Client Conversation with Method Hair

Centrally located in the vibrant Saltillo Lofts, Method.Hair has assembled a team of some of Austin’s most eclectic, seasoned stylists in an effort to offer every client a fashion-forward and high quality experience. Known for its award-winning team of cut and color specialists, Method.Hair has become one of the most sought-after salons since its inception in July of 2006.

We were proud to have a conversation with Sarah Statham of Method.Hair about their entrepreneur journey, challenges during COVID-19, how EGBI has assisted them through coaching, and how she has beenfited from EGBI’s bookkeeping services. We were joined by Christopher Rios of Texas Capital Bank. With the help of Texas Capital Bank, we were able to start our bookkeeping services.

Interview with Sarah Statham of Method.Hair below.

Royal Arms Cleaning, LLC

Client Conversation with Royal Arms Cleaning, LLC

Royal Arms Cleaning services specializes in cleaning commercial spaces for various industries, including, but not limited to offices, schools, retail, medical, industrial/manufacturing, restaurants, dealerships, religious facilities, event venues, etc. The company offers full cleaning services in the general night clean: vacuum, sweep and mop, garbage/recycling removal, kitchen/breakroom, restroom, etc. Additional services provided: day porter, deep clean; make-ready (move in/move out) service, post-construction clean up, window cleaning, carpet cleaning, water extraction, floor maintenance (strip and wax, machine scrub and recoat, and spray buff), power washing, and disinfecting (fogger). They use hospital grade disinfectant products that help to eliminate viruses, germs, and more.

We were proud to have a conversation  with Anne Hardin, coowner of Royal Arms Cleaning, LLC about their entrepreneur journey, challenges during COVID-19, how EGBI has assisted them through coaching, and much more. We were also joined with our supporter Cristina Valdés, local realtor with Realty Austin.

Interview with Anne Hardin below.

Lucero photography

Client Conversation with Lucero Photography

Lucero was born and raise in North Mexico and now happily living and raising my little family in Austin, Texas. She created Lucero Photography due to her passion of digital photography. She does professional headshots, family photos, and product photography.

We were proud to have a conversation with Lucero Valle-Archuleta about her entrepreneur journey, challenges during COVID-19, how she has pivoted her business, how EGBI has assisted her through coaching, and more.  We were joined by Allison Lujan with Moody Bank as moderator. Thank you ladies for the great conversation.

Interview with Lucero Valle-Archuleta of Lucero Photography below.

Client Conversation with Maria’s Taco Xpress

Maria’s Taco Xpress is a must-visit Austin icon. It’s been called eclectic and eccentric, and truly captures the best of Austin and what helps Keep Austin Weird. Deemed “South Austin’s Taco Queen” by the Austin Chronicle, owner Maria Corbalan has been satisfying taco lovers all over Austin for the past 23 years. You can often find Maria at the Taco Xpress giving out hugs, laughing, and greeting everyone warmly.

We were proud to have a conversation with Maria Corbalan about her entrepreneur journey, challenges during COVID-19, how EGBI has assisted her through coaching & bookkeeping servicces, and the delicious food served at her location.  We were joined by our community supporter Felicai Peña, Public Affairs Manager with H-E-B.

Interview with Maria Corbalan of Maria’s taco Express below.

Alegria Catering and Fiestas

Client conversation with Alegría Catering & Fiestas

Alegria Catering & Fiestas is a company that offers a highly professional catering service in the planning, organization and preparation of corporate, social and family events. They distinguish themselves because each of their products and services are carried out with extreme dedication and professionalism. Lourdes Kaman says their goal is for you to obtain a culinary experience, in every way with an exquisite gastronomic tasting of different dishes, drinks, desserts, cafeteria and an impeccable catering service where she highlights the decoration, design and good taste, which will make it unforgettable in any event you do. The company has a great relationship with the Sustainable Food Center and local farmers so that they provide fresh food made of local and organic ingredients.

