SCORE Mentors Revelle Academy to Success
Growing up in Norway, Evelyn Squires had a passion for ballet from an early age. Upon settling in Sarasota, Florida she founded Revelle Academy to bring dance to the next generation. The academy has a strong underpinning of ballet but has responded to market demands by offering tap, jazz, flamenco, modern, lyrical and hip-hop dance instruction. Evelyn says, “Our goal is to teach our students to work together, to believe in themselves, to appreciate the arts and music and to take a chance. The training they get here, they can use for the rest of their lives.”
Two years into the business, Revelle has 10 part-time employees in an 8,200 square foot facility catering to 175 students.
SCORE mentor Charlie Sax commented on Revelle’s success saying, “In a very bad economy, they grew their business dramatically. She has a real passion for what she is doing.”
In 2009, Revelle Academy was named Manasota SCORE Small Business of the Year. The business was recently chosen by Sam’s Club Holiday Cheer for Small Business program to receive a $1,000 gift card and funding to attend a 2-day SCORE “High Speed Growth Seminar” in Dallas, TX. The award was given in recognition of the business’s growth and Evelyn’s commitment to ongoing learning.
Evelyn’s mother-in-law, Heather, encouraged her to contact SCORE to fill in the gaps of her business knowledge. SCORE mentors Charles Sax and Richard Radt taught Evelyn how to develop a business plan and then reviewed the plan with her. The two mentors also brought in a banking specialist to advise on obtaining a loan. When presented with an offer to buy out a competitor, her SCORE mentors helped Evelyn evaluate the possibility.
“They made me think about a lot of things I hadn’t thought of before, how to develop a mission statement, where was my money coming from,” she said. “I would have made a lot more mistakes if they (SCORE) hadn’t helped.”