"I am grateful to have the support in starting and growing my business. The Louisiana Small Business Development Center has given me the opportunity of a lifetime and expanded my reach profoundly"
Zuka Baby is a natural parenting boutique specializing in cloth diapers, baby clothes, breastfeeding, organic layettes, and natural toys. Zuka Baby offers a variety of free classes and support groups such as The Milk Party, which is conducted on the first Wednesday of each month for breastfeeding mothers. Erin Reho Pelias started the business when she was twenty-nine with an eleven-month-old daughter. They started small, inside of a lingerie shop that specialized in nursing bras and hosted monthly La Leche League meetings. A few months later, she found her own location and opened the only retail location specializing in cloth diapers in Louisiana. LSBDC Greater New Orleans Region helped Pelias become certified in Small & Emerging Business Development Program. Through the program, provided by Louisiana Economic Development, she received $4,400 in partial funding to redesign her new website, which incorporated a point of sale system and an e-commerce solution. Pelias previously used a simple template website without any way of tracking inventory or profits. She did not have the money or know-how to get her website to the next level, so she attended the “Reinvention through Innovation” class at the LSBDC GNOR center in Metairie. Today, Pelias uses an iPad around the store to improve the user experience and gift registration. To improve her rankings and online customer engagement, she utilizes a marketing campaign focusing on social media and blogging. Technology allows her to connect in-store inventory with her website inventory. Now Pelias can monitor all her sales progress and order tracking in a more efficient manner. “I am grateful to have the support in starting and growing my business,” said Pelias. “The Louisiana Small Business Development Center has given me the opportunity of a lifetime and expanded my reach profoundly.”
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