Celebrating 15 years of success: i am ready swim, LLC

No matter what are the obstacles, never give up on your dream!

Every year, we honor the achievements of our clients and their contributions to the local economy at our annual Celebrating Success event. This year we will be celebrating our 15 year anniversary from when we were initially created to improve the technology digital divide in our community to now evolved to help business owners better understand how to run a successful business.  Leading to our big commemoration we have been interviewing a client to highlight their success story each week, 15 in total.

Miranda Melendez is owner of I AM READY SWIM, LLC . Her company offers safe aquatic fun in Austin. She teaches swim lessons for all ages, and provides lifeguards and gate guards for events and neighborhood pools. I Am Ready Swim, LLC plays a huge part in making sure the pools stay nice and enjoyable for all residents.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Miranda Melendez.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: My career has added value to my life by giving me time and freedom to do what I want. The best part is I am busting my butt day and night with the rewarding feeling its for my OWN business. I love that we have impacted so many lives with safe swimming and have prevented so many drowning incidents. We sponsor most of our HOA pools. We give back by throwing Splash bashes for the residents at our pools to give the neighborhood something free and fun to do at the pools with the kids. I also go to local elementary schools and teach about water safety to the kids for their gym classes.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: I have been working with EGBI for about 2 years now. EGBI has helped me in so many ways. They have taught me how to manage my books and actually understand what I am doing. They have believed in me and helped me when not too many people would due to my age. They have also helped me understand how to negotiate contracts with my business partners and expand my business.

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: I would like everyone to know that I am a strong believer in prayer and vision boards. I have watched my business grow from just me to 45 employees in 2 years. It has been so humbling to see my hard work finally start to show and I am grateful for every client and staff member I have come across.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: The accomplishment I am most proud of is making the newspaper for my senior project. I had recently lost my mom my senior of high school and decided to honor her by hosting a 5k walk for American Diabetes Association as my senior project for graduation. I ended being the first one to raise the most money for the foundation being a high school student in Texas.

Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself

A: I am also a hairdresser and I love doing hair and making people feel good about themselves. I grew up in a salon so its kind of ingrained in me. I run the swim business in the summer and do hair in the off season. I love to hustle and stay busy.

Miranda Melendez is the 13th of the 15 clients we have shared stories about each week leading up to our 15 year celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we serve. If you would like to further support these businesses, consider using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

Celebrating Success Luncheon is a few weeks away on September 6th, 2019. Be sure to reserve your spot as you will not want to miss! If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

Celebrating 15 years of success: Tamale Addiction

A pleasure to provide fresh, organic, local tamales!

Every year, we celebrate the achievements of our clients and their contribution to the local economy at our annual success celebration. This year, we will celebrate EGBI’s 15th anniversary of providing training, coahing, and support services to area businesses with the vision that all businesses be profitable, sustainable, and an asset to the community. Leading up to our big anniversary celebration, we have been interviewing clients every week to feature a total of 15 success stories.

Adrian Paredes and Mariana Paredes are the owners of TAMALE ADDICTION, making each tamale by hand using the highest-quality ingredients. They use 100% organic masa and 0% gluten, lard, trans-fat oils, food additives, or preservatives.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Adrian.

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: Tamale Addiction is a manufacturer of hand-made, artisanal, gourmet, organic-masa tamales. We sell our products in various distribution channels, Famer’s Markets around Austin, small retailers, and food trucks. We also sell in big events such as ACL Music Festival, SXSW, and Trail of Lights.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: This career has totally transformed us. We are totally committed to the business. Our customers have become our friends and the same happens with our suppliers and vendors. Our employees are more like a big family and we celebrate with them their big moments in life. We participate actively with our fundraiser program with schools and organizations sponsoring or sharing with them with a percentage of our sales. This has been of enormous impact for the organizations at the same time that we brand our company to make it more and more recognizable.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: We have been working with EGBI since 2011. EGBI helped us map a more understandable route to navigate all the different areas of entrepreneurship by connecting us with mentors and experts. Finally, we got a better picture of where we were standing when creating a business plan and acting accordingly, taking off hesitation when deciding and making business operations more easy to manage.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Our best accomplishment is to keep our business thriving, our challenges have never been how are we going to survive but how are we going to grow and that is such a difference.

Adrian Paredes and Mariana Paredes are the 12th of the 15 clients we will share stories about each week leading up to our 15 years celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we serve.  If you would like to further encourage these businesses, contemplate using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

Celebrating Success Luncheon is less than a month away, on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

Celebrating 15 years of success: dig one services

Specializing in roadway directional boring and trenching.

