[ Article was originally posted on www.louisianasbdc.org ]
Sisters Annie Bass and Chelsey Laborde come from a family of entrepreneurship, so when they wanted to venture out on their own they knew it would take a unique approach, hard work and a good business plan. Bass and Laborde had a strong interest and talent in fashion, and eventually began making and selling homemade jewelry and clothing items online with great success. From there, it was inevitable that they were set to become the Capital Region’s next premier unique retailers.
The sisters approached the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southern University Baton Rouge (LSBDC SUBR) in early 2016 with an idea to take what they were doing at a small level online to both an online and storefront boutique – SoSis Boutique, LLC.
LSBDC SUBR’s Business Consultant Ada Womack assisted LaBorde and Bass with their business plan and market research, with in-depth discussions on methods to structure business operations and plans to effectively utilize skills and possibilities.
The sisters utilized $80,000 in capital to take their online virtual clothing store to a physical storefront retailer and created two new jobs, totaling four permanent jobs for their now thriving retailer in Port Allen.
“The LSBDC helped us find marketing research needed to complete our business plan as well as useful tools for projections. They helped us better understand what it takes to keep our business afloat,” Annie Claire Bass said, co-owner.
Bass has her own collection of jewelry that is featured in the store, and they frequently feature local artists and designers in the boutique. As far as offering a unique to the customer’s experience, SoSis has a personal styling service that is coined as, “LYLAS Box,” which is a subscription box that includes hand selected items for the customers to try on. The box is delivered monthly with no commitment required.
Womack said Bass and Laborde came in with a strong plan and have been great to work with throughout the process.
“They were very proactive and active throughout the process,” Womack said. “Their family support has been big, they invested into their own business, secured some additional funding and it just continued to grow. Their process has been fun to watch and follow. They’re doing a great job.”