By Jennifer Ginty, Founder of Defining the Style and creator of My Mental Health Doll
My name is Jennifer Ginty and I am a finalist in the 2020 Lowell/Lawrence Accelerator Program. I’m currently developing a buddy for people with explosive behavioral issues and their family to cope better with their frustrations. As a person living with PTSD and the mother of a child with explosive behavior, I wanted to provide a tool to help them through their outbursts and anger. Through the EforAll program I am learning how to produce my dolls as well as test and market them for my key customer segments.
During our fifth week of the program, we were introduced to entrepreneurs who have created flourishing businesses. Each speaker brings a different type of business to the cohort and how they have grown throughout the time they started. Although the start of the year promised a positive trajectory with profits, each entrepreneur was thrown a heart-pounding curveball when the country shut down from the Coronavirus epidemic.
Arthur (AJ) Anton, Jr, owner of Anton Cleaners, had a large amount of employees he was very worried about as well as 2 new storefronts they had just opened. They were running on 60% revenue in March and April and have managed to get back up to 81% by limiting hours and storefronts open.
Bobby Tugbiyele, owner of Leap Network, had started his recruiting business after working in the corporate world. He was on target for best year to date when Covid hit. He did not receive payment from a large contract he had finished and was struggling to get cashflow while homeschooling his children. He is now working on creating other sides to his business that will bring in more cashflow right now. Bobby stresses that his network through EforAll is excellent and how important it is to utilize the program.
Andrea Machado, owner of Phoenix Rising Pizza, had just opened her food truck business with her Father-in-Law and husband and were tweaking their business to run more smoothly. They were looking forward to implementing their changes when everything closed down. They were able to hook up with a brewery that moved to 100% canning their beer. They were able to sell outside of the Brewery while customers picked up their beer. The community has helped in that they are selling tons of takeout with people ordering multiple pizzas to take home.
The Entrepreneurs had great advice for us cohort members working to create a business or bring their current businesses to a new level. It was so important to hear them talk about how tough times can be dealt with when you have a level head and you are open to learning how to pivot.