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Client Success Saturday!

Yovette Drake, owner of Flirtatious Lingerie Boutique, first accessed the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) through a Business Plan Critique Clinic, a small group setting that provides expert advice and precise feedback along with practical strategies to develop your business plan in conjunction with the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which helps entrepreneurs start a new business or expand or improve an existing business.

With 25 years of executive level experience and after conducting months of research and development, Yovette thought she knew what it would take to begin this entrepreneurial journey. However, within 3 months of opening her business, she realized that she couldn’t sustain the business with just selling lingerie.  Shortly after realizing this, and that she couldn’t rely solely on foot traffic and word of mouth, she went back to the drawing board. The idea of expansion and building out space not being utilized was the key to unlocking an entire set of new goals and developing a new plan. Flirtatious Lingerie Boutique now offers Kiss Studios, a space that allows their customers the opportunity to take fitness and dance classes, plus host parties and events.

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While going through the process of finding methods to improve her business, Meg Herman, the Director of Entrepreneurial services at the WBDC helped Yovette see things from a different perspective. The experience with WBDC helped her validate some of the things she knew but it also lead to question ideas she thought she knew in a more practical method.

When it comes to balancing personal life and work, she says “There is no real balance – it’s all a juggling act in which I work 90 percent of the time and sleep only 10 percent of the remaining time.” If you’re not ready to make that type of commitment to the business, you won’t last.”

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Yovette is very excited about the direction her business is going, but as any entrepreneur thinks, she is already strategizing ways to grow her business with the WBDC and other business partners. That is why she developed a series of workshops and events that will serve to bring the next generation of women entrepreneurs together to help empower and improve their businesses. In the next five years, Yovette hopes to see her business profitable with a strong client base.

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Client Success Saturday!

Paula Rodriguez, owner of Paula Interiors, learned of the Small Business Center (SBDC) at the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) in November of 2013 through Starting a Business in Illinois, a workshop that explores the legal, licensing and general requirements of business ownership. At the time, Paula’s only objective was to see if her business idea was good enough to become reality. At an early age, Paula knew she wanted to be a designer but was uncertain as to what type of designer. When it was time to decide which path to follow, she asked herself what she wanted to accomplish in life. Paula knew that she wanted be able to create functional spaces and help people create a beautiful home and a space where family and friends can gather and create new memories. Through interior design, she is able to fulfill her creativity as well as express the passion that she has developed for structures and planning.

On August 2, 2014, Paula’s dream turned into a reality with opening her own design studio and retail space full of original pieces of art and sculptures along with a mix of vintage, antique and new furniture. She contributes her success to the help and support of the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the WBDC.

“They (WBDC) guided me in all steps and laid down a path of how to start. I went to the WBDC to be paired with someone who helped me create a great business plan.”Paula_Interiors_Client photo

Paula goes on to say, “The counselors gave me a lot of feedback, answered all my questions and pointed me in the right direction. They also helped me analyze my financial options.”

Paula’s goal is to continue to strive to create a style that reflects the uniqueness of a house and its owner(s) by creating a space where functionality meets innovation.

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