Over the course of eight years, Maggie Stoll lived out her dream of working in the clothing business as a visual merchandiser and store manager for a well-known, fast-fashion brand. But as Stoll got older, her focus shifted toward wearable pieces that were better designed, sustainably made and durable enough to last numerous fashion cycles.
Enter Burke Mercantile, a retail lifestyle shop Stoll launched this spring in Long Beach, CA with the help of SBA financing from CDC Small Business Finance, a leading U.S. small business lender. Her shop didn’t sprout up overnight. It took more than a year of active planning, troubleshooting and mentoring to launch her specialty retail concept.
While consumer demand for quality, eco-friendly goods is stronger than ever, not many smaller boutiques were filling this niche, Stoll realized. That’s how Burke Mercantile was born. “I have created an environment that supports emerging small brands and artists and gives back to the community while fulfilling the everyday needs of our creative customers,” she said.
Stoll also made the smart move of getting in touch with her local small business development center, or SBDC, to get help with writing a business plan. The staff at the Small Business Development Center in Long Beach not only helped Stoll create a working business plan, they also connected her to CDC Small Business Finance for financing options and additional advising to get her qualified for an affordable loan.
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