Sandra Day, President, NeoDerm Aesthetics
“WE ARE SARASOTA’S first stand-alone skin correction center; we opened in 1992. One plastic surgeon told me we did skincare before skincare was cool. Corrective skincare has always been our focus; correcting sun damage, acne, anti-aging. Yesterday was a fairly typical day. I saw one new client, two who’d been coming to me for over 20 years and a couple who come every two months. I’m honored to have such a loyal clientele.
“At one time we had four aestheticians. With the economy in decline, we weren’t as essential to some people, and now I’m the only skincare specialist. We also took a careful look at what skincare product lines sold and what didn’t; after all, inventory that’s sitting on the shelf is not money in the bank. And we discovered other ways to cut overhead; now I take care of the plants instead of using a plant company, for example.”
Karen Evanicki Owner, Zak’s Clothing & Gifts
“I SELL CASUAL CRUISE wear for Florida living. I had two stores, and during the recession I downsized to this one smaller store on Venice Avenue. Business is wonderful. Of course business booms in the tourist season, but I have a lot of loyal year-round customers. I have a preferred customer program; every time they shop they get 10 percent off their purchases.
“Some people say it’s too expensive to shop downtown, but it’s not. The sales are great, and you can pick up interesting things you can’t pick up in the big-box stores. I’ve owned Zak’s for 14 years, and it’s the busiest I have ever seen it. Forbes recently named Venice one of the 25 best places to retire, and right after a couple of customers told me that’s why they decided to visit and check us out.”
Danielle Pardue, Co-owner, The Beaded Soul, LLC
“LISIANE JIMENEZ and I launched our line of handcrafted artisan jewelry from Indonesia in June 2013—earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, belts and handbags that range from about $3 to $14. I had been in real estate sales, and Lisiane had had an online children’s boutique. We sell only wholesale, and, with 15 sales reps, we’re now in smaller salons and boutiques nationwide. In the past two months alone, we’ve gotten 75 new accounts. Obviously we’re still a startup, but we now have warehouse space and a physical office in Bradenton.
“Because we hand-picked our jewelry designers in Indonesia, our biggest challenge was learning how to do business in a completely different culture—how to find the right people with the same ethics and quality concerns as us.”