Finance & Commerce reports on NDC entrepreneur Shantae Holmes, owner of All Washed Up. Read the article here!
All Washed Up, the new laundromat in North Minneapolis powered by entrepreneur Shantae Holmes, houses 44 pieces of brand new, energy efficient equipment, including 22 dryers and three sizes of both front and top loading washing machines. In addition to Shantae, All Washed Up has three fulltime employees to manage the business from 7AM to 10PM, seven days a week (office manager JoAnn Bell and attendants Shaurice and Sonia). There is also a seamstress on site and free Wi-Fi with plenty of space to relax while you wash.
The idea for opening up a laundromat came during college when Shantae received a rejection letter from the Department of Human Services, citing a criminal past as a reason not to hire her. Discouraged, but then inspired to not let her past stand in the way of her future, Shantae decided “I’m going to have to have my own business so I can hire myself!” She knew that two essential steps to opening her own business were writing a business plan and securing funding. She was referred to Neighborhood Development Center, where she successfully completed the Microentrepreneur Training program in the spring of 2008, with a solid business plan that would lay the groundwork for All Washed Up. What she hadn’t expected, however, was the financial assistance that would come from this relationship.
It had been an emotional process going through traditional banks, who all offered different reasons for why they couldn’t help. Through a coordinated effort of non-profit lenders, including the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD), NEON, MEDA and NDC, Shantae was able to obtain the financing needed to invest in 3128 square feet of beautiful potential- an abandoned restaurant that had closed its doors after a shooting five years ago. Shantae has proceeded to revitalize an empty store front, converting it into a clean and friendly business that the community can be proud of.
“NDC has a mission statement that describes me, and the fact that they have a program targeted in my community was very important to me.”
She laughs and proudly exclaims “North Side!”- her roots are here and she wanted to give back. Shantae is hoping to show her community that you can have a second chance in life. All Washed Up will give a sense of renewal, trust, and a level of understanding that the North Side community is valuable, has integrity, and is worth investing in.
The District Barber Shop is a 450 square foot four seat – start-up barber shop at 1116 Lowry Avenue North, Minneapolis that allows families to have their hair cut in one convenient visit. There are many “quick salons” like Cost Cutters, or Fantastic Sams, however, most of these salons only provide the minimum services. These upscale barbers can be inconvenient due to scheduling requirements and cost.
Owner of The District, Terry Turner, perceived an unfulfilled customer need for a low-cost barber shop that provides maximum flexibility and strong customer attention. The District provides walk-in hair cutting services for the entire family; however a main focus will be marketed towards African American male adults between the ages of 20 to 35 and male children of ages 6 to 12. The District will also offer mobile services to various senior and assisted living facilities throughout the north, northeast, and southeast metro areas.
Mr. Turner originally came directly to NDC in August, 2009 for a small business loan. To gain eligibility status, and learn more about entrepreneurship, Mr. Turner successfully completed the NDC Emerge Entrepreneur 2009 fall training class and received a $5,000 NDC loan in March, 2010.
Mr. Turner now manages the shop in the evening and weekend hours while his Master Barber manages operations during the day hours. His customer service skills and tenacity for being well organized has been a helpful driving force. He continues to work his full-time job at DTM Distributors as a Route Driver to supplement the household income. This job position offers a flexible schedule allowing him to be at the shop several times during the week. His business venture continues to be supported by NDC with continued coaching and technical assistance. In fact, Mr. Turner sent NDC Lending Officer, Romaine Turner (no relation) the following email acknowledging his appreciation:
“I would like to take time to thank you and NDC for believing in my vision and allowing me the opportunity to equip myself with the tools necessary to achieve my goals. The help that NDC provided has allowed me to position myself as the premier barbershop in the Cleveland neighborhood as well as provide employment for residence of the community”.