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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.

Steps to moving forward with your business

By Joni Foster

The first step to starting a business

One of the first questions I ask a new client is, “When do you want to open your business? Tell me a date.”

I often get a blank look from my client. “I don’t know” is not acceptable. We sit together and come up with a date because setting the date makes things fall into place.

Once my client has said the date out loud, she often gets a look on her face of excitement and terror at the same time.  Excitement because it now sounds real. Terror because she doesn’t know how to make it happen. 

Once we make the goal, though, we can start making a plan. We quickly start making a list of what must be done before that date arrives. The list starts telling us other things like what she or he needs to buy and how much money she needs to get started. If we need to adjust the date, that’s okay. We just need to make a goal to get the process started.

Goals

Goals are aspirational destinations. Goals are not what you have to do. Goals are how you know when you have arrived. Goals tell you WHY you are doing what you are doing.

Plans are your best guess today on HOW you will get to your goal. There are many “almost right” ways to get there and almost never “the perfect way” to do it. There are a few “horribly wrong” ways to get there. Horribly wrong ways are often great stories at a party five years from now.

Goals tells you the destination for your journey, but the journey will only be fun if you stay flexible along the way. If this is your first time on this journey, there is so much to see and do along the way. Set up your journey so that you don’t have to be in a rush to get to your goal.

Fail fast, fail often, fail forward.  You can’t start something new knowing how to do it.

Your best advisor is someone who has done it before. They can tell you all their mistakes so you don’t have to make them, too.

It has to be okay to make mistakes. That’s how we learn and grow.

Research, plan and go!

My husband and I moved out to the country a few years back. It was a very strange environment for us having lived in the city most of our lives. But together we had dreamed of having our little plot of land and now here we were.  Pretty quickly, we realized we didn’t know how to do all the things that this new environment required. How do we build a chicken coop? How do we fix a leaky roof? How do we keep critters out of the house?

Ten years later, here’s my recommendation for tackling new things:

  • Research: Find local folk who know more than you do; and use the internet to ask questions
  • Plan: Lay out your plan including how much it’s going to cost.
  • Action: Just do it.

The last one has been the hardest for me, being a perfectionist. I don’t want to start something new until I know exactly how to do it. Thankfully, early on, my husband and I made a pact: we weren’t going to let “not knowing” stop us from “doing”. We gave ourselves permission to fail.

I have learned to just start with what I know, make a bunch of mistakes, and do it again. We look around our property today and feel very proud at all the improvements we have made. I can also tell you stories about what didn’t work, but we had to do it wrong many times before we got it right.

PASOS PARA SEGUIR ADELANTE CON TU NEGOCIO

Por Joni Foster

El primer paso para comenzar un negocio

Una de las primeras preguntas que le hago a un cliente nuevo es “¿Cuándo quieres abrir tu negocio? Dime una fecha”

Con frecuencia mi cliente me da una mirada incierta. El “No lo sé” es inaceptable. Nos sentamos juntos y decidimos una fecha; porque al establecer una fecha hace que las cosas caigan en su lugar.

Una vez que mi cliente ha dicho la fecha en voz alta, muy seguido su rostro se llena de emoción y terror todo al mismo tiempo. De emoción porque ahora suena real y de terror porque no sabe cómo hacerlo para que esto suceda.

Sin embargo, una vez puesto el objetivo podremos comenzar a hacer el plan. Inmediatamente hacemos una lista de lo que se tiene que hacer primero antes de que la fecha llegue. La lista comienza por decirnos que otras cosas necesita comprar y cuánto dinero necesita para comenzar. Si la fecha se tiene que cambiar, está bien. Solo necesitamos tener un objetivo para iniciar con el proceso.

Metas

Las metas son destinos anhelados. Las metas no son lo que tienes que hacer. Las metas son para hacerte saber cuándo ya has llegado. Las metas te dicen POR QUÉ estás haciendo lo que estás haciendo.

Los planes de hoy son el mejor acierto de COMO alcanzaras tu meta. Existen muchas formas “casi perfectas” para llegar a ella y casi nunca existe la “forma perfecta” para lograrlo. Existen formas “horriblemente malas” para llegar a ella. Las formas horriblemente malas a menudo son las mejores historias para una fiesta dentro de cinco años.

Las metas te dicen el destino de tu viaje, pero el viaje solo será divertido si te mantienes flexible durante el recorrido. Si esta es tu primera vez en este viaje, hay muchas cosas que ver y hacer durante todo el camino. Así que para que no andes con prisa por alcanzar tu meta, prepara tu viaje.

Cae rápido, cae seguido y cae hacia adelante. No puedes comenzar algo nuevo sabiendo cómo hacerlo.

El mejor asesor seria alguien que lo ha hecho anteriormente. Ya que puede contarte todos sus errores para que tú no tengas que cometerlos también.

Tiene que estar bien el cometer errores. Así es como aprendemos y crecemos.

Investiga, Planifica y Marcha

Hace algunos años, mi esposo y yo nos mudamos al campo. Para nosotros fue un ambiente muy extraño ya que la mayor parte de nuestra vida la vivimos en la ciudad. Pero Juntos teníamos un sueño, de tener nuestra pequeña parcela y ahora aquí estábamos. Muy pronto nos dimos cuenta de que no sabíamos como hacer todas las cosas que este nuevo ambiente requería. ¿Cómo construimos un gallinero? ¿Cómo arreglamos un techo con goteras? ¿Cómo mantenemos a los bichos fuera de la casa?

Diez años después, está es mi recomendación para enfrentar cosas nuevas:

  • Investigación: Encuentra gente de la localidad que sepa más que tú; y utiliza el internet para preguntar.
  • Planeación: Haz un plan, incluyendo cuánto te va a costar.
  • Acción: Sólo hazlo.

Por ser perfeccionista, el último punto ha sido el más difícil para mí. Ya que no quiero comenzar algo si no sé exactamente cómo hacerlo. Afortunadamente, mi esposo y yo desde un principio hicimos un pacto: No íbamos a permitir que el “no saber” no nos permitiera “hacerlo”. Nos dimos permiso para fracasar.

He aprendido a empezar con lo que sé, cometer muchos errores y hacerlo de nuevo. Ahora vemos alrededor de nuestra propiedad y nos sentimos muy orgullosos de todas las mejoras que le hemos hecho. También te puedo hablar de las historias de lo que no funcionó, pero muchas veces tuvimos que hacerlo mal antes de lograr hacerlo bien.

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.