Mar 13, 2019
About a year ago, licensed esthetician Mariah Romero hit a plateau in her skin care business, Mariah Joy’s Skin Care, and needed a quick boost to keep the business moving forward.
She caught wind of the Albuquerque Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at CNM through a friend and immediately set up an appointment for business counseling and advice.
The SBDC, which operates out of the CNM Workforce Training Center, provides a wide range of services to help people start and run small businesses that generate profit for their owners and jobs for community members.
The team at the SBDC helped Mariah with comprehensive business advice, ranging from marketing strategies to accounting.
“Mariah needed encouragement and support in knowing she could handle this business,” says Kristin Groves, Mariah’s Business Advisor at the SBDC. “She and I worked together step-by-step on organizing, marketing and building a support system.”
After their initial meeting, Kristin referred Mariah to CNM Ingenuity’s IGNITE Community Accelerator program. Mariah applied that day and was quickly accepted to be part of the next cohort.
The 10-week IGNITE program, which includes one full day per week on a variety of entrepreneurship curriculum, empowers participants with the business knowledge they need to build and grow their businesses in New Mexico.
“The IGNITE program really helped me to develop a stronger mind for business,” says Mariah. “They emphasized the importance of building and nurturing a network of clientele that will remain loyal to my business.”
Mariah says she was able to reassess her current business goals and tailor a new strategy to incorporate more community outreach through social media campaigns, as well as develop a business model more suited to her industry.
“I have the skillset and the proper accreditation in my field, but I needed help organizing and focusing my efforts so that I could turn a larger profit,” says Mariah. “The SBDC and the IGNITE program opened my eyes to new and more modern methods of business management.”
Kristin says that through the SBDC and the IGNITE Program, Mariah has grown from being a shy, new business owner into a pragmatic and effective business women.
“She is a professional who just needed the courage to step out of her comfort zone,” says Kristin. “She is always willing to work on steps to improve her business.”
Mariah says that the SBDC and IGNITE Program, in addition to her own financial literacy research, helped her reduce debt and turn higher profits by focusing on niche groups in the beauty industry.
“I use natural and organic products that are scientifically formulated to maintain the health and integrity of the skin,” says Mariah. “I even provide vegan spray tans which has become one of my more sought-after services.”
The SBDC and IGNITE programs and services are free and open to the public which is, in part, why Mariah chose to utilize their services.
“I’m so grateful that these services are available to the public, to people like me who just want to operate a successful business,” she says. “I will always be passionate about what I do, and I know now that owning a business means investing all of yourself in it.”
Mariah is the owner of Mariah Joy’s Skin Care, located in the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, where she offers beauty and health services including facials, waxing, spray tans and chemical peels. For more info, email [email protected].