Women Entrepreneurs

SCORE Mentors The Secret Chocolatier to Success

Andy and Robin Ciordia and Bill and Karen Dietz started test marketing the sale of chocolate and orange chocolate truffles at farmer's markets with good success in 2008 and 2009. With the families expertise they quickly expanded into more product lines that were also tested at regional markets. Along with this success game growing pains.  And that's when the family looked to SCORE for assistance. http://www.thesecretchocolatier.com/

Owner/Founder
Andy & Robin Ciordia and Bill & Karen Dietz
My Location
Charlotte NC
United States
My Successes

After nearly three years developing a following for its artisan chocolate confections at local farmers markets and retailers, The Secret Chocolatier, secured financing of an expansion loan and opened its first retail chocolate shop at Providence Plaza in Charlotte, NC.

What's Great About My Mentor?

When Andy came to see Charlotte SCORE mentor Chuck Sawicki in April 2010, he produced a well thought out business plan. Chuck also included Andy in communications with other compatible service sectors of the area.  In addition, Charlotte SCORE Food Service Business Mentor and retired College Professor Allen Friedman reviewed the business plan and provided his expertise. He has also been invited to other functions in Charlotte to help network his growing business.
 

How SCORE Helped

Andy says, "You helped me project a longer 5 year frame than the one year plan I had. You also helped me consider longer term thoughts on taking our business to much larger levels than I had envisioned. I look forward to coming back to you one day and making those thoughts a reality."

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

Owner/Founder
Rachel Weeks
My Location
Durham NC
United States
Employees
6
Year Company Formed
2008
My Successes

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.

What's Great About My Mentor?

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.

A SCORE Success Story: Kangaring - LS Designs

Do you remember the days of having your cell phone plugged into the cigarette lighter in your car, but not knowing where to put your phone when you were not using it? Linda Anderson was one of many in the same situation, and would constantly lose track of her phone when in her car. When wanting to use the phone, she'd have to root around on the passenger side or when applying the brakes, the phone would come sliding out from under the seat and get in the way. Not exactly the safest driving strategies for anyone. After trying a variety of products, she knew there had to be a better way. And she not only found it, she invented it! www.kangaring.com

Owner/Founder
Linda Anderson
My Location
Phoenix AZ
United States
Employees
1
Year Company Formed
1996
My Successes

After facing the frustrating predicament of using her phone in the car, Linda dedicated herself to researching and developing a new cell phone storage solution that would come to revolutionize the industry -- and KangaRingTM was born.

Having received some mediocre feedback like, "it's a great idea, but we don't know if it will sell" from a few large companies, Linda took the challenge to prove it would sell, and decided to manufacture and market the KangaRingTM herself.  The first displays were created and assembled in her living room, featuring a large photo of the product in use and holding 24 units.  The very first customer was a local family-owned car wash, who sold two in the first two hours the display was on the shelf. After selling 17 units in the first month on display, KangaRingTM was off with a bang! In the first year, car dealerships and car washes became the focus markets and over 13,000 units were sold in the Phoenix area. Despite impressive sales numbers and positive customer feedback, Linda lacked the necessary subsidy to take the product to the next level, and KangaRingTM was put on hold for several years.

What's Great About My Mentor?

At a monthly Inventors Association of Arizona (IAA) meeting, Linda had the good fortune to meet a fellow inventor who helped her reconnect with the local SCORE office. The other inventor had successfully negotiated a licensing agreement with the assistance of SCORE mentor Chet Ross. Chet now assists Linda in providing her invaluable advice and guidance as she advances KangaRingTM.

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Social Media & Marketing Minute Videos by Square 2 Marketing

Date
Mon, 2011-05-16 20:51

Social Networking and Marketing

Biz Talk Radio

Date
Thu, 2011-05-05 12:21

Small Businesses, SCORE and The SCORE Foundation

Listen in as Josh Smith chats with Ken Yancey, President & CEO, SCORE and Mark Dobosz, Executive Director, The SCORE Foundation on the topic of small businesses. To listen to the show, go to www.biztalkwithjosh.com/radio.html, and select "#22. Biz Talk 05_05_11.mp3" in the Jukebox on the left hand side of the page.

Fast-Growing Small Businesses Led By Women

Date
Sun, 2011-05-01 10:10

Kiplinger, May 2011

Kiplinger lists SCORE as one of the helpful resources for women business owners in the Fast-Growing Small Businesses Led by Women slideshow. Read more.

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