Bling by Zing business model developed by the Nelsons continues to provide other small business opportunities for individuals across Nebraska and nation-wide. It was a great learning experience for me to work with them as well!”

Having completed business loan applications and paperwork in the past, including successful loans from the Federal SBA program, Kim and Dave were both impressed and relieved with the expedited review process and personal relationships offered by REAP and the Nebraska Enterprise Fund.

“Janelle Moran and Glennis McClure, Vice President of the Nebraska Enterprise Fund, both expressed a serious interest in our business, and never treated us like a “number” like other business loan programs,” commented Dave Nelson, Co-Founder and Vice President of Zing. “Their personal involvement throughout the process made it easier to convince our local bank to be a funding partner in the loan package as well. The professionals in REAP want us to be a success, and do everything they can to keep the paperwork and administrative load down to a minimum, which we appreciate.”

For a picture of Kim and Dave Nelson accepting their award, visit:
Janelle Moran, Center for Rural Affairs REAP Loan Specialist and Kimberly and David Nelson.Janelle Moran, Center for Rural Affairs REAP Loan Specialist and Kimberly and David Nelson. on Flickr
Janelle Moran, Center for Rural Affairs REAP Loan Specialist and Kimberly and David Nelson.Janelle Moran, Center for Rural Affairs REAP Loan Specialist and Kimberly and David Nelson. on Flickr
(Pictures courtesy of the Center for Rural Affairs)