SCORE Mentors School House LLC to Success
2011 SCORE Award - Outstanding Woman-Owned Small Business
Rachel Weeks was a graduate on a Fulbright Scholarship living and studying in Sri Lanka. She was studying socially responsible apparel manufacturing. She had an idea to produce fashion forward, college fashions, manufactured through ethical means in Sri Lanka. By ethical, it is meant, to pay a living wage. www.shopschoolhouse.com
Rachel made her first presentation in late 2008 to Duke University. Duke provided her with her first order that was the largest apparel order they had ever given one company. She then had to get production started back in Sri Lanka and schedule delivery for the Spring of 2009. While that order was in process, she bagan her tour of the other universities that were likely targets of her line. Since that first product in the Spring of 2009, Rachel has grown the business to over 102 universities, nationwide (and one in Canada), with a volume on target to do close to $2 million in 2011.
Jim Fields and Rachel Weeks first met via the internet in December 2007. They communicated via e-mail for many months while Rachel developed her business plan. They continued communication after she returned in the spring of 2008. As part of the plan they covered everything from marketing and manufacturing to financing. The projections for sales and expenses were the most time consuming part of the plan and she had to go to various sources to get funding.