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Sprama.design success story

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I wrote this article when I worked for the Small Business Development Center at Kutztown University. The article showcases my strong communication skills and the ability to use Microsoft Office Suite.


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Sprama.design success story

  1. 1. SPRAMA.design — Cutting-edge Style of the 21st Century By Nargiza JedwabAPRIL 2010INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Harmony Boore began her career in interior design working as a designer for an Ethan Allen store in Harrisburg. Through the years, she worked her way into management, resulting in“We tell everyone about the assis- managing the store’s 5M in revenue and 12tance we have gotten through the design professionals. She loved the work, butSBDC and would encourage anyone during the economic downturn in 2008, whenwe know who is thinking of starting abusiness, or already owns a busi- pushing sales became more important thanness, to become acquainted with design work, she began to find the work stress-their local SBDC branch.” ful. Harmony, along with Ashly Tagle and Jo- sephine Stoltzfus, wanted to feed their creative -Harmony Boore talent and share it with their clients. This com- mon desire became the genesis of SPRAMA.design.INSIDE THE COMPANYHarmony Boore Things moved rather quickly forAshly Tagle SPRAMA.design. Harmony, Ashly and Jose-Josephine Stoltzfus phine bought the rights to their domain name in January, found funding for the business in April and were up and running by May of 2009.SPRAMA.design Together, these young professionals had built a Photo by Paul Vasiliades308 North 2nd St client base which remained loyal to their service,Harrisburg rather than their brand. Even afterPA 17101 they moved on to buildhttp://www.sprama.com SPRAMA.design, many of their clients followed.Industry: Interior Design SPRAMA.design offers a full range ofFounded: May, 2009 design solutions for home owners. One of the unique features of the business is a custom-made designSBDC assistance: package. Customers can pick andBusiness and Financial planning choose what they need help with us- ing SPRAMA.design’s unique three- step process. Step one is where SPRAMA.design’s specialists offer a vision and give ad- vice on the best options for their cli- ents’ space. In stage two, SPRAMA.design meas- ures the space and does the drawings, then cre- ates a Master Plan for the clients. The Master Plan includes: a Purchase List, a To Do List, scale floor plans and all hand renderings. Clients then use the Master Plan to implement the design on their own.
  2. 2. PAGE 2In the final stage, clients can opt for having someone else dothe work. In this case SPRAMA.design oversees the imple-mentation of the master plan, acting as project managers tocollaborate with the appropriate tradesmen, merchants andmanufacturers to guide the design through its completion.The typical SPRAMA.design client is someone who is talentedin crafting their own interior workings. This can be any home-owner who is design savvy and seeks a touch of professionalguidance in making their home refreshed and functional fortheir family. About 65% of SPRAMA.design’s business is donewith people who seek help with the vision, but who can con-tinue independently. SPRAMA.design frequently hosts HomeStaging seminars, often at local retirement communities,where they can meet and later assist people who are tryingto sell their homes quickly in order to change living environ- “I am grateful forments as necessary. assistance from theThe largest obstacle SPRAMA.design had to overcome was starting the business in a SBDC. They havefloundering economy. Ashly helped SPRAMA.design make the money it needed during made, and continuethe start up. Harmony contacted the Kutztown University SBDC for business counseling.Harmony was assigned to Business Financial Manager Scott Schaeffer, who gave her to make me and myand the partners advice on pitching their services and spent hours on the phone going business partnersover the intricacies of securing a loan. As a result the company was finally able to ob- feel at ease (and thattain funding through a private investor. Currently Harmony, Ashly and Josephine work we are not alone)closely with that investor as they repay the loan. when we are facedFinding a location for the studio was another challenge. The team knew they needed a with the trials andmodern location with an inviting atmosphere for the gallery. The space also needed to challenges of startingprovide them with a professional presentation space for the clients of their design firm.In the end the SPRAMA.design team found a convenient location in trendy downtown a business.”Harrisburg located on restaurant row. -Josephine StoltzfusThe Website was another challenge, it had to appeal to a new generation ofclientele; people who would seek out cutting edge design service, providedwith class and expertise. There were so many things to consider ̶ every-thing from a logo to a business model ̶ which each partner helped createfrom scratch, without templates or other processes to follow. Harmony drewup the business end including business plan, financial projections, businessmodel and policies. Josephine used her creative talent to design the com-pany’s branding as well as create and launch the SPRAMA.design Website.Ashly leads the marketing efforts, including networking opportunities, localpublications and community events to get SPRAMA involved with other busi-ness professionals.By utilizing a Website Optimization Webinar, the SBDC team helpedSPRAMA.design maximize the visibility of their site on the World Wide Web.Harmony feels that this Website experience is only an example of the pleth-ora of resources the SBDC has provided this company. When they havequestions, they know who to call. The Website optimization had the mostlucrative benefit, resulting in a 125% increase in SPRAMA.design’s Websitevisits and countless requests for more information generated from their Webcontact form.
  3. 3. PAGE 3“The SBDC gave us an unbiased response in how to make our business better,” says Ashly Tagle. Josephine Stoltzfusadded: “They have made, and continue to make [us] feel at ease and that we are not alone when we are faced with thetrials and challenges of starting a business.”SPRAMA. design is very active within the community. The company works with local high schools by offering career de-velopment days for their graduating seniors. Students spend a day with SPRAMA’s team to learn more about the busi-ness and how they can prepare themselves for a similar career path. Also, SPRAMA.gallery is a big part of the art com-munity in Harrisburg. The company donates time and services to the community social events such as 3rd in the Burgand the Art Association of Harrisburg’s Gallery Walk. SPRAMA.design is also a patron sponsor of the Art Association ofHarrisburg, and has plans to donate services to various charity events in the coming months.SPRAMA.design advocates the assistance they received through the Small Business Development Center and encouragesanyone who is thinking of starting a business, or who already owns a business, to become acquainted with their localSBDC branch. As Harmony pointed out, “We believe that it is a sound, unbiased way to get the helpful, customized infor-mation about business development from tried and true professionals.” Since the SBDC has provided them with all theresources they needed, they have never felt compelled to seek the assistance of another agency.

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