Small Business Profiles
Two heads are better than one, and Mar Y Sol Alvarado and her husband Alfred are a clear example of this adage. As the owners of Alro Window Coverings—an installation service company in Mountain View, Calif.—Alfred brings his entrepreneurial knowledge to the table, matched with Mar’s business development experience from working in nonprofit organizations for more than 10 years.
Lisa Romer King’s business plan was born while studying for her M.A. in Business Management when a professor tasked her with writing a business proposal. The assignment sparked something in Lisa and she decided she had to follow through on her idea and bring King's Professional Networking and Placement to life.
For the past three years, Lisa has been running the business she dreamed of out of Lauderhill, Florida where she serves as a mediator, public notary, credit educator and business advisor to members of her community.
In the midst of a global pandemic and a severe economic recession, entrepreneur Adriane Anderson was forced to rethink her retirement plan.
A Georgia native and a lover of hosting gatherings, Adriane Anderson opened her event venue Bless the Occasion just last year. She knew she wouldn’t be able to retire comfortably if she continued to rely on her income working at Publix, a grocery store chain, so she embarked on her journey as a small business owner in 2015. She purchased an old home in Stone Mountain, GA, and remodeled the facility—a process that took about four years to complete, as she had to navigate zoning changes and permit requirements. Her business hosts little girls' tea parties, etiquette classes, baby showers, birthdays and small events of up to 50 guests.
From stay-at-home orders and being denied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to testing positive for COVID-19, the past few months have not been easy for Chicago business owner Kejuana Isom.
Sherry Spellers combined her two passions to create a small business success story: a knack for repurposing old trinkets, with the desire to make women look and feel beautiful.
Her journey as a hairdresser was marked from an early age, when a traumatic incident caused Sherry to lose her hair. “I felt so ugly and ashamed. I knew in that moment that I wanted to help women feel good about themselves, and hair was a great way to do that,” says Sherry.
Faced with a lack of diverse food options, Jaja Chen and Devin Li decided to bring a bit of their East Asian heritage to Waco, Texas.
Waco Cha started off as a tent at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market selling boba tea, but within a year they gained so much popularity that Jaja and Devin were able to purchase a truck and expand their reach and their services. Not only were they selling boba out of their truck, but they began hosting “Dumpling Night Workshop,” where they teach members of their community how to fold, make and eat dumplings from start to finish.
As a first-generation immigrant, Anahi Rojas knows a thing or two about chasing opportunities.
Anahi, owner of Professional Eco Cleaning in Oakland, Calif., moved to the United States 13 years ago to seek new economic opportunities and improve her life and that of her family in Mexico. Initially, she worked as a waitress but soon realized the language barrier would be a problem. She pursued other avenues and became a partner at in house cleaning cooperatives where she learned how to manage a business, and developed her conflict resolution strategies.
Mark and TJ Goettsch started their business during the Great Recession, so this couple knows a little something about running a business through times of financial crisis. However, when COVID-19 hit, it impacted their business and thousands of others across the country in completely unprecedented ways.
Not long after accepting a voluntary early retirement package from her long time employer, Southern California Edison, Pat Watts found herself yearning to be back at work. So, she turned to entrepreneurship by taking some of the money from her retirement package and starting her own business. Little did she know, her business would end up expanding across the nation and her workforce training program would focus-in on her own community.
As a kid, Bobby Price never enjoyed his visits to his neighborhood barbershop, so it makes sense that it never occurred to him to open his own barbershop until much later in life. Even though Bobby has been cutting hair since he was 13, he didn’t become a full-time barber until he became a husband and a father.