Every year, we celebrate the achievements of our clients and their contribution to the local economy at our annual Celebrating Success event. This year, we will celebrate the 15th anniversary of EGBI supporting area businesses to become profitable, sustainable, and an asset to the community through our training, coaching, and support services. Leading up to our big anniversary celebration, we have been interviewing clients every week to feature a total of 15 success stories.

Debra Chaparro is the owner of DIG ONE SERVICES, a minority woman-owned business located in Austin, Texas. the company specializes in roadway directional drilling for traffic control systems, traffic light, street lighting, cameras, and power systems. Dig One Services also handles utility trenching and boring for water, gas, sewer, and cable.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Debra.

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: Our construction business drills underground. We pay attention to completing customer’s work on time and on budget while always promoting safety.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: I have invested money on my business and work really hard with my husband. Also, the business we have been able to employ more people from the community.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: I took business workshop series at EGBI. I met Barbra to get a certification of Minority and Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program. EGBI helped me to fill out all the applications.

Q: What is your greatest wish?

A: I want to be recognized for what I do in the Austin area as a woman owned business. Also, my goal is to stand out and be different among the other companies doing similar service through my skills and quality.

Debra Chaparro is the 11th of the 15 clients we will share stories about each week leading up to our 15 years celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we assist.  If you would like to further encourage these businesses, contemplate using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

JOIN US! Celebrating Success Luncheon will be on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

Celebrating 15 years of success: 512 eye glasses

Serving you for all of your eye care needs.

Every year, we honor the achievements of our clients and their contributions to the local economy at our annual Celebrating Success event. This year we will be celebrating our 15 year anniversary from when we were initially created to improve the technology digital divide in our community to now evolved to help business owners better understand how to run a successful business. Leading to our big commemoration we will be interviewing a client each week, 15 in total . Last week we featured Julieta Hernandez and Jose Hernandez, owners of Brillante Services.  Read their story HERE.

Sara Langer is owner of 512 EYE, specializing in a wide variety of services to meet your eye health needs; including comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings and evaluations, and medical management for eye injuries and infections.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Sara Langer.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: Optometry is a great career as I spend my days helping people see better. I enjoy helping people, so this is very satisfying.  I have created new jobs in the community and also give back to local schools through sponsorships of athletic teams and other donations. I also enjoy attending local community events at nearby schools to get to know our neighbors.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: I have been working with EGBI since 2015. Opening a business can be overwhelming. EGBI helped me with accounting. Barbra Boeta was kind enough to meet with me one on one to teach me how to use Quickbooks accounting software. Everyone who works at EGBI is so helpful. It is a great support system.

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: We try really hard to make sure every patient has a good experience when they come in for an eye exam. We strive to provide exceptional customer service and treat each patient as if they were family. Appointments can be made by calling us at 512-596-5544. We are located on 11200 Manchaca Rd. Bldg 4, Ste 2 Austin, TX 78748 and are ready to assist in your eye care needs.

Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself/ secret talents.

A: I was a DJ at a local radio station in college. I also really like cats.

Sara Langer is the tenth of the 15 clients we will share stories about each week leading up to our 15 year celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we serve. If you would like to further encourage these businesses, consider using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS! Celebrating Success Luncheon will be on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

Celebrating 15 years of success: BRILLANTE SERVICES

Always improving to provide the best quality!

Celebrating success is our annual event where we celebrate the achievements of our clients and their impact on the local economy. This year will be a special year for us as we celebrate our 15th anniversary with our vision that all businesses should be profitable, sustainable and assets to the community. We have been interviewing a client each week to share their success stories, with a total of 15 businesses. Previously we featured Donie Torrance. To read her story click HERE.

Julieta Hernandez and Jose Hernandez are owners of Brillante Services. Their company handles post construction cleaning services, mowing maintenance, and empty lot mowing in preparation for future construction.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Julieta Hernandez and Jose Hernandez.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: We like to be a good influence on our Hispanic people. Love to spend as much time with family as possible and we like to share the importance of been present. We aim to be good role models for our kids.  We are also active members of our church. We take much pride that our kids have the freedom and finances to volunteer in community activities. We are able to provide for international ministries such as Xai Xai Mozambique and Italy as well as local schools by providing backpacks with school supplies and Thanksgiving meals.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: We have been working with EGBI for over a year. EGBI has been so helpful in many ways. They have helped us with accounting, finances, setting goals, upgrading, and using the latest technology for our accounting system. They have been so good at answering questions and even motivating us to keep growing!

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: We are committed to providing quality services for our clients as well as a healthy environment for our partners and contractors!

