Serving non-traditional shoppers, Mirella, 55, opened It’s New To Me, a women’s clothing store, on April 28. The shop is located on a main street, 30 blocks outside downtown Laredo, Texas. At It’s New to Me, Mirella sells dresses, jewelry, purses, some shoes, candles and other accessories. Though she currently sells women’s apparel, Mirella plans to expand and sell new and gently-used furniture. She also plans to open a small snack shop within her store to enhance the shopping experience.
Mirella wanted to be her own boss, which influenced her to become an entrepreneur. “I don’t want to work for someone else all my life,” she says. Her cousin owns a furniture resale shop in Corpus Christi, Texas and inspired Mirella to do the same. As she moves out of her current location (which requires all vendors to sell new items), Mirella plans to obtain furniture to sell. Mirella’s cousin was also the person who informed her about Accion Texas Inc., which saved a trip to a traditional bank.
Upon approval of the loan, Mirella purchased inventory for the store. The combination of the loan and her savings paid for business cards, a 13-week ad in Laredo’s Bargain Book, a new sign, rent, fire department and other necessary permits, and part of the deposit. She says the loan will also help her buy the initial merchandise she needs.
Mirella currently employs her daughter-in-law and does not plan to hire more employees until her business flourishes. She plans to re-invest her earnings into the growth of It’s New to Me and have a Grand Opening party in the near future to notify the community of her store.
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.