"After being a nurse for 35 years and having back surgery, my career was at the end of the world, but with the help of the LSBDC at Southern University, I was able to make my dreams come true by starting my own business" Lisa Formeller is the owner of Sew Elegant, LLC. a custom drapes, bedding, pillows, and dust ruffles business now based in Washington, Louisiana. Prior to seeking assistance from the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southern University, she had been operating a sewing business on a part-time basis for 18-months without turning a profit. Formeller reached out to the LSBDC at Southern University for assistance with pricing, budgeting, and organizational skills. She also requested help with marketing, financial management and developing a business plan. When Business Consultant Leighton Bryant learned of Formeller’s physical ailments, he informed her of the Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) grant program.
LRS is a state program that assists persons with disabilities in their desire to achieve independence in their communities by providing career and entrepreneurial training and assistance. With Bryant’s help, Formeller was able to develop her business plan, which included a three-year monthly cash flow projection and income statement, as well as a three-year annualized projection. With the well-developed business plan as well as a letter of recommendation submitted by Bryant, Formeller was awarded a $20,000 grant from LRS. This grant allowed Formeller to purchase much needed equipment, fabric, and supplies, as well as sewing machines, which allowed her to create another source of revenue by offering sewing lessons. A website was established to help in the promotion of her business.
“After being a nurse for 35 years and having back surgery, my career was at the end of the world, but with the help of the LSBDC at Southern University, I was able to make my dreams come true by starting my own business,” said Formeller. Since seeking assistance, Sew Elegant revenues have increased by $16,000 over the previous year.