Infiniti Aesthetics of Sarasota County
“If you would’ve told me a year ago that I was going to be doing this right now, I would have never believed it,” Kelly Stevens, owner of Infiniti Aesthetics, said.
Stevens found her passion working in the field of aesthetics. Work had gotten to the point where it didn’t leave a lot of time to do what she really loved, so she started thinking about her options.
“I decided to get out on my own and it just kind of all came together,” Stevens said.
Stevens sought out assistance at the Florida SBDC at USF Sarasota-Manatee, in the form of entrepreneur training classes. What she found was much more than just training.
“I really was sort of just feeling things out and seeing if it was way over my head,” she said of her first class. “Then the instructor went around the room and asked everyone what their business was. Every instructor I’ve dealt with at SBDC, when they’ve found out what I was thinking about doing, they encouraged me to do so and it really did help. It led me to look further.”
Stevens took the Starting Your Business seminar at the Port Tampa Bay FSBDC office, and Accounting and Tax Procedures for New and Existing Businesses at FSBDC at Pinellas County Economic Development.
Since first reaching out to the Florida SBDC at USF Sarasota-Manatee, Stevens has opened her own business, Infiniti Aesthetics. She travels throughout Charlotte and Sarasota counties offering her facial rejuvenation services to more than 60 clients.
One challenge she has encountered along the way has been a lack of capital to order enough supplies to pick up extra business. In response, she sought out the Florida SBDC at USF consulting services of Marty Zients, a certified business consultant. Zients assisted her in securing a $40K Small Business Administration loan.
“He worked on my business loan for a couple of weeks,” Stevens said. “Now I have a business loan and I have to thank Marty for that.”
In addition, Stevens sought the consulting services of certified business consultant, Dr. Anita Rose, to inquire about marketing demographics and human resources.
Stevens said without the help of the Florida SBDC at USF Sarasota-Manatee, she is not sure what she would have done, and she recommends that others reach out for assistance when in doubt.
“Go to as many classes as you can,” she said. “Get yourself involved. Meet with a consultant and make sure you use all the resources that you can. Even if it doesn’t seem like it’s something that applies to you, go anyway.”