After 16 years working as an optician, Kelley Dockter thought it was time to open her own eyewear shop. A supportive community in Bismarck, North Dakota helped her get started, but she turned to SCORE for help with her business plan. A former antiques shop in downtown Bismarck turned out to be the perfect spot to create a cozy, boutique-style shopping experience.
Dockter's company, Blink Eyewear, is a full-service optical shop selling frames, sunglasses, and reading glasses.
After completing her business plan, Dockter impressed a local banker who was able to help her obtain financing through an SBA loan.
"I knew a lot about glasses," Dockter says, "I didn't know about the business side of it." After a friend recommended SCORE, Dockter attended a startup workshop and teamed up with mentor Duane Sorby to work on her business plan. "It was the projections and numbers for my business plan I really strugged with," Dockter says, "And Duane, being an accountant, helped me tremendously."
"I would not be anywhere without them," Dockter says of Sorby and her local SCORE office. "They were absolutely wonderful. I can't tell enough people about their services."