Client
Stories

Inspiring Small Business
Owners in West Michigan

Destinee and Kemmie Sargent, Kuntry Cookin

May 6, 2019

“If it’s in your heart and soul then just take the leap. It’s not always easy but it is possible” – Destinee Sargent Things were not going exactly according to plan for Destinee Sargent when her husband boldly proclaimed, “Babe, we’re gonna start a barbeque business!” Destinee, a warm, bubbly woman who holds a master’s … Read more

Theresa Mosley – Mosley School of Cosmetology

March 18, 2019

“Do your research. Follow your heart. Believe it’s possible…” Theresa Mosley In the early 2000s, Theresa Mosley went to a local salon. There she was told, “We don’t do hair like yours.” Although she harbors no hard feelings toward the salon’s employees—they simply lacked the knowledge and skill to work with her hair—this experience planted … Read more

Lisa Shaw, The Bigger Picture Photography

November 7, 2018

“You gotta go where your heart is.” – Lisa Shaw Lisa Shaw has been a sole proprietor for over a decade, and a photographer since she can remember. Through her photography business, The Bigger Picture,  Lisa has artfully captured hundreds of weddings, families – and now, entrepreneurs and small businesses. Refocusing her business on photography … Read more

Victoria Upton, Women’s Lifestyle Magazine

October 17, 2018

“Victoria didn’t just change the Grand Rapids area with articles, inspiration, news, and events for women – she changed it throughout the state.” Victoria Upton, founder of Women’s Lifestyle Magazine and fierce supporter of countless Grand Rapids organizations recently passed away from brain cancer. One of our proudest success stories and dear friends, we’re honored … Read more

Anne Cork, Annabelle Noel Designs

September 25, 2018

“Don’t wait… It’s so easy to think someone is going to do it better, that you don’t have what it takes, but don’t worry about being perfect, you just have to try and the perfect will come later.” – Anne Cork  Anne Cork is a serial entrepreneur, wife, and mother of 2. She started her … Read more

Janice Dorsey, Diva of Design

November 22, 2017

Making #HERstory and Becoming #SHEroes, How this Entrepreneur Found Her Calling Through Art. Janice’s story is one of perseverance and persistence; two very important traits for entrepreneurs to have. She attended GROW for the first time in 1994, when Lee Ann Moss, our founder, was still very much involved in the organization. While we’ve evolved … Read more

Jill Wolfe and Carol Distel, GO Scavenger Hunts

October 24, 2017

“We have a lot of ideas and are fully capable… But having a solid foundation for our business, and knowing where we want to take it, was different.” – Jill Wolfe A couple of years ago, Jill Wolfe and Carol Distel both had their own businesses offering niche tours of Grand Rapids. They were struggling … Read more

Elissa and Charles Roberts, Chuck’s Auto Repair

May 2, 2017

“Be direct and professional, and not intimidated by anyone just because of the industry you work in. Perseverance is key.” -Elissa Roberts Elissa and her husband Charles started Chuck’s Auto Repair in July of 2012. A woman with a business degree, Elissa saw Charles’s talents as a mechanic as a way to open and run … Read more

Kerry Rowe, Kerry Rowe Design

April 4, 2017

“Managing several clients at one time became overwhelming and I knew I needed some outside guidance…” – Kerry Rowe Kerry Rowe of Kerry Rowe Design has had an exceptionally interesting experience with her business. She’s spent 9 years as a design consultant, engaging in both project-based work and ongoing consulting with her clients. In the … Read more

Candy Wilkes-Scheper, afterthemove

March 13, 2017

“I felt ignored during our relocations, and wanted to make sure that other families did not have to experience that feeling,” – Candy Wilkes-Scheper  After her experiences, which started 21 years ago, Candy Wilkes-Scheper started afterthemove, a business that helps acclimate people to the Western Michigan area after relocating. When her husband moved to France … Read more

Stephanie Johnson, Urban Exchange

February 6, 2017

“Don’t even skip one step of the business plan writing process.” – Stephanie Johnson In October 2009, Stephanie Johnson took the leap and opened her consignment boutique, Urban Exchange. Urban Exchange, a high-end boutique, sells softly worn clothing and accessories from brands like J. Crew, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, and Free People. Typically, Urban Exchange collects … Read more

Shannon Garrett, SMG Strategies

January 9, 2017

“Do your research, know what you want and go for it. Just do it!” – Shannon Garrett Last year our country saw its first ever female nominated by a majority party as a presidential candidate of the United States. To many it was great progress for women and the roles we play in business throughout … Read more

Frances Gentile, Frances Walks Your Dog

December 8, 2016

Clear Paths to Business Ownership Aren’t Always Marked Every business owner has a unique path to entrepreneurship. For some it’s a passion, for some it’s intentional, and for some it is fate. Frances Gentile started her business eleven years ago when she was fired from her “miserable job”. She told us, “I remember it very … Read more

Mallory Root, Roots Brew Shop

October 27, 2016

“There are always things to learn, and you don’t need to know everything to get started,” – Mallory Root Roots Brew Shop is a relative newcomer to Grand Rapids’ West Side, but this coffee shop is working hard to grow and foster the local community. Serving premium coffee and tea, as well as freshly made … Read more

Deb Tacoma, FreedomWand

September 6, 2016

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention Deb Tacoma’s entrepreneurial journey began in 2006, after she was involved in a serious car accident that left her with numerous injuries, including a broken back. Completing tasks such as bathing and going to the bathroom became a daily struggle for Deb, leaving her feeling helpless. After this life-altering … Read more

Sara Moylan, SheFit

March 30, 2016

Local Entrepreneur & GROW Client Celebrates Shark Tank Win Sara Moylan began her entrepreneurial journey in 2011 after recognizing that wearing up to three sports bras at once to work out was not only uncomfortable but also downright ineffective. Determined to find a better solution, she cut, sewed, and hot glued a few bras together … Read more

Josephine White, JoJo’s House of Beauty

July 27, 2015

Since the age of 16, Josephine White has had a passion for doing hair. After graduating from Western Michigan University she decided to pursue her dreams, and, in the middle of the 2008 recession, left her corporate job to attend Empire Beauty School. After graduation, Josephine began building her clientele steadily over the next 5 … Read more

Luann Sun, LS Global Enterprises

February 8, 2015

“Be confident in your marketplace – you’re better than you think.” – Luann Sun  Since 2008, Luann has run a successful business working in various industries developing and manufacturing engineered components for furniture and store fixture customers. Beginning as a business consultant and later expanding into a distribution center, her company LS Global Enterprises focuses on … Read more

Dr. Natalia Schotte, La Vie De La Rose Flower Essences

January 5, 2015

La Vie de la Rose Flower Essences, started by Dr. Natalia Schotte, has experienced great success in the several years, growing the business to become a global, multiple award winning company with customers in 42 states and 12 countries. This includes recently establishing partnerships with distributors in Australia and China. Growth includes the expansion of our gardens to … Read more

Amy Proos, Proos Manufacturing

January 5, 2015

Founded in 1919, Proos Manufacturing is a revered and award-winning business in West Michigan. The CEO, Amy Proos, is a member of the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) and has been working at the business since 1987, when she was in college. Amy was pursuing studies in the veterinarian field and worked for the summer … Read more

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