Crystal Matthews-Bradley, Owner
Kiddie Junction Creative Learning Center
When opportunity knocked Crystal Matthews-Bradley opened the door. In 2007, she was working in a bank when she learned of an opportunity to purchase a childcare center. Even though she didn’t have prior experience in childcare, she still felt that she should pursue the opportunity and experience the American dream of business ownership. Demand for excellence in childcare is always high and Matthews-Bradley knew she had a lot to contribute to the daycare industry in Myrtle Beach.
After networking with a few business owners, she was referred to SCORE, a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring small businesses with free, confidential advice. One of her mentors advised Matthews-Bradley to contact the Myrtle Beach Area Small Business Development Center in Conway for further guidance. There she met business consultant Janet Graham who assisted her with a business plan, as well as examining her financials. Graham helped her new client work with the SBA and other financial institutions to obtain a loan.
Graham also suggested that the Bradley’s attend the SBDC’s FastTrac New Venture Entrepreneur class where she and husband Benson gained critical knowledge about being a small business owner. Graduating from that program elevated their motivation to a new level.
According to Janet Graham, Area Manager for the Myrtle Beach Area SBDC, “The Bradley’s were a typical young couple, well-established but interested in pursuing opportunities for a more secure future for themselves and their children. The SBDC counseled the couple and encouraged their participation in the 10-week New Venture FastTrac entrepreneurial program. They were very apt pupils. Upon graduation, they were able to get a loan, purchase the business, and begin their dream of being entrepreneurs. Over the years the SBDC has continued to be a sounding-board and business counselor for the couple.”
Kiddie Junction was purchased in the summer of 2008. However, over the years, Kiddie Junction has acquired additional financing to constantly grow their business. Kiddie Junction continues to increase capacity and to employ newly trained childcare workers.
Matthews-Bradley knows that hers is a business driven by relationships and she gets satisfaction from seeing her families every day. “It’s such a great feeling to have happy parents who are comfortable with leaving their child so they can go about their day without hesitation,” she said.
Keeping her clients, their children and her employees happy and fulfilled is a big job, but Matthews-Bradley is up to the challenge.
“Time management is my biggest challenge,” she said. “I’ve learned to stay focused, use my t
ime wisely and to not be afraid to ask for assistance. That’s what was so great about the Myrtle Beach Area SBDC. They are always there to answer questions and help keep you on track.”
S & J Hair Beauty Supplies
Sunny Palmer, Owner
S&J Hair Beauty Supplies
1380 3rd Ave. S. Unit 1354
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Phone: (943) 839-2046
SJ Hair: Market niche and good location makes for small business success
When Sunny Palmer was manager of a beauty supply store outside of Myrtle Beach, customers often complained about the long drive. Seeing a need for such a resource in Myrtle Beach proper, Palmer decided to open her own small business.
Before opening Palmer made an appointment to see business consultant Maria Briggs at the Myrtle Beach Area SBDC. Briggs assisted Palmer in writing her business plan, building financial statements and projections, registering the business and obtaining a loan from BSB.
“The SBDC was critical to the opening of our business because they helped us to navigate the red tape. Maria helped us to locate funding,” Palmer said. “We appreciate how readily available they were to meet with us.”
Palmer obtained the $50,000 loan she needed to start SJ Hair and she was open for business on May 5, 2011. Soon, people were coming from all over Myrtle Beach and the Latino, Asian and African-American markets fully embraced the new store. SJ Hair sells wigs, half-wigs, extensions, braiding hair, pony tails as well as other hair care items (accessories, oils, lotions, soaps) at a convenient location on the Grand Strand between Highway 501 and 3rd Avenue South.
SJ Hair continues to perform beyond Palmer’s expectations. Now that she has a solid market share, Palmer has expanded her inventory to include clothing lines. Fully involved in running the day-to-day operations, Palmer has hired one full-time employee.
“Ms. Palmer knew exactly what she wanted,” Briggs said. “She was motivated and wrote a great business plan in a couple of days. She moved ahead rapidly and was an unusually focused client.”
In addition to a storefront, S&J also has an online presence: www.sjbeautysupplies.com. With the assistance of the Myrtle Beach Area SBDC, S&J has become a go-to supplier of wigs, bulk hair, hair extensions, or high quality human hair, at thelowest prices in the area.
Sharyn Zarate, Owner
Local Pet Grooming:
Sharyn Zarate loves, loves, loves pets! She initially contacted the SBDC for assistance with getting a business license for a pet grooming business of her own that she would operate from within a local pet-friendly hotel. Although Sharyn had worked at this location with the previous business owner, she longed for a business of her own: Golden Pooches. She is thrilled to offer grooming and day-care for vacationers’ pets.
Along with assistance with completing her application for a business license, the Myrtle Beach Area SBDC also assisted Ms. Zarate with how to start, manage, run this business, and much more.
Sharyn has been open and operational since 2013 and continues to improve sales. Her love for making her “clients” look and feel better is evident with each grooming session. Her two-legged clients revisit Golden Pooches whenever they stay at the hotel. They attribute it to Sharyn’s warm smile and caring attitude when working with their pets.
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