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Success Stories

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    Stormi Walker, LMT, is serious about her business. As a licensed massage therapist for the last five years, Stormi has been able to expand her business size and double her number of locations. Her first business location was a very small facility in Ballinger, Texas. She then realized she wanted to add more services and rent a larger building.

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    Cory Searcy started an online business several years ago as a sideline project while maintaining his daytime employment. His online business revolved around selling non-violent toys; toys that cause an adult to pause and reminisce because it is one they had as a child. He also focused on toys that children with special needs could play with because he saw a need for this.

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    Brandon has been working as a journeyman electrician for years. He had always wanted to be a business owner so he thought it was time to go out on his own. He met with Adviser Paul Howard of the Angelo State University • Small Business Development Center to learn more about starting a small business.

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    Elaine Johnston has many years of bookkeeping experience with much of that experience with the same employer. As always, times change and Elaine knew that her time with that employer would soon end as he decided to retire. As valuable as her services might be to another employer, Elaine considered that it might be time for her to step out on her own and to be her own boss.

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    Entrepreneur Mary Perkins has worked in the shoe industry for 20+ years. Ms. Perkins holds a Shoe Fitter Certification making her knowledge and expertise a great asset for her new business. Ms. Perkins’ former job gave her the opportunity to start a business of her
    own. When her former employer was looking to sell her business she made the offer to her only employee, Mary Perkins, giving her the opportunity to start with a large inventory.

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    Ms. Morua has always had an innate passion for vegetation and has been working with flowers since 1998. She developed her knowledge in floriculture at a local flower shop starting as a plant care employee and ultimately became a florist. Fortunately, this experience allowed Ms. Morua to learn about flowers and plants as well as work in the management side of the business learning about vendors, costs, finances, etc.

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    Mason Greenstar manufactures building components out of paper waste and a patented blend of binding solutions. Recent developments have led to their engaging in conversations with some very LARGE producers of cellulose. These cellulose producers see using Mason Greenstar processes to turn their refuse into environmentally friendly building materials.

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    Kendra and her brother Tyler are avid collectors of anything vintage. They started their collecting as children and want to share what they have with others. Together they wanted to start a business that provides space to those who want to sell vintage goods. Kendra and Tyler also will sell their vintage collection.

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    Armed with great family recipes, Elva Harness had the idea of starting her own mobile food business. Her husband had owned his own business for a number of years in the local area before selling it. With his experience in business and her recipes and experience in cooking, they bought a trailer and researched the requirements to get a health permit.

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    Nicole has owned and operated a salon in Sterling City for several years. When she first met with Adviser Paul Howard of the Angelo State University • Small Business Development Center her dream was to own multiple salons in the area. As luck would have it, a salon in San Angelo was up for sale.

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    Jessica and Betsy moved to West Texas after being born and raised in a land far removed from these wide open spaces, New York. They came here to start a new life. Jessica is a trained chef and Betsy has worked in the restaurant business. An opportunity became available. A restaurant that is an icon in Robert Lee, Texas, Twisters was for sale. This was a dream come true for them. They met with Adviser Paul Howard of the Angelo State University • Small Business Development Center to discuss the purchase of this business. Paul suggested they get to work on a business plan and showed them how to
    do it. Jessica and Betsy met with almost every bank in San Angelo and none were willing to help them. They met with the bank in Robert Lee and they were granted a loan to purchase the business. Jessica says, “Paul helped with business plan and got us on the right track. He has kept in touch with us to make sure we were still OK in the whole process of the building, maintaining on our plan for our business.”

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    Entrepreneurs are dreamers. This statement was never truer than with Amanda Lyles. A native of San Angelo, MBA graduate of Texas Tech University and employee of the State of Texas, Amanda had a dream. She wanted to own and operate a Day Spa and had focused her energies on that goal.