Owner of Saige Nicole’s Specialty Baby & Toddler Boutique operates successful home-based business, provides mentoring, and advocates to improve regulatory landscape for fellow home-based business owners
SANTA ANA, CA – Wendy Navarro, owner of Saige Nicole’s Specialty Baby and Toddler Boutique, has been selected to receive the Home Based Business Champion of the Year Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Navarro was selected for the award not only due to the success her company has enjoyed starting as a home-based business, but also for her impact as a mentor, educator, and advocate to fellow home-based enterprises. In addition to first winning at the district level, Navarro also won at the State of California, Region IX, and National level. As a National Small Business Week award winner, she will receive an invitation to participate in the National Small Business Week Awards Conference taking place the week of May 20th in Washington, D.C.
Navarro established Saige Nicole’s, an upscale retailer of specialty children’s clothing and accessories in 2006. Prior to starting the business, she had a successful career working for the Superior Court of California, County of Orange. With the help of her husband Rick, an IT professional, the couple began selling independently designed and sourced products through their website. The business, which operates as a sole proprietorship, was started online as it provided the Navarro family with the flexibility to be present with their children and had low overhead, allowing them to self-finance the venture. The business is a true family effort, as son Quentin, 15, helps Rick with the website. Vaughn, 6, occasionally models boys clothing for the website photos. The store’s namesake, Saige, 16, works at the shop after school and on weekends and also helps with photography.
In 2010, sales grew 54% from 2009, and just last year Saige Nicole’s expanded from a strictly online presence to having a retail outlet as well, located at the OC Mart Mix, 3313 Hyland Avenue, Unit C, in Costa Mesa. Navarro attributes their success to staying true to their customers through strong customer service. Along the way, Saige Nicole’s has benefited from business counseling provided by the Institute for Women Entrepreneurs, an SBA-affiliated women’s business center, which helped Navarro to create a business plan, financial plan, and marketing plan for the company. She’s been able to pay this advice forward by regularly meeting with small business owners and as a commentator in Home Based Business Magazine and on the Mom Talk podcast.
Navarro’s success as a “mompreneur” has not gone unnoticed. A front page feature in the Orange County Register’s business section and Parenting OC’s November 2011 issue have helped garner attention and drive traffic to her retail store and website. Because of this exposure, Navarro has been contacted by several independent designers, many whom are just starting to build their brand.
Navarro has also been actively engaged in highlighting how home based small businesses are impacted by legislation such as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Because of the efforts of small business owners like her, certain legislative requirements have been suspended.
Navarro, who resides in Tustin Ranch with her husband and three children, will be honored locally alongside other small business owners and champions at the 49th Annual Small Business Week Awards Celebration, to be held on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at the Grove of Anaheim from 11:30am to 2:00pm. For information about the event, please contact Doug Dare at (714) 560-7467. To RSVP, please visit www.49thannualsbwawards.eventbrite.com. For more information or to register for the National Small Business Week Conference, please visit www.nationalsmallbusinessweek.com.