Elizabeth Mason, President/Founder, affectionately known as “BJ”, with motivation and information from attending the classes at the SBDC and coaching from Melissa Dent, Business Consultant, restarted Irish Seams as an LLC in 2013. Initially, BJ had been working the business as a hobby and a sole proprietorship, since 2009.
Irish Seams (IS) makes custom school costumes for Irish Dance Schools to include dresses, vests, cummerbunds, jumpers, skirts, embroidered tees and shirts, dress covers, trunks, shawls, and bags. IS also makes custom solo costumes for boys and will add solo dresses for girls.
In BJ’s words: “I approached the SBDC because my business had grown to the point that I was overwhelmed, and had no idea how to proceed to take it to the next level. Frankly, if it weren't for Melissa, I would probably have closed my business… because I was so overworked and exhausted. I couldn't see how it would ever get better. I think I told her at our first meeting that I needed to close or grow because it (the business) was killing me”.
BJ continues, ‘I wasn't really sure what to expect from the SBDC, but I was hoping to get some guidance on how to grow smartly. I got much more than I hoped for. Thanks to Melissa and the SBDC, we have grown from a sole proprietorship to an LLC, hired a sub-contractor, hired an accountant/bookkeeper, found an attorney, finished writing my business plan, obtained equipment financing, expanded out of our home to a new leased facility and are in the process of expanding our team! Looking back I cannot believe I was in business for years without a business plan! Believe me, it showed! Talk about an unguided missile! I was all over the place!'
Irish Seams has increased revenues from 2012 to 2013 by 30% and added 4 part-time employees!