Small Business Profiles
When Ramon Alvarez was 9 years old, his family moved to a small ranch just outside of Fresno, California. He worked to help his family make a living until he left for school. While working to pay his way through college, he fell in love with retail.
After years of gaining experience at corporations like Home Depot, where he oversaw the opening of stores across the U.S. and in South America, he fulfilled his dream of opening a business of his own with his wife.
Vanessa Avalos noticed a need for bilingual education for young children in her community, and she immediately decided to execute on it. She launched Luna y Cielo, a play café and Spanish learning center to aid Latino and Hispanic mothers in raising bilingual, bicultural and biliterate children.
Edwin Sandoval, the proud owner of Xatrucho Concepts, moved from Honduras to the Colorado Springs area when he was only 10 years old. At age 14, he began working at restaurants, where he quickly realized his potential and passion for the food industry. He pursued a degree in culinary arts and continued to work at various high-scale restaurants until he had the gumption to start a business of his own.
Full-time health policy advocate and part-time doula Knetta Adkins is striving to make the Georgia healthcare system more accessible for everyone–especially families of color.
Knetta started practicing as a doula three years ago in Alabama, but soon after she relocated to Georgia and started her own practice, Douwella, where she supports parents through their pre and postpartum journey.
She says, “It’s important to me that I ensure that the families I work with have agency over their birthing story.”
Although Shirley Modlin plans on giving her manufacturing business, located in Powhatan, Virginia, over to her son in the next two years, she is nowhere near retirement. In fact, she is handing over her current business so she can start a new one and open a vocational center in the rural area of her town.
When Tricia M. Arce’s grandmother passed away, she began making recipes with marshmallows to ease her grief. Once she realized how popular her inventions were among her coworkers and close friends, Tricia and her wife Hazel decided to launch the Toasted Mallow, a line of handcrafted marshmallow desserts for every taste, locally available in Gilbert, A.Z.
During this Pride Month, Joanis Duran and other LGBTQ small business owners in Florida are fighting to be heard as their state policymakers enact anti-LGBTQ legislation.
“We feel that we have a government that is trying to remove us.”
Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic has been a tall order for small businesses, creating financial chaos and instability for all entrepreneurs regardless of how many years they’ve been in business. For Manish Mallick, owner of Bar Goa, an Indian gastropub, and ROOH Chicago, a progressive Indian restaurant and cocktail bar, seeing his once-bustling restaurant turn into an empty eatery has been devastating.
Sayuri Tsuchitani began her career as a hairdresser in New York, and her work launched her into opportunities to travel the world. As a Japanese immigrant, she says her career goal is to bring Eastern techniques of relaxation to help alleviate stress in Western cultures. Although her entrepreneurial journey hasn’t always been an easy one, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Headspa EN in Beverly Hills, Calif. continues to prevail.
As a business owner, not asking the right questions in the beginning stages of your business can lead to years of financial repercussions. Georgia entrepreneur Markela Taylor knows this well.
Markela was happy at her nine-to-five job until a family emergency pulled her away from the office. After believing her job would be safe while she traveled to be with her family, she was surprised when she got an email saying her job was in jeopardy.
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