Maiela and Beatriz, two sisters originally from Bolivia, are the hardworking owners of Susie’s Bridal Supplies. They have an unrelenting work ethic and unfailing determination to succeed. For Beatriz, a mother of two, much of her determination stems from a desire to provide for her children. “My life has not been easy, but I would like it to be easier for them. I don’t want them to have to work while they are in school, it is important that they are able to focus on their studies.”
When the sisters first purchased the store from Susie six years ago, it was a party supply store with a generalized focus. However, they saw an opportunity to increase profits so Maiela and Beatriz made the timely decision to shift their focus to provide for more elegant events such as quinceañera parties, weddings, proms, and baptisms. They now spend many of their weekends with their four part-time employees, transforming event sites into glamourous spaces fit to hold that night’s celebration. “Every day and every party is a challenge. We’re excited to be doing this work, we love the adrenaline rush,” says Maiela.
A $4,000 loan will help the sisters increase their inventory, better manage the operating costs of the store, and launch a more extensive marketing campaign. Although the economic downturn has made running a business particularly challenging, the sisters are optimistic about the future and confident in their business decisions. They work at the store every day, often until nine at night, and will do whatever is necessary to make sure their business is a success.
As Maiela explains, “If you want to survive in this world, you have to be strong, you have to work hard. We work very, very hard.”
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