Dalia’s motivation for starting her business, Stokes and Company, was born of a passion for used and re-purposed items. She developed this passion from garage sale “treasure hunting” excursions taken with her mother as a child. As she got older, Dalia realized that she also had a natural talent for decorating and design. With this combination of talent and passion as her guide, she started her own antique, clothing and women’s services store in Abilene, Texas.
Dalia attributes the quick rise and success of her business to her relentless hard work along with the efforts of her husband and two children. When she first started Stokes and Company 5 years ago, it was a small booth inside of an antiques mall. “My husband persuaded me to follow my dreams, so I opened the booth. Within 6 months, it tripled in size; 6 months after that, we expanded to our own location. After 5 years, we moved from a 1200-square-foot store to our current location, nearly three times that size,” she says. Without the persistent dedication of her family, who have done everything from manage the business to repairing its buildings, Dalia believes this success would never have been possible.
Stokes and Company offers its customers used and reupholstered furniture, antiques, home décor items, and clothing for women. She says that her business takes old furniture and, using her natural eye for design, repairs it to give it a “new life.” In her own words, “I feel like my business is like a jewelry box: you’ll never know what you can find when you go in there. That’s what sets me apart from others.” She believes that the unique service she provides and her store’s constantly changing inventory compel her clients to return to Stokes and Company.
In the future, Dalia hopes to continue offering her customers one-of-a-kind service while expanding her business to cater to the everyday needs of women. In its new location, Dalia has split the store into two parts: one for the antiques and furniture shop and the other to serve as a studio to create custom pieces for customers. She also added a waxing salon to bring her business closer to the goal of catering to the diverse needs of her women customers.
With this loan, Dalia will expand her inventory to fit the needs of her business’ new space. While the move to a 3500-square-foot location is necessary, this means that her current inventory covers only about 1/3rd of that space. After realizing that a commercial bank would not fit her business needs, Dalia reached out to Kiva's partner ACCION Texas-Louisiana. With this loan, Dalia will not only continue to serve her loyal clients, but she will expand her services to meet the needs of an even more diverse part of her community.
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.