Acción Texas Inc. – Louisiana Borrower Profiles

SCF’s $45, 000 ACCIÓN Texas Inc. investment is targeting its Louisiana lending footprint to go only to small business owners that are low-income individuals in the cities of New Orleans, Alexandria and Shreveport as these are cities where National New Markets Fund has been very active and made investments. Thus this investment achieves  the goal of leveraging the initial NMTC investments made by NNMF in order to create additional  community benefits through SCF investments.

 

 


 

 

ROXIE RACHELLE SIBLEY
RRS Holdings Group
New Orleans, LA
Loan Amt: $9,081.30
Loan closed: March 2012

 

In August, Roxie began her franchise with RRS Holding Group and opened her New Orleans home-based business, Candy Bouquet, which provides customers with custom-designed bouquets of candy. Since then, Roxie enrolled in college to learn better ways to market her business.

 

Roxie still works part-time in a retail store and hopes to leave as her business develops. She chose the bouquet business because it is economical to begin and easy to result positively, she said.

 

At the moment, she employees one assistant but plans to hire three to five more employees in the near future.

 

Prior to requesting an ACCIÓN Texas Inc. loan, Roxie visited her local bank but was denied funding. She later found out about ACCIÓN through a socio-economic development program.

 

Roxie used the loan money for training classes, travel expenses and to purchase the candy bouquet starter kit. “The difference is these candies are made … out of Arkansas,” Roxie said. “And the chocolate is extra whipped. As far as baskets, they are custom-made and the stems are made by hand. It’s not like a wooden stick into Styrofoam,” she added.

 

Through the loan, Roxie plans to advertise on the Candy Bouquet website, at www.candybouquet.com.

 

Without the assistance of ACCIÓN, Roxie said, “I probably wouldn’t be able to purchase the franchise.”

 

 

PHILLYS JOY EDWARDS
PJE Multimedia
Shreveport
Loan Amt: $1,845
Loan closed: April 2012

 

When Phyllis was in 9th grade, she enrolled in an elective photography class, which was the gateway to her passion for photography and design. Since then, Phyllis has been photographing for 15 years. “I decided to take that hobby and turn it into a career,” she said.

 

Phyllis, 45 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, returned to school to complete her degree in computers and graphic design. In January, she opened PJE Multimedia in Shreveport.

 

While in college, Phyllis obtained two internships: one in marketing and another working on computers. But she found her passion off the clock. “I would get off work and take time to photograph,” she said.  Phyllis received compliments for her camera skills, leading her to wonder: “Maybe someone is willing to pay me for this.”

 

After attending a U.S. Small Business Administration workshop at Louisiana State University, Phyllis inquired about a loan from ACCIÓN Texas Inc. Recently approved, she will use her loan to purchase a lighting kit, which includes lights, a green screen background and a small black background for torso and head shots. The loan will also fund product research. Phyllis plans to work with another company to print her photos on shirts but she needs to know the shirts won’t wither after a couple of washes.

 

At the moment, Phyllis does not employ anyone else but she plans to contract a model to be on-call and pose in the shirts with her photos on them.

 

“I don’t want to feel like I have to make a quarter,” she said. “I just want to make a picture and approach a client …. The money is nice, but the emotional reaction from clients is better.” For more information about PJE Multimedia, visit her website at: www.pjemultimedia.com.

 


CHARLOTT A. GRANVLE
Plush Boutique
Alexandria
Loan Amt: $4,524.22
Loan closed: March 2012

 

Shoes, purses, jewelry, tops and sundresses are some of the items found at Plush Boutique, a women’s retail store in Oakdale, La.

 

Owned by 62-year-old Charlott, her business differs from others in the area because she fills her inventory with one-of-a-kind items that she finds in cities like Houston and San Antonio.

 

Charlott jumped at the opportunity to create her own business. “It was strange at first,” she said as she was constantly looking for someone else to assist her within her 30 years of sales experience. “It took a bit of getting used to.”

 

In the future, she plans to hire employees, but for now, “I just plan to make this location grow,” Charlott said.

 

Charlott sought an Acción loan after attending a Louisiana Business Incubation Association, or LBIA, conference, she said.

 

She said the loan will help her business grow by allowing her to grow her inventory, which, she hopes will then result in more foot traffic. Without it, she said, “I would have to pay out of pocket and asked family to help me out.”

 

 


KAREN GILMORE
Stiletto Shoes
New Orleans, LA
Loan amt: $4,039.25
Loan closed: April 2012

 

After 10 years of working as a hair dresser, Karen decided to retire from that industry and find a new line of work that allows for more family time. She contemplated and researched the possibilities of opening a storefront for her business, Stiletto Shoes, LLC, where she sells women’s shoes, handbags and accessories.

 

Karen deliberated her options through three years of research. Her conclusion showed it was not feasible to open a store. One month ago, she finalized her thoughts and created the online store, http://stilettosshoes.bigcartel.com. She said the shoes she offers are affordable; they are not top name brand shoes, but they are not cheap either. What Karen offers is a range from everyday to dressy shoes, and they are not all stilettos.

 

When her business expands, Karen expects to hire employees, but currently, she works alone. Before she was able to purchase her inventory, Karen was informed about ACCIÓN Texas Inc. by the Small Business Administration. She inquired about a loan, was approved and used the loan money for merchandise and start-up costs. Karen said about her store’s progress without the assistance of the ACCIÓN loan: “It wouldn’t have been open.”

 

Profiles provided by Acción Texas Inc.