Small Business Profiles
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.
Children admire their parents’ careers, and often emulate the kinds of jobs they perform: they want to be firefighters, police officers, teachers, doctors, lawyers and so forth. This was also the case for Celia Rudder, who wanted to be like her father from an early age and become an entrepreneur in Greensboro, N.C. Although she wasn’t encouraged to follow in his footsteps, she eventually took over her father’s business after he passed away.
Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur, right?
John Martin, the CEO and founder of the North Carolina-based consultancy group Martin-Sloane International and Martin & Company, is on his second-time around as an entrepreneur.
He originally started a small IT consulting firm in 1994, which he eventually sold in 1997.
For Lisa Marsh, owner and founder of Ms. P’s Gluten Free, going gluten free changed her health. Her acid reflux and digestive issues went away, and she felt better than she had in years. Yet, this change in diet meant having to explore alternative recipes for treats normally full of gluten, like cakes and cookies.
Lisa recalled finding triple chocolate chip, gluten-free cookies that can be baked at home. She was so eager to try one, Lisa couldn’t wait long enough for them to cool down.
Jose Cristian and Keila Castorena founded SelvaSur Coffee in 2016, a family-owned coffee manufacturing company, with the vision of bringing the highest quality coffee beans and Latin American products that are ethically and lovingly harvested from Peru and Organic Chiapas coffee beans from Mexico, to the Denver area.
For Rosie Arias, her mission is simple. She wants to keep the world warm one baby at a time.
Whimsical Charm, based out of Long Beach, Calif., was incorporated in 2011 after Rosie’s close friends began having children and she couldn’t find a blanket that was unique and different to gift them. This inspired her to use her fashion degree and sewing skills to make an easily-maintained, practical blanket that looked nice.
Georgia leads the nation in production of peanuts, pecans, blueberries and spring onions. Don’t forget the peaches. The warm weather, diverse soil types and rural surroundings make for fresh, rich produce. For Sarah O’Brien, owner and founder of Little Tart Bakeshop in Atlanta, this luscious produce is one of the main reasons she moved to the South to start her business in 2010.
When federal funding programs don’t work for the small businesses they were designed to support, owners may be forced to seek out much riskier avenues to capital in order to keep their doors open. Unfortunately Chef Frisco Thumbtzen in South Carolina is one such example.
After his military service left him with disabled veteran status, Chef Frisco turned to entrepreneurship. In the military, he worked as a limousine driver and when he was discharged, he was given his own vehicle so he could start up his own transportation business.
More than a year and a half into the pandemic, many small businesses are unsure if they will be able to recover after fighting to stay above water and accruing crippling debt. Small business owners of color, women and immigrants have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic as they’ve faced barriers to accessing federal relief programs and traditional lending. Small business owner Daysi Del Rosario Rivas Peralta is one example.
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