Women Entrepreneurs

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Metropolitan Interiors

Metropolitan Interiors

Growing Business Creates Possibilities

Minneapolis, MN – Julie Ann Segal lives her philosophy. “I believe that each person has the capacity to create a living or working environment that reflects their spirit and enhances health and wellbeing,” she says. Segal has built a successful business on her passion for design. She combines interior design and Feng Shui to help her clients achieve harmonious inviting spaces that are an expression of their own style.

Her company, Metropolitan Interiors, is based in a charming Victorian home on Loring Park in Minneapolis. The space not only works in a practical sense, but also is used as a showcase of products and crafts that highlight artists, cabinet builders, furniture manufacturers, and building materials. The house brims with an inviting array of colors and textures, as well as Segal’s positive energy.

Segal has been working as a professional designer for 20 years. In 2003, she became a state certified Feng Shui practitioner. Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of placing objects with intention, into a space or environment to create harmony and balance within one’s life. “Feng Shui enables me to combine my strong interior design skills with my spiritual side to help my clients create not only a beautiful interior, but fulfill their highest goals and ambitions,” Segal said.

Metropolitan Interiors doubled its sales from 2005 to 2006. Segal intends to double her sales again in 2007. With solid design skills and ability to create positive energy flow, Segal is on course to make this dream a reality.

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Julie Ann Segal
My Location
721 Second Ave. N., Suite 3
Minneapolis MN 55405
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

Julie Ann Segal's deep love of all things aesthetic and the desire to create spaces that not only look good, but feel good, was the foundation for starting her business in 1992.

Her Mission: Combining Interior Design and Feng Shui principles to help my clients achieve harmonious inviting spaces that are an expression of their own unique style.

What's Great About My Mentor?

She started Metropolitan Interiors in 1992. In 2005, Segal was ready to move to the new space on Loring Park. She contacted the Minneapolis chapter of SCORE for advice. The counselors at SCORE helped her plan her office move, complete a business plan and answer accounting questions.

As a resource partner with the SBA, SCORE provides information vital to small business success. This includes counseling on financing options, business planning, marketing strategies, product development and more. Individual members and counseling teams with diverse business knowledge and experience provide one-on-one, confidential business counseling at no cost to the business owner.


Julie Ann  is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a BFA specializing in Interior Design.  She has been working as a professional designer since 1987 and start Metropolitan Interiors in 1992.  In 2003 she became a certified Feng Shui Practicioner upon completion of the Carole Hyder's state-sanctioned Feng Shui Program.


“I had no experience in the industry, had been a stay-at-home mom for the last eight years, and it was the middle of the worst recession in decades.”

Check out our website:  http://nuthinbutgoodtimes.com/

Lisa Campbell
My Location
Merrimack NH
United States
My Successes

She was laughed at by business counselors, She was laughed at by business counselors, challenged by the economy and shunned by banks, but Lisa Campbell’s perseverance won out. Her idea for an elaborate playground for kids, complete with speed slide, snack bar, oversized seating for parents, free WiFi, party rooms, climbing ropes and apparatus, elephant grass and tiki huts, has been an overwhelming success.

Click here to read what the Union Leader about her business.

School House LLC Receives National Recognition as Outstanding Woman-Owned Small Business from SCORE Foundation sponsored by Constant Contact

Mon, 2011-09-12 16:24


School House LLC Receives National Recognition as Outstanding Woman-Owned Small Business from SCORE Foundation sponsored by Constant Contact

AMEX Open Make Mine a Million $ Business Event in Philadelphia Sept. 25 &26

Thu, 2011-09-08 11:45


Through our partnership with American Express OPEN, the American Express division of Cards and services devoted exclusively to small business owners, we are pleased to invite you to the latest evolution of the groundbreaking Make Mine a Million $ Business (M3) Program.

SCORE Awards Spotlight Outstanding Small Businesses

Wed, 2011-09-07 15:40


SCORE Awards Spotlight Outstanding Small Businesses

Entrepreneurs and Supporters Honored at September Event


Premier Dance Academy


To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.
~Hopi Indian Saying

Preparation, practice, skill.  These factors are as important in business as they are in the arts.  For Tracy Slovick, the discipline and rigor she honed as a dancer and dance instructor served her well as she began her journey as the owner and creator of Premier Dance Academy in Warrendale, Marshall Township.

Dance is her passion.  Slovick, 35, received her BA from Point Park University in Dance in 1998 and had been an instructor with the Laura Lynn School of Dance for the past 13 years.  The dream of opening up her own studio has been with her since she began dancing as a child.  Building her own studio will allow her to give “joy to my own students”.

