You have a great idea, an entrepreneurial spirit, and you’re not afraid of hard work. But how you turn those things into a business? The Small Business Development Center at Illinois Wesleyan University (SBDC) has a history of helping people find ways to turn their dreams into profitable enterprises.
Niki Thomas says she thought about running a business “back in my college days,” but it took 20 years for the entrepreneurial bug to resurface. She began thinking and making notes about what her business would be and her vision for it. Then she connected with a friend and mentor who had her own small business, rented herself a small space on Main Street in Lexington, and Cloth + Pallet was born!
“The biggest challenge was figuring out where to start! How to register a business, tax numbers, legal notice,” Niki says. “I wasn’t introduced to SBDC until after I struggled through all of that. So I would suggest to anyone SBDC is the place to start for sure!”
Cloth + Pallet is a boutique with gifts for all occasions. You can find custom décor signs, home décor, or simply the perfect gift for a bridal or baby shower – something unique and ‘off the registry.’
“It was such a relief to have SBDC’s assistance and guidance,” Niki recalls. “They have helped me find resources of which I was not aware and pointed me to several advertisement/publicity opportunities.”
Niki hopes to expand her online presence to reach even more clients. But for now, “I love this small but mighty Lexington community. People are often surprised at the fun variety of items in the shop. More than once, someone swings in to say they need a last-minute gift and leave the store with the perfect thing. I also enjoy the creativity in making custom signs for baby gifts, engagement photos, wedding receptions and wedding gifts. I love being a part of peoples’ stories!”
If you need some assistance in letting your business take flight, give us a call at SBDC and set-up an appointment.