About the NCS - Gracious Rebel Consulting Partnership

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The Story

The story is simple, but with profound benefits for American micropreneurs and other local businesses and small businesses.

Northern Computer Services

JR Swartz, the founder of Northern Computer Services, has always had a special place in his heart for neighboring businesses. He wanted to see them thrive, knowing that communities are stronger when its mom-and-pop shops and other local gems were successful. ​

In 2013, Nikki Schultz of Bella Designs presented him with an opportunity to support these micropreneurs even more than he could though computer, networking, and other technology services. Nikki offered to bring her website design business to NCS, filling a need for local business owners that NCS hadn't been able to previously. 

Times changed, and it became clear that just having a website was no longer enough to gain leads and customers online. JR knew that digital marketing services had become essential, even for small-town companies. 


In the fall of 2018, he had the opportunity to purchase a small company that provided digital marketing services, mainly to clients in Wisconsin's Fox Valley. It seemed like this was going to fill the marketing gap, though, because these services could easily be offered anywhere.


Unfortunately, several challenges presented themselves with this acquisition, and he sought someone with the expertise to bring this struggling new department to life.

Fate intervened when a local gentleman named Randy needed advice on purchasing a laptop for himself. Randy noticed the posting on the NCS window about their need for a Marketing Specialist, and he shared what he understood about his daughter Cy's skills during the course of his computer consultation.


Randy got a great laptop from NCS, perfect for his needs, and JR finally had a lead on someone who might be a good fit for Northern Computer Service's marketing department.

Gracious Rebel Consulting

Cyrene Amanda “Cy” Lowery, the founder of Gracious Rebel Consulting, had been thrown a few curveballs in life and decided it was time to take her own advice: stop trying to do business by yourself. She hoped to find a business partner with a comparable vision and passion for helping micropreneurs thrive.


Cy’s greatest frustration was that she couldn’t help enough entrepreneurs because she was just one person. Plus, she had to concede that trying to manage health problems, three children, and a business on her own was impossible if she wanted to do any of these things well.


After living in Madison, Wisconsin for many years, she found herself near her hometown again in Wisconsin’s beautiful Northwoods. In an effort to balance work and life – and to keep her prices accessible to fellow micropreneurs and solopreneurs while still supporting her family – she took a part-time marketing and management position at a little office supply store in Woodruff.

How You Benefit from
Our Partnership

A comprehensive suite of essential business services are available to you, all under one roof. These include (not all services are available everywhere):


  • Computer Consulting and Sales

  • Commercial Technology Services

  • Complementary Computer Accessories

  • Website Design and Development

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Training

  • Brand Development

  • Comprehensive Marketing Strategy

  • Graphic Design

  • Citation Optimization

  • Reputation Management

  • Online Advertising

  • Social Media Management

This makes services more affordable because we’re able to complete work in less time due to the awesome collaboration and efficient processes developed between NCS’s Website Development team and Gracious Rebel Consulting’s Brand and Marketing team.

Communication between companies is also unmatched. We share project management tools and constantly update and streamline our integrated service offerings.

The results are a more cohesive, effective brand promotion and marketing strategy for your business.


Cy hoped that she could bring her skills to revive the shop and attract new business. Unfortunately, she quickly found that she didn’t have the levity to give her all, and the management part of the job all but completely overshadowed the marketing piece.

When JR Swartz came in one day to introduce himself, the timing was impeccable. Cy was feeling like her skills were being wasted in that aging, moldy store, and she longed to throw herself back into Gracious Rebel Consulting full-time again.


JR had a situation that Cy found both interesting and exciting, because she’d essentially be getting in on the ground floor of Northern Computer Service’s new marketing division. She’d be able to put her lifetime of experience and expertise to work while not having to worry about the accounting, staffing, HR, and other tedium that made doing business on her own so difficult.

Cy started out with NCS as an employee, but soon an agreement was forged between JR and Cy, and she brought Gracious Rebel Consulting forth as a subsidiary of Northern Computer Service.

Partners at Last


Northern Computer Service and

Gracious Rebel Consulting

Joined Forces

By partnering strategically, JR was able to bring a complete line of Brand Development, Marketing, and Business Consulting Services to the Northwoods.


Cy’s dream was realized, too, as she was able to focus on making big business advantages accessible to a virtually limitless number of small businesses, with a talented, dedicated team of marketing staff.



Gracious Rebel Consulting services are available via

phone or video conference, as well face-to-face in our

Woodruff, Appleton, and Eagle River, Wisconsin Offices