With little business experience, she reached out to those around her for advice.  “My uncle started 3 businesses and my father owns his own construction company.  When I decided that it was time to do it (open the studio), I asked them for advice.  My uncle told me the first thing I needed was a business plan.”  He also recommended that Tracy look into the assistance that SCORE would be able to provide to her to help develop her business concept. 

Tracy developed a basic business plan after researching books on dance studios and how to write a business plan.  She became even more enthused about embarking on the path to entrepreneurship after attending a SCORE workshop in October of 2010.  “They had all of these resources available, bankers, attorneys, other business people, templates” to help her further refine her concept and all of the details that go into launching a business. 

After the initial SCORE workshop, she had questions on the appropriate legal structure, business registration requirements and the development of a business plan.  She applied in January and was matched in March with counselor Bob Grant.

 “Bob is a wonderful counselor”, says Tracy.  “He is patient and exceptionally responsive.  There was a period when we were refining the details of the business plan when we were on the phone daily, sometimes multiple times a day.  Bob was a great help in keeping me motivated, especially during those times when I was frustrated with the progress.”

Grant, whose background is in banking, focused a lot of his coaching on developing the financial projections and pro forma for the business.    His diligent assistance helped Tracy further refine her business plan and receive approval for funding the construction, first year’s expenses and pay herself a salary.  Prior to the loan approval, Tracy was leveraging personal savings and credit cards to get the studio to this point.  Her bank, First Commonwealth, was so impressed with the quality and substance of her Business Plan that they approved her loan in four days.

Bob Grant commented that in the current economic climate, it is extremely difficult to get funding, especially for a start-up.  “The fact that Tracy was able to secure a loan as a first time business owner is a real testament to her hard work and desire to achieve.”  He feels she has a good chance for success because she is dedicated, has a strong background, experience and training, a personal desire to succeed, and a strong support structure.

As invaluable as Bob has been to Tracy, there are others who she also touts for her success at this stage.  Her mother is helping with all of the details of setting up the back office side of the business equation, from assisting with identifying and selecting the software applications to helping select a credit card processing service.  Her brother and other friends are helping with the physical build out of the three studio rooms, from installing the dance barres to the sound equipment for the music to motivate and inspire her students. 

The studio, located in the lower level of a converted elementary school that also houses a daycare center, is well situated to attract her target market of 3-18 year olds.  She plans to offer classes in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, pointe, lyrical and hip hop.  Recitals as well as competition dance will showcase the talents of the students’ technique.  Thinking beyond the traditional offerings of most dance studios, Tracy is also investigating opportunities to team with others who offer complimentary instruction, such as yoga, Pilates and cheerleading , to optimize the use of the facility.

After her first open house in August, 2011, Tracy has signed up 30 students and is well on the way to her goal of 70 – 100 for the first year of operation.  When asked what advice she may have for others who want to start a business, she said, “Go to a SCORE seminar and just listen.  Absorb as much as you can from the professionals that are there to help you.  Write a business plan and be willing to continue to review and refine it.” 

With her targeted approach to her business and her resounding passion for dance, Tracy is well positioned for success.

Tracy Slovick
My Location
350 Northgate Drive
Warrendale PA 15086
United States
Year Company Formed

YouthBuild Louisville

2011 SCORE Award - Outstanding Non-Profit Organization

With the future of at-risk youth hanging in the balance, YouthBuild-Louisvilie has been there providing a lifeline since 2001. The population addressed by YBL is largely High School dropouts…ages 16-24. . . .many of whom are part of the juvenile justice process and possess little education beyond  6th grade math and reading levels. Caring for their Louisville community and refusing to simply stand-by as young lives were deteriorating, Lynn Rippy and her co-founders mobilized into action.

YouthBuild Louisville provides meaningful purpose to students who split their time between a construction site - building affordable housing for homeless and low-income families; and the classroom - where over 85% earn their GED or high school diploma. YBL’s impact over the last three years has changed the face of the Louisville community. During this time, 7 new houses have been built,  9 homes were rehabilitated, an historic church renovated, 3 miles of trails in local forests were redeveloped, and they have maintained hundreds of trees throughout the community.

YouthBuild Louisville’s impact is recognized through opportunity, training, resources, vision, and evidenced by former students who are now aspiring business owners being mentored by SCORE. 




Lynn Rippy
My Location
United States
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