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Starting and growing this company together, of course, is a great accomplishment. I know many people have done it and they are very successful, but we had many fears at the beginning. Overcoming those fears is, in fact, the great accomplishment.

Julieta Hernandez and Jose Hernandez are the ninth of the 15 clients we have shared stories about each week leading up to our 15 year celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we serve. If you would like to further support these businesses, consider using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY! Celebrating Success Luncheon will be on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

Celebrating 15 years of success: Nails Naturally

Natural hand made products for healthier nails.

Celebrating Success is our annual event, we applaud our clients’ achievements and their impact on the local economy. This year will be incredibly special as we celebrate our 15 year anniversary as we continue in our vision that all businesses should be profitable, sustainable, and an asset to the community. Leading to our big commemoration we will be interviewing a client each week to share their success story, with a total of 15 clients. Previously we featured Nayeli Gallegos.

Donie Torrance is owner of Nails Naturally, a fume free salon that offers hand made products with wholesome, natural, and organic non-GMO ingredients.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Donie Torrance.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: I have an autoimmune disorder, and my products help people with similar pain have a healthier option for nail products. My business has also helped me gain income from the business and allowed me the opportunity to support family members with school fees and more.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: I have been working with EGBI since 2011. I graduated from the EGBI business class series. EGBI staff helped me create a business plan and seek out funding. They also assisted me with business skills such as bookkeeping.

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: I only use a natural preservative in my products that do not contain chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP. My product is less toxic and more environmentally friendly.

Q: What is your goal for 2019?

A: I have run my business for more than 20 years. I want to grow my business and improve my web site.

Donie Torrance is the eighth of the 15 clients we have shared stories about each week leading up to our 15 year celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we serve. If you would like to further encourage these businesses, think about using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY! Celebrating Success Luncheon will be on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

Celebrating 15 years of success: red carpet productions

Helping businesses create a strong brand.

Every year, we celebrate the achievements of our clients and their contribution to the local economy at our annual success celebration. This year we will be celebrating our 15 year anniversary from when we were initially created to improve the technology digital divide in our community to now evolved to help business owners better understand how to run a successful business.  Leading to our big commemoration, we will be interviewing a client to highlight their success story each week, 15 in total. If you missed last week, you can read about Brenda Carrera HERE.

Nayeli Gallegos is president of Red Carpet Productions, a brand management agency that provides promotional and marketing services to liquor companies wanting to launch new brands or reinforce their brand presence in a particular market.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Nayeli.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: I worked in the non-profit world for 12 years before starting my business, always working around entrepreneurship and the small business community, which is one of my passions. With my business now, I get to help other entrepreneurs that are launching their brands and products into a very competitive industry. We are also constantly creating jobs as we subcontract hundreds of people for our promotions services. Also, I try to stay involved with EGBI, because I truly believe that by helping other people start their businesses, we are helping families and the community at large. I also like to support initiatives that promote bilingualism in our kids.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: I have worked with EGBI even before I started my own business. I have seen the evolution of the organization from its inception and have benefited from its services since I started my company in 2013. EGBI helped me put theory into practice, they are very good at translating complex information into easy to digest modules that you can apply as needed when running a business. EGBI listens to me when I need help and provides valuable advice. We have also benefited from their virtual office services.

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: In my efforts to creating engagement and empowering the ladies who work with Red Carpet Productions, I recently started a community of Spirit HERoes by RCP, a community that recognizes its members as the company’s most important asset and highlights influential women in the spirits industry.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: I think my biggest accomplishment is an on-going effort, to set a good example for my daughters. To show them to be thankful to God for the talents you were given and to put them into good use. To set goals, have dreams, be confident, fearless & always work hard. To be loving and compassionate, to spend time with the ones you love and do the things that make you happy. I work on this every day, and I think they see it.

Q: If you could have any super power, what would it be?

A: If I had a superpower, I would like to be able to be in two places at the same time, so I could also be with my family in Mexico.

Nayeli Gallegos is the seventh of the 15 clients we will share stories about each week leading up to our 15 year celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we assist.  If you would like to further encourage these businesses, contemplate using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

SAVE THE DATE! Celebrating Success Luncheon will be on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

Celebrating 15 years of success: hair central

Providing the best service to look your best.

Celebrating success is our annual fundraiser and this year we will commemorate 15 years EGBI has helped local business owners become sustainable, profitable, and an asset to the community. Ahead of our big anniversary, we will have weekly interviews with customers to cover a total of 15 success stories. Previously we featured Sitotaw Degefaw.

