Monday, July 30, 2012

Essential Under T's

Overcoming All Odd’s: Despite Disability, 60-Year-Old Woman Launches Own Business
Essential Under T’s

 Barbara Read is no stranger to adversity.  Eight years ago, as a result of Central Nervous System Vasculitis, Read was diagnosed with a short-term memory impairment that has affected her ability to find sustainable employment.  Though Read has been receiving disability pay and services over the last few years, she has yearned to find a means to financially support herself.  However, due to her disability and lack of employment over the last five years, Read’s job opportunities are limited.

As a means to achieve financial stability and get off disability pay, Read created a vision to launch her own business, showcasing a clothing product that she conceptualized.  The idea was initiated by a personal experience that Read had on a very hot summer day while in church. Read was wearing a chic summer dress that she had layered with a t-shirt for modesty, but found herself hot and sweaty from the added layers.  Wishing for a lighter, more breathable, more feminine and formal alternative—the idea for Essential Under T’s was born.

Read has worked tirelessly for two years to bring her vision to life and has since designed a product that offers several unique qualities.  The cornerstone feature of Read’s product is a short design, which cuts off just below the chest to avoid un-needed layering over the torso.  Essential Under T’s are also distinguished by lace trim, a flattering neckline, and added coverage over the shoulders for strappy dresses and blouses.

To create the product, Read devoted hundreds of hours, including a number of personal trips to the Los Angeles garment district to find an affordable fabric that aligned with her vision.   Nearly a year later, with the help of Read’s favorite “lace man” Albert, Read found just what she had been looking for!

In the spring of 2011, Read’s Vocational Rehabilitation counselor referred her to the Orem Small Business Development (SBDC), an organization that helps entrepreneurs formalize and launch small business startups.  Read was introduced to Marynika Miche’, a business consultant at the SBDC who helped her write a business plan, put financials together, and complete paperwork for a Vocational Rehabilitation grant that would provide Read with critical startup funds.  “The SBDC has been a great blessing in my life.  I needed someone to come along and set me on the right course,” said Read.  “Marynika worked effortlessly on my Performa income statements, monthly cash flows, and estimated startup costs.”

In June of 2012, Read was awarded a small business startup grant from Vocational Rehabilitation to launch Essential Under T’s.  The 22,500-dollar award is a significant milestone for Read’s journey as an entrepreneur—helping cover the much-needed costs associated with prototyping and manufacturing products during the first year of business.

In recognition for her hard work and determination, the Orem SBDC has selected Barbara Read to receive a Small Business Award for the second quarter of 2012. “I believe Barbara has what it takes to make this a success,” said Miche’.    “She has worked so hard to create her product and to receive the grant.  This hard work and persistence deserves recognition.”

Monday, July 2, 2012

Los Montes Restaurant

Los Montes Restaurant
Cayetana Montes

            Opening a Mexican Restaurant has been Cayetana Montes’ dream for as long as she can remember. She owned her own successful, money making cleaning business and contracted with hotels in Park City, Utah; but that business didn’t quench her thirst to own her own restaurant. A local bank sent her to see Ken Fakler at the SBDC at UVU after she approached them to procure a loan to start the restaurant. That was in November, 2009.  They wanted her to formalize her business model with a business plan.  Ken helped her with all the details of the business plan, but she needed a location, in Kamas, Utah - her home town.
            After a year and a half search, a suitable location became available; and after reading her business plan, the landlord indicated that they would help her finance the restaurant.  She invested $15,000 (her savings) and the landlord loaned her $15,000;  and Los Montes Restaurant opened with the help of her family on July 4, 2011 as an LLC.  She had overcome the startup challenges of raising money, finding employees, buying assets at the right price, and marketing to customers.  When asked what the secret to her success, Cayetana reports, “Putting in many long hard hours (she works seven days a week), good food recipes, and superior customer service.”  The rewards of Cayetana being an entrepreneur and owning her own business,  is that she is her own boss, she loves to please her customers, and the business creates a bonding experience between her and her family (her entire family works the business). Part of her marketing success is her involvement in community by donating gift certificates to the South Summit High School, the local fire department, and to the local rodeo events.  
            Cayetana is grateful to the Orem SBDC for their direction in helping her write the business plan to get her loan, helping her interpret the commercial lease on the building, helping her create a marketing plan, and helping her with all the details of starting and running the business, even though there were set backs along the way.  “The Orem SBDC is a big part of the success of this business; we couldn’t have done it without them.” 
            Cayetana is now living her dream of owning and running a profitable Mexican restaurant with her family in Kamas, Utah.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

