|July 2011: Cory Yniguez|
What prompted you to start your business?
I always knew I would "grow-up" and be an artist, but I never imagined I would be a business owner. After college, I worked in a couple design positions. While they provided good work-based experience and insight into what I wouldn't do if I ran a business, they also made me realize I wasn't a person who could work for someone else - especially if I did not believe in their business practices. I knew I had the skills, but I wasn't sure about how to actually make it all work as a business... until I found WEV.
I was working at a design studio when I began the Self-Employment Training (SET) course. WEV helped me realize it was now or never. My instructor, Paula Crutchley, was so instrumental in showing me the reality that I could be successful. Staying at a job that made me miserable—just for the steady paycheck—wasn't going to leave me any energy to launch my own business. About halfway through the course, I gave my two weeks notice, and that was it. Without WEV, I may have never had the courage to "just do it." WEV also provided me with the tools I needed to get up and running. This was the best thing, in my opinion, because once I had the information I needed, I knew that if I failed, I had no one to blame but me. It was empowering.
I'm happy with the growth of my business so far, but I'm not yet able to give back financially to WEV. So until I can—and I will be excited to write that first support check!—I attend WEV events as an alumni, speak in the alumni panel at the SET courses and occasionally staff WEV table at community events. The greatest thing about giving back to WEV is how it all comes full circle. I have had the opportunity to work with many WEV clients. For example, I've done graphic design and created websites for Raw Workouts (Verity Somers), Twyla K Boutique (Twyla Monti), Petite Rêve Chocolates (Kate Dunbar), Color Stop Products (Heather Long), Blu Dress Boutique (Cheri Iadevaia), Luxxe Designs (Antoinette Altman) and HR Business Solutionz (Karen Bogner). I've also done logo and graphic design for WEV's Thrive in 5 program, Little Black Dress (Mary Marvelous), Glass Art (Valerie Eybsen), KeyTC Solutions (Angela Burton), Young Women Growing Strong (Paula Gray-Lemons) and Maureen Durkin (Riley Besand Designs).
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