Local online business owners give back to community
By Doug Carroll Sheboygan Press staff No matter how you slice it, Erik and Lisa Tanck are busy people. Their life together is one big moving target. They have home-based businesses (yes, that's plural). They do a load of community service already and are taking on more. They attended a seminar in Green Bay about online businesses. "We found out that a lot of Internet entrepreneurs don't have to sit there and mind the store," said Erik, a Sheboygan native who met Lisa when both worked in Chicago. They were married in 1999 and have lived in Sheboygan for 16 years. Erik was maintaining the Web site for Brandt's Cheese House in downtown Sheboygan when he observed an interesting phenomenon: The store wasn't doing well (and eventually went out of business), but its online site was booming, particularly with orders for cheese slicers. The Tanck's took the idea of selling the slicers themselves and ran with it, with Lisa handling the business and marketing side and Erik managing online and accounting. They're around each other a lot, and they say they wouldn't have it any other way. "We've never been apart for more than 24 hours since we got married – and we don't want to be," said Erik, who also does desktop publishing of textbooks for a client in Chicago. "Neither one of us could to this without the other." Although a laptop computer and a cell phone are their constant companions, they say it's worth it. "Chicago was just too crazy and fast-paced," Erik said.