As a recent college graduate, Sarah DeFelice was committed to a career that fulfilled both her passion for fashion and her love for life in the Green Mountain State. But as she researched the local job market, few opportunities matched her criteria for happiness.
“In short, my motivation to starting my own was that my dream job didn’t exist unless I created myself,” DeFelice said. And that’s exactly what she did.
Earlier this year, the 26-year-old fashion maven opened the Bailey Road boutique at 44 Main Street in Montpelier. The store offers elevated clothing, handbags and jewelry at accessible prices.
“We are dedicated to helping our customers achieve both professionally and personally,” Defelice said. “Whether you are on the hunt for that knock ‘em dead outfit, want help updating your wardrobe or are just looking for some retail therapy, Bailey Road can be your personalized fashion expert every step of the way.”
But long before DeFelice could make her dream become a reality, she encountered many challenges along the way. First and foremost, having little financial history and assets, DeFelice struggled to prove her business was viable to lenders. “One of the hardest parts of starting a small business as a young entrepreneur is that most traditional lending opportunities look only at the numbers and not your business plan,” she said. (more…)
Success Story: Pennsylvania
• Shippensburg University SBDC
• SBDC Counselor: Cheryl Young
• Client: Amped Apparel – SBDC client since 2013
“Try and go about it in the correct way. Consult with the SBDC. It’s easy to not want to spend as much money and time, but by taking the proper steps first, you’re establishing a brand that can grow.” – Adam Sitz, Owner, Amped Apparel
Impact of working with the Shippensburg University SBDC: Adam Sitz attended Shippensburg University to pursue a college education. While at Shippensburg, he continued to develop the Amped Apparel business that he started as a teen and that is celebrating its 6-year anniversary this year. Today, Amped Apparel is an action sport and lifestyle clothing brand. Amped also sponsors multiple athletes in various action sports. Amped Apparel’s products include t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, girls’ tanks, beanies, accessories, socks, bags, and eyewear. (more…)
Success Story: Pennsylvania
Impact of working with the Penn State SBDC: In March of 2014, Taylor Mitcham reached out to the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) by stopping in at their on-campus walk-in office to discuss her business idea for a waterless car wash.
The SBDC helped Taylor navigate the maze of legal and tax issues that she would need to address. She formed a Limited Liability Company and obtained an Employer Identification Number and a Pennsylvania Sales and Use Tax License.
Taylor officially launched Simple Car Wash in July, 2014, offering her services to other Penn State students and residents in the State College area. Since there is no brick-and mortar storefront, she needed to be creative in ways to market her business. (more…)
In the third of a series of articles investigating who is buying and selling small businesses in America, BizBuySell identifies how military veterans are faring in the business-for-sale market.
It’s no secret that U.S. military veterans are a force to be reckoned with in the nation’s small business economy. But according to the latest research, both older and younger veterans are emerging as major players in the buying of small companies.To better understand todays’ business-for-sale market, BizBuySell.com recently commissioned a demographic study of individuals engaged in buying or selling a small business. The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 buyers and sellers, highlighted several trends that are shaping today’s market.
One of the trends the survey revealed is that a surprisingly large number of veterans are shopping for small businesses. According to BizBuySell’s study, 13 percent of prospective small business buyers listed themselves as veterans. (more…)
Venture capitalists (VCs) make you work hard for their money by inundating you with question after question about your fundraising process, your company goals, your founding team, among other things. Many of these questions will seem reasonable. Some will seem ridiculous.
But no matter the question, you must have an answer. And your answers better be good.
Behind all of this interrogation, there is one key underlying question: what makes you different? Regardless of the variation on the theme, your potential VC is really asking why your business — as compared to others vying for their money — is worth their investment.
If you’re ready to join the ranks of funded entrepreneurs, you need to be prepared to answer this key question. How? (more…)