Owner, Luxury Lotus Spa
Esther Nelson is the owner of Luxury Lotus Spa that provides facials, nails, waxing, and body treatments. During the pandemic, she worked closely with the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre (TBWBC) for help to apply for grants and COVID Impact loans including the City of Tampa Relief Fund, PayPal, EIDL, and PPP loans. In addition, her TBWBC counselor provided guidance on her business plan, her presence on social media, and expanding her services from brick-and-mortar into new virtual platforms. As a result of the Tampa Bay WBC CARES program, Ms. Nelson gained confidence as an entrepreneur and will publish her first book in October 2020 entitled, The Ultimate Self-Care Guide to help women feel beautiful inside and out.
Owner, Studio 210 Salon
Soheila Imani is the owner of Studio 210 Salon and has been a client of the Tampa Women’s Business Centre since April of 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Soheila was required to completely shut down her Salon for a period and subsequently reduce the number of customers in her salon to comply with CDC guidelines. Through the business coaching services offered by the Tampa Bay WBC CARES Program, Soheila was able to get the help she needed to successfully apply for, and receive, a PPP Loan and a Hillsborough County R3 grant. Thank you Sohelia for reaching out to us and congratulations!
Owner, Cashew Brittle by Son'ni Boi & Petal, Inc.
Terry White is the owner of Cashew Brittle by Son’ni Boi & Petal, Inc., a gourmet handcrafted cashew brittle candy company. Their mission is to create delicious treats with all-natural ingredients that customers find unforgettable. Ms. White contacted the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre to help her with marketing and branding initiatives. The expert business coaches at the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre guided her through a rebranding process that resulted in an increase in revenue which was especially helpful to Ms. White during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Tampa Bay WBC CARES program made a significant contribution to her success.
Jorgie Franks Bells
Owner, Jorgie, Inc.
Jorgie Inc. is a service-based company that supports and serves introvert and ambivert entrepreneurs by helping them use relationship building and authentic connections to increase their sales and grow their business. At the height of the pandemic, Jorgie Franks-Bell lost all but two of her clients because her major source of income was generated from in-person events. Under the guidance of TBWBC team, she focused on pivoting her business into new revenue streams which resulted in an increase in her sales from $1,500 to $6,000 per month. With the help of the Tampa Bay WBC CARES program, Ms. Franks-Bell was provided with excellent branding guidance and assisted her with the application process for the EIDL and PPP loans.
Owner, V-Line Spa
Nichole Lancaster is the owner of VLine Women. Prior to Covid, all of her sales were from retail locations. The pandemic caused a steep decline in her retail sales due to the closure of spas which carried her line of products. She contacted the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre to help her pivot and launch an e-commerce line. Most of her sales were from retail locations and she needed to transition online. With the help of her business coach from the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre, she applied for the EIDL loan and received $29,000 and the PPP loan, which she received $9,000. Her business coach also helped her with goal setting, timelines and accountability to her business goals. Nichole is grateful to the Tampa Bay WBC CARES program for helping her to navigate her business during the pandemic.
Owner, Total Compass Care, LLC
Total Compass Care, LLC provides the highest quality of assisted living options for adults faced with medical health care problems. Deana Jolliff, the owner of Total Compass Care, created the company from her experience in the health care industry, her own personal battle with epilepsy and her personal experience with providing care for family members. Ms. Jolliff shared, “My staff and I attended a networking mixer hosted by TBWBC and made a lot of connections. The Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre was instrumental with developing our business plan. With the help of our business coach, we wrote the business plan, submitted it to AHCA and obtained our agency license”. The one-on-one business coaching sessions helped Ms. Jolliff understand the components of a business plan and provided other ideas for business expansion. Total Compass Care, LLC recently opened a new community living home.
President, Howard Printing & Co-Founder of Howard Machining
Michelle Leoni is the President of Howard Imprinting Machine, manufacturer of hot stamping machines and the Co-Founder of Howard Machining, a company focused in providing CNC precision machining services. Due to the challenging times of the pandemic, Michelle reached out to the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre for assistance with marketing initiatives and financial guidance through the Tampa Bay WBC Cares program. Working closely with her business coach, she applied for LISC Small Business Relief (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) and the Hillsborough County assistance program where she received $20,000 besides many suggestions to improve advertisement and marketing strategies.