KissTixx Success Story   


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

South Valley Appliances, LLC

Eduardo Esquerra estudió ingeniería en instrumentación, y también es técnico electricista. Eduardo nació en Sonora, México que está en la frontera con EE.UU. y llegó a este país en enero de 1998 con la esperanza de mejores días y tener éxito creando su propia empresa. Después de mucho esfuerzo, planificación y ayuda de la familia, Eduardo pudo abrir una tienda de reparación de electrodomésticos o appliances en el sur de Salt Lake con el nombre de South Valley Appliances, LLC en abril del 2011. Antes de crear su empresa Eduardo dio los primeros pasos al escribir su plan de negocios meses antes, y siguió con su plan de marketing para organizar sus ideas y establecer estrategias de venta. Una vez organizada la empresa pudo encontrar el lugar perfecto para su tienda y empezó con un capital de menos de $20,000 dólares. Nohemí, la esposa de Eduardo, fue clave para la creación de la empresa. Nohemí, no solo apoyo a Eduardo en las decisiones de crear la empresa, sino también le ayudo moralmente, y financieramente para que Eduardo pudiese emprender su proyecto.El próximo paso para que su empresa tuviese éxito, fue el de coordinar con un socio de tener la mejor atención al cliente que cualquier otra empresa de reparación de electrodomésticos pudiese tener en esa área. En Abril del 2011 finalmente pudieron abrir la empresa y empezaron con 2 clientes. En pocos meses subieron a más de 30 clientes y a obtener contratos con hoteles y empresas de lavado y secado de ropa. En menos de 8 meses Eduardo logro que su empresa este sobresaliendo sobre sus competidores, ganar suficientes clientes, y ganancias de más de 200% de lo que él estaba estimando. Eduardo tuvo que contratar a un técnico para que le ayude a satisfacer la demanda del sur de Salt Lake.Eduardo dice que: "los negocios necesitan tiempo y perseverancia" para que estos puedan tener éxito. También mencionó: "Siempre fui empleado y ahora con la ayuda del Small Business Development Center de Orem puedo manejar mi propio horario y más importante puedo manejar mi propia empresa."


While on a skiing retreat in February of 2000, two unaffiliated clients of Charles Acklin's approached him at separate times announcing that they were no longer going to work with his partner and himself. Each client explained that the company Acklin was working for and the senior partner could not practice what they preached. The clients described the work Acklin had done for them generated revenue and improved their processes, but the company was not willing to take care of its assets. The clients both asked Acklin "How long are you going to put up with this?"Months earlier, in August of 1999, Charles Acklin was approached by two investors, Doctors from Michigan and Pennsylvania, offering him start-up capital if he would consider leaving the partnership and starting his own venture. At the time, he had been uninterested, but after this chance encounter on his ski trip, and three months of attempting to define and improve the partnership with no success, Acklin called up the investors and accepted their offer. Acklin officially resigned his position on October 1, 2000, and started VOLTI on October 31, 2000. VOLTI's mission is to accelerate and increase the success of it's clients. Volti goes into a company as a guest, "embedded" rather than imposed. They learn a company's style, values and traditions, and then the companies needs. Then they go to work for the company, working with teams and individuals in everyday, real-life situations to bring out the needed improvements, employing the proven elements of Volti's program. Volti focuses on the strengths of the present staff to begin creating improvement from the inside. Improvement in people brings improvement in their work, and that brings improvements in company performance. This ends in profit."VOLTI would not be where it is without Ken Fakler. Ken targets issues and goes beyond textbook definitions. He doesn't cheer lead, he facilitates results. Together we clarified propriety elements, infrastructure, our unique business model and sales process. During times of lost funds, negative cash and discouragement, Ken supported me as I refocused and recovered." Fakler has helped stabilize, expand, innovate, and transform VOLTI from a highly successful 'one-man operation' to a team, really taking it to the next level.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunny Day Preschool & Daycare

