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Success Stories

Once Upon a Time and Clothes Mentor

Porscha and Steve Shideler were amazed at the quality of products they could find used at garage sales and on Craigslist… for the fraction of the price than buying them new in department stores. They knew the community could use a store that could be shopped for a large variety of gently used kid’s items, in one location.

Porscha who was in management and pregnant with their first child, before deciding to open a store, and Steve who has an MBA from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, and currently works as a Price Analyst for the Air Force, knew that they should do some research before jumping into owning a business.

The Shideler’s did some research on franchises and fell in love with Once Upon a Child. It was exactly what they were looking for! Additionally, before opening their first store, the Shideler’s met with the Colorado Springs SBDC Consultants for advice and received assistance on applying for an SBA loan through a local bank, which they also received. “We love the SBDC and thank them for their help when we started our first business in 2012” said Porscha.

With hard work, their first store, Once Upon a Child opened in August 2012, before their daughter had her first birthday.

Opening their first store came with some challenges. The biggest challenge in owning their own business was finding the right staff…and keeping them. Porscha and Steve knew the value of employee appreciation. They focused their energy on creating an environment that people loved to work in. Doing so allowed them to keep their great employees without dealing with turnover. They recognized those performing well, continue to have monthly competitions, and spend a lot of time on leadership training with their management.

Porscha and Steve’s management style has not gone unnoticed. In 2012, Once Upon a Child received an award for being #2 in the nation for growth! They hope to continue to impact the community by helping families save money by shopping at their stores at a fraction of mall prices, while making some cash by selling their gently used items.

The Shideler’s were asked by many expectant mothers if their store bought and sold maternity clothes. With the success of Once Upon a Child, the Shideler’s decided the next store the community needed was the same concept, but for moms. Clothes Mentor, a store that buys and sells women’s fashion from sizes 0 – 26 opened in August of 2013.

Porscha and Steve hope to continue their success and open more stores as needed by the community.

To learn more about Once Upon a Child and Clothes Mentor please visit www.onceuponachildcoloradosprings.com and www.clothesmentor.com/coloradosprings.

TWS Home Inventory

In 2012, the Pikes Peak Region fell victim to the Waldo Canyon Fire which burned over 340 homes and affected numerous businesses. Carrie Mitchell, experienced first-hand exposure to the wildfire and volunteered hours of her time to help homeowners that had suffered tragic loss. During that time, she became aware of the fact that they all lacked support in documentation of their personal property when trying to complete and file insurance claims. The result was

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Ray’s of Colorado

When you think of bath and body products you may think of fancy commercials on television that show bountiful suds or perfumes that have sex appeal, normally promoted by movie stars or A-list models. Ray’s of Colorado hasn’t spent a dime on a spokesperson or buying ads to promote their product. Instead, their approach has been to promote their product to everyday people, like you and I, by promoting and selling within the avenues that

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Accinctus

Brian Siravo thought about starting his own business for a few years. After he was presented with some life challenges (loss of employment due to company cutbacks), it was the last lever that needed to be pulled to launch him into moving in the right direction. With 20 years of experience in business continuity and personal preparedness, Brian wanted to share his passion for these topics with more businesses across the country. Brian started learning

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Potato Potato

Potato Potato Mobile Foods started as a joke between friends. Kevin Johnson, Owner/Operator/Emperor of Potatoes knew that poutine (the mobile food’s specialty), was popular in Canada but not the United States, and mostly unknown in Colorado. It was then; Kevin thought that an “International House of Poutine” style concept would be both successful and unique in the Colorado market. Kevin visited the SBDC to help make his idea a reality. “SBDC counseling has helped me

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YoYogurt

“We have to open a yogurt shop, it’s the craze in California. Now is the time to bring it to Colorado.” This is how the story starts for now successful business owners Nic Grzecka and sisters Liz Johnson and Amanda Ralston. Realistically, the dreams of an entrepreneur aren’t fulfilled overnight. This is a story of dream that was. Within one day, the Grzecka’s had an idea, researched their plan and looked for locations for their

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Lytle Electric

Lytle Electric achieves American dream Written by Dean J. Miller Less than three years old, Lytle Electric, co-owned by Megan and John Lytle is a successful family business that provides quality, affordable electrical service delivered with honesty and integrity. The Lytle’s credit much of their success to the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center and its strong partnership the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado. For the Lytle’s, it’s a story of the American dream:

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