Owner, Sabine's Gout Creole
Sabine Juste is the owner of Sabine’s Gout Creole, a takeout restaurant made up of the finest Haitian Cuisine coupled with many traditional American favorites, located in Tampa, Florida. Despite being a takeout restaurant, Sabine Gout Creole experienced a drastic drop in sales at one point as a result of the pandemic. The advice of her business coach helped Mrs. Juste to build confidence, create a vision for her business and develop marketing initiatives through UberEats, Yelp, Google, and Facebook. As a result, her profits increased and she was able to apply for COVID-19 Relief funds such as PPP, EIDL Advance, and the One Tampa Relief Fund. The Tampa WBC CARES program provided Sabine with the necessary guidance she needed during the pandemic.
Owner, Greyline Media
Greyline Media is a full-service production company with a goal to deliver a superior quality product to their clients. Owner/Producer Lesley Young said the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre (WBC) has been a tremendous resource as “I’m learning to grow in my new business. Not only has she put me in touch with influential women in the industry, but she has also challenged me to think outside of the box when it comes to business.” Young said the WBC offers a wide range of connections to put any female entrepreneur on the path for success. Whether it’s book recommendations or providing an owner with valuable resources to grow, rest assured has your specific needs in mind when offering solutions.”
Myiesha "Mya" Cato
Myiesha “Mya” Cato is the CEO of Meeyogi, a Tampa-based yoga company offering events and private sessions. As a result of the pandemic shutting down her studio, Mya reached out to the Women’s Business Centre in Tampa. She said: “It was perfect timing to partner with a business counselor at the WBC. Our 1-on-1 mentoring helped me navigate through the unknown. The business has made it through one of the most difficult periods ever. We have acquired more funding, more partnerships, and a new business model as a result of the Tampa Bay WBC CARES program”.
Owner, Press Playy Rolling Video Games
Press Playy Rolling Video Games is the hottest entertainment option available in Central Fl. With SEVEN high-def TVs, custom stadium seats & the newest video games, their high-tech game truck is perfect for up to 24 guests to enjoy a birthday, church gathering, corporate event, karaoke night and so much more.
Dominique shared that The Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre (WBC) was a tremendous help, “I speak to my business coach every 2 weeks who keeps me accountable and provides knowledgeable experience on the steps I should be taking as a business owner.”
With the support of The Tampa Bay WBC CARES program, Dominique completed her registration as a minority-owned business; received economic relief from the EIDL, and gained insight into how to market and promote her business. As a result of the economic relief and mentoring Dominique is able to Press Playy on her dream.
Owner, Jai Dee Yoga & Wellness
Danielle Sweet is the owner of Jai Dee Yoga & Wellness, a yoga studio and massage spa that provides a safe environment in a spiritually grounded setting for people interested in growth, healing, and community. Ms. Sweet purchased a non-essential business during the wake of COVID-19. Due to safe social distance protocols, she had to limit their capacity by 25%, which dramatically affected her revenues.
The Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre was instrumental in helping Jai Dee Yoga & Wellness generate new sources of income and collaborate with other businesses such as its new massage partner, Healing Handz & Body Work. The business coach expertise in social media assisted Jai Dee Yoga & Wellness to grow its following and drive new clients to the business. This was made possible due to the Tampa Bay WBC CARES program.
Owner, TJC International
Tashima Johnson is the owner of TJC International and has been a client of The Women’s Business Centre since May of 2020. TJC International launched in 2017 and provides a platform for small business owners to network and showcase their products. The COVID-19 pandemic made hosting in-person events all but impossible. Tashima reached out to the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre CARES program and was able to get the help she needed to obtain an EIDL and a local Hillsborough County grant. Thanks to the WBC CARES Program, Tashima has been able to sustain her business throughout the pandemic.
Owner, Best Choice Cleaners
Betty Papadakis is the owner of Best Choice Cleaners and has been in business since July of 2019. Betty came to the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre in April of 2020 when the pandemic began in need of help. Betty was experiencing a significant reduction in revenue because many of her customers no longer needed their clothes cleaned as frequently. Best Choice Cleaners was in desperate need of funding to maintain the staff and keep operations afloat. The Tampa Bay WBC CARES program was able to connect a business coach who connected helped her to obtain a PPP loan to pay her employees and an EIDL loan to help stay current with her everyday expenses. The coaching also enabled Betty to develop a pandemic strategy to continue operations and protect her business.