We were proud to have a conversation with Lourdes, owner of Alegria Catering & Fiestas about her entrepreneur journey, challenges during COVID-19, how EGBI has assisted during the crisis, and the delicious food they serve.  Alegria Catering & Fiestas will be the provider of the Homemade Potato Salad (potato, celery, bell peppers, peas, scallions, spices) and Mexican Street Corn off the cob (Queso Fresco, goat cheese, sour cream, lime juice and spices) for our annual fundraiser, Celebrating Success. All are invited to join us on September 9th, 2020 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM for our virtual fundraiser.

Interview with Lourdes of Alegria Catering & Fiestas is below.

It's Cleaning TIme

Client Conversation with It’s Cleaning Time

It’s Cleaning Time owners believe in environment safe house cleaning, actively research the best products, and can discuss options on using them in your home.

We were proud to have a conversation with owners, Eloisa and Mario Alvarez, of It’s Cleaning Time about their entrepreneur journey, challenges during COVID-19, and how EGBI has assisted them through various stages of their business. EGBI board member, supporter and local business owner Alejandra de la Torre – State Farm Agent was moderator of the conversation. Eloisa and Mario spoke about all the support they received from EGBI through COVID-19 crisis including weekly group meetings and business coaching.

Interview with Eloisa and Mario of It’s Cleaning Time below.

I want to start my own business, but I don’t know everything.

By Leonardo Pozzobon

f you ask entrepreneurs why they started their businesses, motives spread all over the place, from following passion and wanting to turn a hobby into a business; being personally unable to hold an office job and needing to be its own boss; all the way to just “I saw an opportunity”, “I saw a market”, “I saw room for improvement”. After this, conversations often go into the “I wish I knew” topic, and that’s where pain starts talking by itself. You will hear stories about sleepless nights trying to solve operational problems and lost business opportunities due to lack of experience or not knowing where to find an answer. Thus, it always helps to have resources to learn from and reach out to in times of trouble.

The learning chance that helps one become a better business owner often comes as a result of a previously failed business. When the business owner is busy putting out fires day and night, it is only after failure that one will take the time to do a postmortem and understand what went wrong. Thus, it is important to stay on your feet, listen to your business, and make timely changes if/when needed.

A quick google search will get you to hundreds of “10 things I wish I knew before starting a business”, “7 things to know before opening your business”, “5 things I learned from running a business” and similar results. Of course this experience will be very different for people running different businesses and with different lifestyles, but here is a list of selected quotes I found quite relevant for most entrepreneurs:

  • Running the business takes 24/7

The biggest difference between a 9-to-5 job and being a business owner is the total lack of a fixed schedule. There is always the possibility for your client to have an issue with your product at an inconvenient time, or a supplier to have trouble in the middle of the night. Consider these possibilities, have contingency plans to address your customer’s needs, and organize responsibilities among your employees to ensure resiliency.

  • Optimize, outsource and automate everything you can

We at EGBI take our time to explain “The Four Roles An Entrepreneur Must Take” (Product Manager, Organizer and Manager, Marketer and Salesperson, Financier), and we emphasize that the entrepreneur must focus on the roles he is best at. Start by wearing many hats, but as soon as you have some traction, consider the best use of your scarce time will rely on dedicating your full attention to what you’re best at and outsourcing or hiring for other activities.

  • A part-time gig gives peace of mind

Once you give up a regular full time job in place of a business, you will be subject to the whims of seasonality and economic ups and downs. You can plan for these risks either by building a strong savings lung, or having a part-time gig to supplement the varying income from the business. This resiliency will give you peace of mind.

  • At the beginning everyone is excited and ready to help. When help is needed, it’s hard to come by.

People want you to succeed, and as soon as you start will get excited for your success. However, not everyone is willing or available to help you when you’re in such need for help. What should you do? Find access to reliable resources to help you through the hard times, find mentors, find a business coach.

With all this in mind, you should now know that you will face unexpected challenges, and learn from every opportunity you have. These common challenges I mentioned are not the end of the world, and do not mean that running a business is impossible. Challenges and obstacles are there for you to improve yourself and your business, and once you get to such a point in your entrepreneurial adventure, you will be more than welcome at EGBI for training, coaching and support.

Shirts Write Men Business Help Discussion Two


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: 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.