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.

Celebrating 15 years of success: mcclain metalworks

The Metal Wizard turns talent into a growing business.

Celebrating Success is our annual event, we applaud our clients’ achievements and their impact to the local economy. This year will be extra 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 Christina Paz and Raymond Walker.

Silvia Solorzano and Jason McClain are owners of McClain Metal Works, a Sheet Metal Fabrication Shop that makes all types of metal objects from architectural products for interior designers and home builders to art objects for collectors.

Below is a Question & Answer we recently had with Silvia and Jason.

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

A: Silvia studied Hotel and Tourism Management in the Food Industry, as well as in the Hostelry Business. Companies work hard to maximize space. We provide these companies functionality, durability, and beauty with the products we fabricate for them.

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

A: We have worked with EGBI since 2012. EGBI provided me the information I needed to start our business. We thank EGBI for the coaching and help to connect us with professional experts specialized in helping small business.

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

A: Our business is a husband and wife team. I (Silvia) became a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and an entrepreneur all at the same time.

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

A: When I am not at the shop, I devote my self to my family. When I am not with my family and friends, I try to go hiking and at night I like to see the sky through my telescope.

Silvia Solorzano and Jason McClain are the third 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 help 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: Original Walkers Barbershop

Grooming the old way with a modern twist.

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 helping area businesses become profitable, sustainable, and an asset to the community through our training, coaching, and support services. Leading up to our big anniversary celebration, we will interview clients every week to feature a total of 15 success stories. If you missed last week, you can read about Christina Paz HERE.

Raymond Walker is owner of Original Walkers Barbershop, offering great haircuts and customer service to their clients. Visitors to the shop come in and relax from the hassle of life and get well groomed by a professional barber.

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

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

A: I can spend more time and work for my family. I provide a place to be comfortable at the barbershop with good service for our community.

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

A: I have been working with EGBI since last October. I went to business school and had overall knowledge about starting a business, but I didn’t know how to open my own business. I wanted to reinforce my knowledge with EGBI. I took a class at EGBI to learn how to run my barbershop. I have worked with Anwuli, EGBI’s Accounting Specialist, on setting up QuickBooks for my business.

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

A: I have had my own business since 2016. I invite not only men, but also women and children to my barbershop and provide good/friendly service. The place is created to be a pleasure for everyone.

Q: What is your greatest wish?

A: I want to continue to grow my business. I have another goal to open a barber school to educate other barbers to provide quality, friendly service.

Raymond Walker is the second 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: Siller preferred services

Creating opportunity through jobs.

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 to highlight their success story each week, 15 in total .

Christina Paz is owner of Siller Preferred Services, an employment agency that specializes in the hospitality and warehouse industry.  Her company works closely with their clients to help them secure and maintain jobs that will allow their workers to grow their financial freedom.

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

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

A: I have more freedom, independence, and can support my family. Also, I take pride knowing my business helps workers support their family.

Q: What are struggles you have overcome?

A: Originally I had a partner.  Now I have my business alone without my old business partner. It was hard to start, but now running my business is better.

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

A: I have been working with EGBI for 5 years. I took a class in which Barbra Boeta was an instructor, as a Program Coordinator (now Executive Director).  EGBI helped me successfully establish my business. They gave me a huge help and much support as far as business coaching and we office out of their incubation space. EGBI is always available when I need them. I highly recommend EGBI to others.

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

A: I approach every client with customized advice to fit their situation and I pride myself on treating each client individually. Additionally, I greatly value my employees and create a family environment for the business.

Christina Paz is the first 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.

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.

Never too late to learn to swim

By Hye June Park

As summer approaches, water activities in Austin are very popular. Before enjoying in on the summer fun, you should learn to swim and take into consideration if the places you are visiting have a lifeguard for extra safety.

Seeing the need in these areas, Miranda Melendez, the owner of I AM Ready Swim, offers pool monitors, lifeguards, and teaches swim lessons. Her ideal customers are people or organizations in need of these aquatic services.

She has tips to handle clients who are afraid of water. “We try and get on our client’s level such as holding their hands and going underwater together, or doing minimal things that they are comfortable with until we can achieve the next level,” she continued. Her favorite moment was when she had taught a 68-year-old woman how to swim after being so scared of the water after a traumatic experience. It was on her bucket list before she died to learn how to swim. “Now when I go to the pool I see her swimming laps with her grandson and it brings me so much joy. I love that there is no age limit on a person learning how to swim.”

Although she knew about the aquatic business, she was limited on how to get started. Her lawyer referred her to Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) and everyone there pitched in to help her. “I learned how to build a new business module, budgeting skills and how to run my books. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without these guys.”

One day she would like to open her own indoor pool facility. Her goals for this business is to reach as many lives as possible by teaching water safety, and prevent as many drownings as she can. As long as she can change clients’ perspective of the water and make them less afraid of it, her job is done.  For more information about I Am Ready Swim, visit www.iamreadyswim.com.

I am ready swim

Nunca es Tarde para Aprender a Nadar

Por: Hye June Park

Conforme el verano se acerca, las actividades acuáticas en Austin se vuelven muy populares. Antes de disfrutar lo divertido del verano debes aprender a nadar y para mayor seguridad tener en cuenta que los lugares que visitarás tienen un salvavidas.

Al ver la necesidad en estas áreas, Miranda Melendez, dueña de I Am Ready Swim, ofrece monitores para piscinas, salvavidas y da lecciones de natación. Sus clientes ideales son personas u organizaciones que necesitan de estos servicios acuáticos.

Ella tiene consejos de cómo manejar a clientes que le tienen miedo al agua. Nosotros tratamos de estar al nivel del cliente así como: sostenerlos de la mano y sumergirse en el agua con ellos o hacer lo más mínimo con lo cual ellos se sientan cómodos hasta que logremos alcanzar el siguiente nivel”. Ella continuó.

Su momento favorito fue cuando ella le enseñó a nadar a una mujer de 68 años de edad a quien debido a una experiencia traumática le tenía mucho miedo al agua . Aprender a nadar era algo que estaba en su lista de deseos antes de morir. “Ahora que voy a la piscina y la veo nadando con su nieto me da mucha alegría. Me encanta que no hay una edad límite para que una persona aprenda a nadar”.

Pero a pesar de que ella sabía sobre el negocio acuatico ella estaba limitaba de cómo empezar. Su abogado la recomendó a EGBI (Economic Growth Business Incubator)  y ahí todos le ayudaron. “Aprendí cómo construir un nuevo módulo de negocios, aprendí habilidades de presupuesto y cómo administrar mis libros de contabilidad. Definitivamente no estaría donde estoy ahora sin estos chicos”

Algun dia le gustaría abrir sus propias instalaciones con piscina. Su objetivo de negocios es poder llegar a la mayor cantidad de vidas posibles enseñando sobre la seguridad del agua y prevenir tantos ahogamientos como sea posible. Mientras ella pueda cambiar la perspectiva de los clientes sobre el agua y hacerlos menos temerosos de esta, su trabajo está hecho. para mas informacion sobre I Am Ready Swim, Visita www.iamreadyswim.com