Minnesota Hair Salon Offers Inclusive Space During COVID-19 with CDFI Help
Client: Rachel Slinden Blydenburgh, owner of Sweet Salon and Barber Shoppe
Client Location: Chanhassen, MN
CDFI Service Area: MN
Technical assistance and funding with support from the Grow with Google Small Business Fund and Google.org Grant Program
After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down a lot of salons in her Chanhassen community, Rachel Slinden Blydenburgh decided to open Sweet Salon & Barber Shoppe to meet the growing demand. As a first-time business owner, she knew it would require much hard work and funding.
Photo credit: Lexi Renae Studios
Instead of working with a mainstream financial institution, she wanted a lender to back her that aligned with the nature of her operations: small, able to recognize the value of the individual, and focused on building an inclusive community.
Finding the Right Partner
Rachel reached out to WomenVenture after a conversation with one of her clients, a supporter of the CDFI, during a hair appointment. In addition to finding a lender that aligned with her business ideals, she found a partner and champion to support her on her business journey.
Sweet Salon & Barber Shoppe is set up to cultivate and support independent stylists. Rachel’s mission for her space is to provide an all-inclusive, safe space for every client who comes through the doors.
The CDFI provided capital to get her business location built out with equipment, furniture, and her bakery case, filled with delectable hair and personal care products instead of pastries. To prepare for the loan application and presentation, WomenVenture staff built projections with Rachel and walked her through her business plan and assumptions. This included types of services and cost, cost of goods and expenses, expected revenue, and business practices.
WomenVenture set up the point-of-sale (POS) system and helped her start financial management through QuickBooks, ensuring that she got off to a strong start once the salon was ready to open for business. Loan and consulting staff will continue to provide support as Rachel’s business grows and her needs evolve.
Rachel’s business model enables stylists to be successful. It is important especially in the wake of the COVID-19 public health emergency, which drastically impacted industries like salons and stylists. “Sweet Salon’s passion is people, and celebrating the unique individuals of the community,” Rachel said.
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