Owner, Crystal J. Productions
Crystal Jurewicz is the owner of Crystal J. Productions Inc. and has been in business since August 2020. Crystal J Productions Inc. provides voice-over services for radio and television marketing. Crystal came to the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Center in the middle of the pandemic knowing exactly what she wanted to do but needed help executing her plan. As a result of the Tampa Bay WBC CARES program, Crystal was able to connect with a business coach who guided her to through the steps of writing a business plan that gave her a viable and profitable business model to make her business become a reality. Congratulations Crystal and we look forward to “hearing” from you!
Owner, Bricks & Bubbles
Sara Jones is the Owner of Bricks & Bubbles janitorial services. Her company specializes in cleaning co-working, event, and luxury office spaces over 20,000 square feet. Since working with the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre (TBWBC), Sara’s business has made great strides. Amid the pandemic, Sara was able to win a new contract from a local business with 6 locations. She also pivoted her business by offering virtual walkthroughs. Sara’s coach guided her through solving a difficult staffing problem. She was able to promote two team members giving her more time to focus on serving clients, mentoring staff, and engaging new customers. Sara is also a member of our Mastermind Group, where she has been able to meet with like-minded business owners, share incites, and find solutions. “Sometimes you just need another set of eyes to see that your problem isn’t as difficult to solve as it may seem to you in the moment” Sara says. Join us in cheering Sara on and celebrating her success!
Owner, Healing Handz & BodyWorks
Sonya Jennings is the owner of Healing Handz & BodyWorks and has been a client of the Women’s Business Centre since December of 2019. Sonya was new to the Tampa Bay area when she started her massage therapy and body stretching business and needed help with marketing and establishing a new client base. The Tampa Bay Women’s Business Center was able to help Sonya with networking and marketing and as a result Sonya has been able to successfully live out her dream owning and operating her own business.
LeeNor Dikel is a life coach, author, and founder of “Life With LeeNor”. She specializes in NLP coaching, mindfulness, hypnosis, and mentorship. In order to get started, Leenor met with a business coach from the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre who was instrumental in helping Leenor register her business. Her business coach also helped her to create a business plan, that helped her identify her niche, develop a marketing strategy in order to attract new clients. Since working with us, LeeNor has been able to expand her business to attract clients from all over the world. In just a short amount of time, she was able to become fully booked! To enhance her business skills, Leenor participated in the TBWBC Mastermind Group. Expert business coaches provided the Mastermind participants a forum to share current business challenges, provide a forum for accountability and discuss trending topics. It was a wonderful opportunity to network and share resources with other entrepreneurs. LeeNor describes her experience in the Mastermind Group as “life changing”.
Founder & Owner, The Equity Experience
Rachel Logan, PhD started her public health research consultancy during the pandemic. She came to the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre seeking help starting her business after COVID-19 caused another job opportunity to fall through. Thanks to the Tampa Bay WBC CARES program, Rachel was connected with a business coach who helped her get her business off the ground. Rachel’s coach helped her find solutions to problems, developed processes and systems, and provided encouragement. She also assisted her with asking for fair prices on contracts, negotiating terms, and advocating for herself. Rachel shared that her coach is “empathetic and serves the role of coach and cheerleader” for her.
Rachel’s business, The Equity Experience, LLC works with researchers and clinicians at academic institutions and community-based organizations committed to improving the health of historically marginalized communities, particularly Black, Indigenous, and people of color. “Having access to a dedicated mentor with knowledge and expertise, along with the resources at WBC was invaluable.” With her coach’s guidance she found more ways to promote herself and business in her unique field and already has contracts.
Founder & Owner, La Betri by Fili-Piña
Melody Mendoza-Auslander is the founder of La Betri by Fili-Piña, a luxury athleisure company. Her patented leggings with an attached “Joey Pouch” combines function with fashion. For months Melody jumped from one networking event to another hoping to find a thought partner for her new journey as a fashion designer. She was fortunate to come across the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre where she was connected with a knowledgeable business coach. Melody’s coach worked with her to develop a business plan and transfer her goals into a project plan. This allowed her to organize her schedule, prioritize projects, remain accountable, and eventually launch La Betri.
