Rebecca Smith had been going to the same hairdresser for years. When the owners decided to sell the business, they encouraged Rebecca to consider purchasing it. At first, she was reluctant because she didn’t know anything about running a hair salon, nor was she an entrepreneur. Ironically, her younger sister is the owner of Salon Honey I in Mississippi and encouraged her to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship.
Her biggest obstacle was fear of the “unknown” – who could help her navigate through this path, who would be her trustworthy resources? Rebecca was first referred to ACE’s Women’s Business Center (WBC) by the Georgia Department of Economic Development. She contacted the WBC, attended an orientation workshop where ACE services were presented, and a loan officer spoke about the requirements to obtain a loan. She scheduled a one-on-one meeting with a WBC consultant and discussed the possibility of acquiring the salon and was encouraged to proceed. After initially creating her business plan with DreamBuilder, she needed additional assistance with the financial projections section, was referred to a consultant at the SBDC, and guided through the completion of the business plan. Rebecca then met with an ACE loan officer and was approved for a small business loan. She acquired the business in March.
Throughout the planning stages, Rebecca used resources offered from the WBC and our partners. She attended the Smart Start Course presented by the SBDC. To increase her financial skills, she attended a workshop presented by ACE WBC about finances, credit analysis and loan products. She has been a regular participant in the monthly Lunch & Learn webinars presented by ACE WBC about marketing and other topics. Now that she’s a business owner, Rebecca sees how important it is to expand her knowledge and business skills and plans to continue attending events and trainings offered through the WBC.
Rebecca registered her business with the Secretary of State in February as an LLC, and on April 1 st , opened the doors of Salon Honey II. The salon now has 6 stylists and a makeup artist, and she is projecting to have 8 stylists by July 1 st . Rebecca says, “I am on a mission.” In the next 1-3 years, her goal is to own her own building with salon suites. She loves sharing her experiences and is encouraging her children to get involved in the business. She’s living the dream of entrepreneurship and thanking God for his very generous gift!
“Partnering with the ACE WBC allowed my impossible dream to become a Possible Reality! I am confident that this was a divine collaborative moment whereas this story will ‘repeat’ itself over and over. With the resources that I am now privy to, I can join forces with my partners at ACE WBC and make a difference in the community by creating and growing a sustainable business(s) which generate jobs.” – Rebecca Smith, Salon Honey II