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Total loan: $10,000
Oakland, CA, United States / Retail
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A loan helped me turn my brick and mortar nail salon, owned by women of color into a mobile business, by converting a 20 passenger bus into a nail salon!
I grew up in San Francisco as a child in the Foster Child System. This experience taught me that I could only depend on myself; therefore I started working at the age of sixteen. Before then I had a chili-dog and pound cake delivery business between the ages of seven to eleven. I made my products and delivered the on my bike. I had a 6-year career as a wardrobe stylist for White House Black Market (WHBM), a top national retailer. I was consistently the top seller nationwide but there was a lack of return, as a result of my hard work. When I made the connection between my pay checks verses the revenue that I was bringing to this company, e.g. I was making $11.25 an hour but I was exceeding the sales goal of $250.00 an hour. During the downturn of the economy, producing over a million dollars in sales, which accounted for 65% of total sales for WHBM in 2008-2010, I only took home about sixteen thousand dollars. This caused me to change for whom I would work for. It was at this point I made a decision to for me to go into business for myself. I took advantage of the opportunities available to me to grow as an artist. I enrolled in the San Francisco's Art Commissions: Street Art Program, which is how I started a business painting TOMS shoes. Conchetts Hand Painted TOMS gave me the opportunity to vendor in Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf and Market Street. The cost of doing business in San Francisco, became too expensive for a young business person, just starting out. It was time for me to think about my long term goals, a career path. While still pursuing a traditional education, I found myself in a psychology class and our final class project was to survey 100 people on any topic of our choice. This was a perfect opportunity for me to test the waters in a field that I was not completely familiar with but I was madly in love with, that of the nail art industry. The artist in me loved the idea of painting women ten tiny canvas and sees my clients return every 2-3 weeks excited my entrepreneur side. Upon finishing my project, I found that not only was the becoming a nail artist good idea but it also a very profitable one too. Soon after I completed that class, I enrolled in nail school and opened my own nail salon HousofRarity.