Women Entrepreneurs

FoxTale Book Shoppe

Ellen Ward had run an ad agency for 18 years. Jackie Tanase had worked as a corporate paralegal. Karen Schwettman was a freelance interior designer. All three shared a lifelong passion for writing, books and independent bookstores.

See video
Ellen Ward, Jackie Tanase, Karen Schwettman
My Location
105 East Main Street, #138
Atlanta GA 30188
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

The trio thought back to the encounter with the fox near Denver and decided that “fox tale” would make a great name for their new bookstore. Since opening in June 2007, FoxTale Book Shoppe has been embraced by the community. The mayor of Woodstock declared opening day “FoxTale Book Shoppe Day.”

“It’s amazing how much the bookstore has helped bring about a sense of community,” Karen says. Jackie adds, “We greet our customers as they come in and try to make them feel welcome. We’ve made friends, and you know just what they need the more you get to know them.”

In addition to books, the store also sells greeting cards, knickknacks and writing tools. “Our customers can get things they can’t buy anywhere else,” Ellen says. “We’ve also been in just about every publication in the Atlanta area, including the Atlanta Journal, Atlanta magazine and the Fox 5 morning show.” They also reach out to job fairs and local schools, and even talked about being an entrepreneur with students at Woodstock Middle School.

When the final Harry Potter book was printed, they held a party in the gazebo across from their store and more than 100 people showed up. “When we opened the boxes at midnight, the people rushed in, bought their books, and rushed out,” Jackie says.

Ellen, Jackie and Karen are proud of their growing business. “An independent bookstore puts money back into the community and not back into a corporation,” Ellen says. “We support the community, and it instills a sense of ownership in our customers.”

The three continue to receive mentoring and advice from Atlanta SCORE and Hooper Wesley. “SCORE will shine helping people who wouldn’t go into business without a strong support base,” Karen says.

What's Great About My Mentor?

"SCORE mentor Hooper Wesley said, what a great idea, this could work. It really encouraged us. He was with us every step of the way. He even went to meetings with us at the bank. SCORE will shine helping people who wouldn’t go into business without a strong support base." says Karen Schwettman, co-owner, FoxTale Book Shoppe, Woodstock, GA.

Hooper formerly worked for the governor’s office and he has a lot of experience in financing and the government. Last year, Atlanta SCORE clients secured more than $1.5 million in SBA-backed loans. Hooper’s clients account for almost half that amount. “If he gets excited about a client, he goes to the nth degree,” says Atlanta SCORE Vice Chair.

“We told Hooper our idea and concept,” Karen says. “He said, what a great idea, this could work. It really encouraged us.” Hooper began working with them on their business plan. “He was with us every step of the way,” she adds. “He even went to meetings with us at the bank.”

How SCORE Helped

SCORE will shine helping people who wouldn’t go into business without a strong support base.

New-Age Preparatory Academy Finds Success With SCORE Mentor

Tanya and Chris Furlow had a passion to create a quality day-care center in their community.  This husband-and-wife team planned to combine their talents, Tanya bringing her experience in childcare and Chris his experience in building renovation.

In 2005, they came to SCORE seeking advice on how to develop a business plan for their day-care facility.  However, their plan required a substantial amount of money since they wanted to purchase a building on a spacious lot. Their primary counselor was Kisoon Park who introduced another SCORE counselor, John Costello, to help them with the financial section of the business plan.


Tanya and Chris Furlow
My Location
8938 S Cottage Grove Ave
Chicago IL 60619
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

Their loan application was approved later that year, which Tanya and Chris attribute to the strength of the business plan that SCORE helped them develop.  They believe that in-depth demographic research combined with detailed competitive analysis for each and every day-care center in their target market was a key to their success in obtaining the loan.

Building and facility renovation took almost two years to complete, and the New-Age Preparatory Academy opened its doors in late 2007. 

Tanya and Chris’s strong business plan, close teamwork and meticulous execution paid off.  New-Age has already opened a second location and total enrollment in their academy reached over eighty children by late 2010.

What's Great About My Mentor?

“SCORE counseling helped us in doing detailed market studies with emphasis on competitive analysis," say Tanya and Chris. "This enabled us to develop business strategies that separate us from the competition and, most importantly, helped us in securing the building loan.  Working with SCORE counselors over a period of time helped us in the successful implementation of our business plan.”

Women in Business: Growth is Up, But Sales are Down

The Fight Women Face in The Market

While women-owned businesses are growing in number, a new report from The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce found that their sales are shrinking at an alarming rate.

Leadership: As Technology Takes Over, Will Women and Men Become More Alike?

The Closing Technology Divide

There’s a ground-breaking change going on in society, says Sally Helgesen, author of The Female Vision: Women’s Real Power at Work. Interviewed on Bnet.com, Helgesen notes that today, for the first time in human history, men and women are using the same basic tools at work. In other words, we’re all using computers, mobile phones and the same software, giving us the same experience.

Growth: What’s Holding Your Business Back?

The Secret to Growing Past $1 Million

Nell Merlino headshotAre you trying to grow your business past the $1 million mark, but not getting results? You’re not the only one.

Syndicate content