Founder, The Cookie Monster Cookies
Meet Breanna Browning, Founder of The Cookie Monster Cookies. Breanna is a self-proclaimed cookie lover who decided to turn her love for cookies into a business. Starting out, she sold her monstrous, 5 ounce, 5-inch cookies at farmers markets. When the farmers markets were forced to close during the pandemic, she knew she needed to pivot to stay in business. Breanna contacted the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre and was connected with a business coach. Breanna’s coach helped her brainstorm ideas to generate more sales and better brand her business. The Tampa Bay WBC CARES program was able to provide Breanna with guidance on the PPP application process. As a result, she received a PPP loan. Breanna was also contracted as a vendor for the Tampa Super Bowl LV to provide cookies for frontline workers. Today you can find The Cookie Monster Cookies at local pop-up shops or online at www.tcmcookie.com.
Owner, Glo Hair Lounge
Gloria Toomer is the owner of Glo Hair Lounge in Tampa, a full-service hair salon. Glo Hair Lounge is dedicated to transforming the everyday woman and provides a personable experience. During the pandemic Gloria was forced to close for more than a month. Even as things were permitted to open back up, she still faced the challenges of limited capacity, reduced hours to accommodate homeschooling her children, and the expenses of buying extra cleaning supplies. In the face of these obstacles, Gloria felt overwhelmed. She turned to the Tampa Bay WBC where she was connected with a business coach. Gloria’s coach helped her refocus and set weekly goals. Some of the things they worked on were financial literacy, implementing efficient business practices, delegating work tasks, and planning for future business Endeavors. In addition to acquiring new clients and increasing revenue, Gloria also received a PPP loan with the help of her coach. All of these services were able to be offered to Gloria because of the Tampa Bay WBC CARES program. We are also pleased to share that Gloria has since launched a new line of hair care products. “After Glo Hair Collection”, a vegan friendly line of products to maintain healthy hair.
Owner and Designer of Sonera Design
Meet Tampa Bay WBC Success Story Marisol Adkins! She is the Owner and Designer of Sonera Design, a fashion brand serving petite women. As a self-proclaimed introvert, Marisol found it challenging to promote her business. She wanted to focus more on marketing and increasing sales but felt overwhelmed as a solopreneur. She looked to the Tampa Bay WBC for some guidance. We were able to connect Marisol with a business coach who has a background in fashion, and together they went to work!
“I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with a business coach, all of her coaching and direction has made a huge impact in my life as an entrepreneur.” -Marisol Adkins
Marisol’s coach has helped her increase brand awareness, update her website, and develop a business plan. She coached Marisol on how to prioritize tasks as a solopreneur and how to reach new customers. Marisol has since increased her presence on social media and boosted her number of subscribers.
Poonam Caballar is the owner of Lavish Blossoms, a floral design business in South Tampa. Poonam’s sales dropped 20% due to Covid-19, and she found herself short staffed and in need of help. She turned to the Tampa Bay WBC where she was connected with a business coach. Poonam’s coach provided the support and encouragement she needed to keep from giving up. Together they worked to increase awareness and exposure for the business. With her coach’s support, Poonam’s business was able to recover, so much so that she was able to open a storefront! The WBC CARES project made all of this possible.
“The coaching sessions help me to stay super focused and encourage me to take actions on time. Every session has helped and encouraged me to go boldly to the next level.” -Poonam Caballar
Learn more about Lavish Blossoms here: https://www.lavishblossoms.com/
Kaidy & Karol Solesky
Owners, Nina Nieves
Kaidy Solesky and her sister, Karol, are the creative minds behind Nina Nieves, a family-owned luxury brand crafting outerwear with quality fabrics. The brand’s introductory piece, the cape, is timeless yet modern creating the ultimate statement piece.
They opened their business in the height of the pandemic, forging ahead fearlessly facing obstacles like delays in production, increases in fabric costs and production costs, shipping difficulties and getting their voice heard in the crowded e-commerce world.
Their big win was landing an investor with significant funding that will allow them to further market their business and increase inventory, opening the possibilities to expand their line.
