For Teresa Jakowich, starting a business is much more than an opportunity—it’s her livelihood and it is the reason she has found happiness again.
With support from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of Cedar City at Southern Utah University and a business grant from Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Jakowich launched her business in the fall of 2012, which helped her kick-start a new career.
“Before starting Mountain Meadows Bath and Body Essentials, I was a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) for 17 years. However because of my worsening autoimmune disorder and severe anxiety, I could no longer be an LPN. I felt hopeless,” said Jakowich. “Because of this new start, I now feel like I am not only helping others but I am also helping myself. I am happy.”
Jakowich reached out to the SBDC in 2010 in hopes of starting an at-home business making natural homemade bath and body products. Joni Anderson, Assistant Director of the SBDC worked with Jakowich to assess the market, develop a business plan, implement marketing strategies, and assess market needs. “Joni has been of tremendous help, I will be taking the advice of Joni for a long time,” says Jakowich.
Mountain Meadows Bath and Body Essentials is all about creating high quality handcrafted products using all natural ingredients. “I provide products that not only smell good, but can help people with skin problems such as psoriasis, acne, rosacea, eczema and older skin,” says Jakowich.
Jakowich sells a full line of bath and body products through her online Etsy store at http://www.etsy.com/shop/MountainMeadowsBath and at two commercial businesses through consignment. Her products include bar soaps, salt scrubs, sugar scrubs, lotions, bath salts, pillow sachets and lip balm. Jakowich only uses essential oils (as opposed to fragrances or synthetic oils), so people with allergies or respiratory illnesses can safely use her products. Her mission is simple—to provide each person with high quality products at prices equal to, or lower than her competitors.
The Small Business Development Center is highlighting Jakowich’s story because of her demonstrated commitment to growing and sustaining her business. “She was determined to start this business and she did the research required to obtain financing,” says Anderson. “Teresa is working hard to learn the marketing skills that she needs to build her business, and she created a job for herself that otherwise may not have happened.”
The resources provided by both Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the SBDC have enabled Jakowich to realize her dream of starting her own business. For more information about the Small Business Development Center at Southern Utah University visit www.suu.edu/business/sbdc or call 435.865.7707.