CDFI Helps Single Mom Realize Dream of Becoming Her Own Boss
Client: Polished Nail Boutique
Client Location: Traverse City, MI
CDFI: Northern Initiatives
CDFI Service Area: MI, WI
Financing and technical assistance
“I can’t even imagine doing this without Northern Initiatives. They’ve given me so much more than a loan.”
These are the words of Brooke Beckman, a single mom who moved with her toddler to Traverse City, Mich., from Saginaw to be closer to family in 2001. She’d been a nail technician for a decade through rented space or as an employee in salons and had built a large customer base. This success continued in Traverse City. But a different dream was percolating.
In 2015, she found the perfect location just off a busy street and knew ‘someday’ had arrived—it was time to become her own boss. But she’d need some financial help. Beckman’s friend and loan officer at her local bank suggested she contact Northern Initiatives. Beckman says, “My confidence increased from the moment I spoke to the Northern Initiatives lender. I knew nails. I knew salons. I knew what the market needed. But I didn’t know how to manage the financial side of the business. The lender made me feel like I could do it and they would help me learn.” Beckman says the loan approval for working capital and equipment confirmed she was ready.
Beckman opened Polished Nail Boutique in March 2016 with a pink and gray “girly girl” aesthetic. Two pedicure tubs and three nail stations are busy every moment of the workday. She’s proud of the space but knows the effort behind the scenes is what keeps it running smoothly. Northern Initiatives Business Services team has helped her create a beautiful website, rack cards, and other marketing and advertising supports like Facebook ads and promotions. True to her lender’s word, she’s learned how to manage cash flow, inventory, and payroll.
Just over a year in business, Beckman is now facing a different issue: success. Every month, revenue has grown 50% over the previous month. She began with about 40 regular clients and now that number is 200, not including walk-ins, and it’s increasing daily. Beckman knew nails. She knew salons. Now she knows how to manage the financial side of the business and looks forward to continued growth.