With the help of their WBC coach, they refined their business plan, prepared for meetings with retailers for wholesale, lowered their production cost and added products to their line.
“As a new business owner, we didn’t know what to expect. We went into it blindly with big dreams and our expectations were very high. We explained situations that we viewed as a loss, she would come at it from a different perspective and make us see it as wins. She not only helped with our business, but with our self-esteem as business owners. We knew we were on the right track.”
Learn more: www.ninanieves.com
Jecoliah ‘Cola’ Perkins
Owner, Array Bookeeping Services
Meet Jecoliah Perkins of Array Bookkeeping Services – a Tampa Bay WBC Success Story! Array Bookkeeping is a bookkeeping firm that provides bookkeeping and consulting services. Owner, Jecoliah ‘Cola’ Perkins, contacted the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre to help her bring more awareness to her business as well as gain more clients. By working with her business coach, Jecoliah was able to reassess her business plan, set short- and long-term business goals, grow her social media platforms and increase her networking skills. “My business coach guided me on how to set up email campaigns for potential clients and helped me with negotiating. Besides the coaching, the Tampa Bay WBC also helped me and my business via their informative business webinars as well as the Mastermind class. The Mastermind class was very insightful and helped me change my perspective on how I market my services”.
Thanks to the Wells Fargo grant for providing funding to the Tampa Bay WBC to provide entrepreneurial services, Jecoliah was able to obtain 3 new clients, bring more awareness to her business via my social media platforms, networking outreach and email campaigns. Learn more: www.arraybookkeeping.com
Owner, The Tea Party Company
The Tea Party Company is a small business in the Tampa Bay area offering custom services for social events, parties, and gatherings for personal and professional enjoyment. COVID-19 brought a halt to her business as events for the year were cancelled. While 2021 is still slower, there are changes and it is getting better. With the help of her Tampa Bay WBC coach, Diana is forging ahead. Her business plan has come to life, and she continues to hone and work on it guiding her to success. She no longer feels like she is running in circles but has a fresh perspective on how a business runs. Diana now understands the revenue streams, costs and profits, the financial side of the business. She has turned The Tea Party Company into a business and not just a hobby.
When asked how she benefited from the business coaching from the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre, she stated, “Fantastic! I benefited not only from my wonderful coaching sessions but also from a variety of webinars. I am deeply thankful, and I think it is an extremely valuable service to the women entrepreneur community of Tampa Bay!” It is through the support of the Wells Fargo grant that the Tampa Bay WBC continues to offer outstanding programs and services.
Learn more: www.theteapartycompany.com
Designs by Moni
Monica came to the Women’s Business Centre with an idea and art work, since that time, she has turned this into a thriving business. With a background as an Art Historian, Monica knew how to create art, but did not have the knowledge or experience to open a business. She illustrates business cards that are whimsical and fun. She needed someone to guide her through the process of opening a business and found it was overwhelming for her.
The Wells Fargo grant enabled Monica to work with a business coach who helped her put her ideas in order to get the business started. Monica was inspired by the help she received for her first event and show, she exceeded her sales goals and was able to use it for her future marketing.
“I would like to thank the Women’s Business Center for providing me the help I needed to open my business. I felt so nervous and overwhelmed, and now I feel confident that I can do it—I can keep improving and be better each day. I will continue to be in touch with them for webinars and workshops.”
Learn more: www.designsbymoni.com
Rooted in Process
Rooted in Process works with businesses and organizations to engage employees, boards, partners and volunteers by facilitating meetings, public engagement processes and strategic planning. The business was impacted by COVID-19 when this went from in person to virtual events, creating quite the pivot and the journey.
While Jessica has a background in business and public service, she found she needed help in understanding the financial aspects of her business from P&L statements to financial projections. She also learned how to identify her target market segment with meaningful content and identify additional revenue streams that resulted in 70% increase in sales for her business.
Thanks to the Wells Fargo grant, the Tampa Bay WBC enabled Jessica to participate in the MasterMind program and the one-on-one coaching sessions. “It was very easy to get involved. The MasterMind group was fabulous and I loved that it was full of women just like me. My coach was a great accountability partner. There was no stress or pressure at any of our appointments. I was very encouraged by the end of our sessions.”
Learn more: www.rootedinprocess.com