Two Wilmington shop owners are gracing the covers of Small Business Administration publications all over the U.S.
The photo of Megan Corey and Amy Kanzleiter, owners of Shopmamie in Forty Acres, went the print equivalent of viral after the local SBA office used it on the cover of its Resource Guide for Small Business last year.
SBA districts have access to photos from around the country, and 17 districts—and counting—have picked the photo of the two polished, young entrepreneurs standing in front of the bright-pink door to their boutique.
It’s fitting that Corey and Kanzleiter should be cover models because they were chosen as the Delaware SBA’s “Young Entrepreneurs of the Year” last year. A $25,000 SBA loan and advice from the SBA-backed Service Corps of Retired Executives had helped take Shopmamie from an online business to bricks-and-mortar in 2013.
Now a pink-and-green sign and a green “Shop Small” doormat greet visitors to the women’s retail store at the corner of Gilpin Avenue and Union Street, the former site of Sweeney’s Irish Imports.
Kanzleiter said she and Corey had wanted to open a boutique since they met as freshmen at Archmere Academy, when she was Amy Trelenberg of Alapocas and her business partner was Megan Healy from 17th Street.
She studied accounting in college, and Corey studied fashion merchandising.
They started off with an online store, run from an office on Delaware Avenue. In 2013, the best friends sought SCORE advice to write a business plan for a brick-and-mortar store.
“We figured we were paying rent for an office, so why not make it a shop,” Kanzleiter said. “It was always a dream of ours, and so we just kind of went after it.”
SCORE volunteers helped them write their business plan. Their first loan was SBA-backed. Then, last year, they were spotlighted as “Young Entrepreneurs of the Year.” And now, the cover, which Kanzleiter called “flattering.”
“They’ve always kind of been there for us as a support,” Kanzleiter said of the SBA.
The business plan they wrote with SCORE executives is working—much better than they had expected.
“Bricks-and-mortar has surpassed all our expectations,” Kanzleiter said. “It’s just really helped our business grow tremendously.”
Local SBA officials proudly showed off the Shopmamie cover. “It is always great to see our Delaware small businesses receive widespread attention like this,” said Jennifer Pilcher, the SBA’s public information officer in the Delaware District Office. “We couldn’t be happier for them.”