Ever since Heidi Barker can remember, she wanted to work with children and own her own day care business. When Heidi graduated from college, she started working at the Sunny Day Preschool and Daycare Center in Heber City, Utah. The school had been in existence since 1978, and housed children from 3 months up to 11 years old. Heidi had worked her way up from a teacher to the Director over a period of years.In November 2009,the previous owner decided to sell the business and the house that the Daycare Center was operated from; and she approached Heidi to buy it. The offer was fairly priced, and this was Heidi's chance to own her own business, and buy a house to live in at the same time. She needed to acquire a down payment and she approached the Orem SBDC Center to help her with a business plan to secure a loan.Heidi approached several banks and savings and loans over the next year and a half with her finished business plan, but was turned down. Her credit score was good, but she had no collateral and her income was insufficient to secure a bank loan. Heidi didn't give up - she approached the Utah Micro Enterprise Loan Fund and secured a loan from them; and scrapped together a small amount of cash from friends and relatives to make the down payment for the business only. She then worked a deal with the previous owner to lease the house until she could get a loan for the down payment on the house.On January 3, 2011, she registered the Sunny Day Preschool and Daycare, LLC in her name, retained the four employees, added more children to maximize capacity (she currently has a waiting list of children), updated her license with the State of Utah, and has made a profit ever since.When asked what role the SBDC has played in this, she states, "The Orem SBDC helped me write the business plan, value the business, secure the loan, and negotiate the lease. They made it all possible. When it seemed I would fail, they encouraged me to keep going forward."As a new business owner, Heidi overcame many challenges, like molding the former employees into a cohesive, motivated team, collecting past due invoices, and conforming to the myriad of State regulations.Heidi feels the secret of her success is lots of hard work (13 hour days, 6 days a week) and total "face time" with her employees, the kids, the parents, and the stakeholders. The school is her life and she loves it. Heidi feels the best part of being an entrepreneur and owning her own business is the difference she can make in children's lives. She tells them everyday, "you can overcome all odds - you can do anything you want, just like I did."When Heidi is asked for advice on opening a business, she responds, "Go see the Orem SBDC for help. They will help make your dream come true."
"The Orem SBDC helped me write the business plan, value the business, secure the loan, and negotiate the lease. They made it all possible. When it seemed I would fail, they encouraged me to keep going forward.""you can overcome all odds - you can do anything you want, just like I did."
Heidi feels the secret of her success is lots of hard work (13 hour days, 6 days a week) and total "face time" with her employees, the kids, the parents, and the stakeholders. The school is her life and she loves it. Heidi feels the best part of being an entrepreneur and owning her own business is the difference she can make in children's lives. She tells them everyday, "you can overcome all odds - you can do anything you want, just like I did."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Elsha Rae's Dress Boutique

Angie Lewis and Jan Sanderson had talked about starting a
business together but for years had no idea what kind of business to
start. With high school aged daughters,
they started to notice how many dances there are and how expensive the dresses
were. They also notice that many of those beautiful dresses hung in closets and
the owner didn’t know what to do with them.
Now they had an idea for a business they could run together and truly
Elsha Rae’s Dress Boutique is a formal consignment
boutique. The long racks of beautiful
formal dresses and four fitting rooms take up most of Angie’s basement at her
Mapleton home. After advertising in the fall
of 2010 for formals that could be consigned out, they got many responses and
even have a dress that was shipped from Hawaii.
Jan said that many of the girls didn’t know what consignment meant and
they did a lot of explaining. When a
girl brings in her formal dress, she names it.
Some of the dress names include Neapolitan, Barbie, Jezebel — whatever
the girl wants her dress to be named.
When the dress rents, the owner gets part of the rental fee.
Part of the way Jan and Angie got the word out about the
dress shop was through Facebook. When
they first opened, they offered a free jewelry rental for anyone who rented a
dress and then posted where they rented it on their Facebook page. The social media helped the word spread
quickly through the Springville, Mapleton, and Spanish Fork High schools. The word continues to spread wider in to Utah
Valley and Elsha Rae’s Dress Boutique has its own Facebook page that highlights
girls in dresses and catalogues some of the dresses themselves.
They like being in business especially since they can try
an idea without having to wait for approval from someone else. Both Angie and Jan are enjoying the
challenges of growing their business, and they are glad they have each other to
rely on. “I wouldn’t want to do this by
myself,” Angie said. They both agree
that one of the best parts of their business is seeing the beauty of a girl come
shining through because of the beautiful dress she is wearing.
Before they got started, they came to the Orem SBDC with
questions. “You want to obey all the laws – it was hard to know what all the
laws were.” After getting some answers
to their questions and doing some homework on what they needed. They
transformed Angie’s basement into a dress shop.
“We contacted the SBDC at the very beginning,” Angie said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”
As their business continues to grow, they know that the
Orem SBDC is there to help. Jan said, “We feel like we can ask people at the
SBDC." For those thinking about
going into business, Jan offers this advice, “Research, research, research! And
go to the SBDC and see Camille.”