Brenda Carrera is owner of Hair Central, which has a team of professional stylists dedicated to giving each client the time and attention they deserve while providing the services needed to look and feel their best.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Brenda Carrera.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: I always get inspired by my coworkers who are stylists in my hair salon. I give them the opportunity to grow and I can be a good leader by educating them.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: I have been working with EGBI since 2006. EGBI has specifically helped me make a business plan so that I could finish my paperwork needed for a bank.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: I have run my business with four professional stylists for more than 7 years. For my workers, this is not only a job, but also a career for themselves.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I read the book ‘Shine: Stepping into the Role You Were Made For’ which is about leadership and improving a manager to help coworkers. I want to be a great leader for my stylists.

Brenda Carrera is the sixth of the 15 clients we will share stories about each week leading up to our 15 year celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we serve. If you would like to further support these businesses, consider using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

JOIN US! Celebrating Success Luncheon will be on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

Celebrating 15 years of success: Selam International Mart & Café

Enjoy native Ethiopian culture while relaxing with friends.

Celebrating success is our annual event, and we celebrate the achievements of our clients and their impact on the local economy. This year will be a special year for us as we celebrate our 15th anniversary with our vision that all businesses should be profitable, sustainable and assets to the community. We have been with interviewing a client each week to share their success stories, with a total of 15 businesses. Previously we featured Spencer Costley. To read his story click HERE.

Sitotaw Degefaw is owner of Selam International Mart & Café, supplies fresh meat, serves delicious cuisine, Ethiopian spices, and more.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Sitotaw Degefaw.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: I can create the future by learning more about business. The business is sustainable for my partner, employers, and me. I take pride in providing East African products that usually people can’t find in Austin.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: I have been working with EGBI for 3 years. I took classes and graduated from one of EGBI’s business workshop series . EGBI helped with the planning of my business from the beginning. At first, it was not easy to open a slaughter house so I switched to the a market. I was able to get a place for a grocery store with a restaurant. EGBI helped me find a network and partnership with friends.

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: Selam International Mart & Café is a unique grocery store which has spices and food from East Africa. Also, they offer fresh meat and lamb.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: My store is still growing and continues to change. I had a big success when we worked together and gathered partners to cooperate.

Sitotaw Degefaw is the fifth of the 15 clients we we have shared stories about each week leading up to our 15 year celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we serve. If you would like to further support these businesses, consider using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

SAVE THE DATE! Celebrating Success Luncheon will be on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.

Celebrating 15 years of success: Smiley’s Junk Removal & Recycling

Recycling with a smile!

Every year, we celebrate the achievements of our clients and their contribution to the local economy at our annual success celebration. This year, we will celebrate the 15th anniversary of EGBI supporting local businesses so they may become profitability, sustainability and an asset the community through our training, coaching, and support services. Ahead of our big anniversary, we are having weekly interviews with 15 of our clients to share their success stories. If you missed last week’s story, you can read about Silvia Solorzano and Jason McClain HERE.

Spencer Costley is owner of Smiley’s Junk Removal & Recycling, a company that hauls off most junk, trash or unwanted items. His services are both residential and business locations.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Spencer.

Q: How has your career added value to your life? To the community around you?

A: Ever since starting Smiley’s, it feels like I’m living my purpose and making a difference in the world. I’m able to help others and the community by recycling and donating what we can to minimize the impact on local landfills.

Q: How long have you been working with EGBI and how have they helped you?

A: I have been working with EGBI since 2011. EGBI has helped me in numerous ways, from taking care of my bookkeeping, being a mentor, and having access to information to help my business succeed. The staff are always just a phone call away.

Q: What would you like everyone to know about you or your business?

A: I am proud of the fact that I do have a successful business and grateful for it. I do feel I am making a difference. What I do at Smiley’s helps residents and businesses with their junk or trash problem. I try to donate or recycle as much as we can before items ever go to the landfill.

Q: Tell us a fun fact about yourself

A:  I’m a workaholic and stay busy, but I’m creative and I like to smile a lot.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: In my down time I like reading comic books and creating art.

Spencer Costley is the fourth of the 15 clients, we have shared stories about leading up to our 15 year celebration. Please continue to follow us to read more about the businesses we assist.  If you would like to further support these businesses, think about using the products and services of our alumni. To do so, visit our CLIENT BUSINESS DIRECTORY.

SAVE THE DATE! Celebrating Success Luncheon will be on September 6th, 2019. If you are interested in attending, reserving a table, or sponsoring our annual event, please contact Monica Peña at monica@egbi.org and 512-928-2594 . More information about the event HERE.