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SBA loan helps Total Woman wardrobe women for success
Total Woman originated on the North shore in Covington in 1979 and expanded its operation to Uptown New Orleans on Magazine Street nearly 10 years ago. Cindy Molezion Conde is the chief executive officer of Total Woman. Conde was born in New Orleans in 1959 and studied Art at the University of New Orleans in the late 70s. She got her first job at First NBC bank in 1981. Her banking career ended in when she resigned from First Bank & Trust as the President in Marketing 27 years later. “I decided that it was time for me to dedicate my skills and talents to managing my own business and I began to research opportunities to purchase an established business,” Conde said.
Through a group of local business brokers Conde was made aware of Total Woman being for sale and she began the process of negotiating with the previous owners in January 2008. On April 30, 2009, with the help of a $210,000 U.S. Small Business Administration loan through First NBC Bank, Conde closed on the purchase of Total Woman and successfully transitioned ownership of the business without disruption.
While clothing women in New Orleans and the surrounding markets for over 30 years Total Woman offers a mix of classic and fashion forward clothes to women of all ages. The Total Woman customer is a college student, a young mom, the professional career woman and the retiree.
“We wardrobe a woman from work to play and from night to day,” Conde said. “We teach women how to interchange their wardrobe to create many different looks.”
Total Woman’s goal is to give every customer a fun and comfortable shopping experience that empowers them with confidence and shows them that every woman has the right to feel beautiful. Total Woman customers trust that they will seek out new designers and bring them the best that fashion has to offer to keep them on trend while knowing that what we bring to the store is not in today and out tomorrow.
Total Woman is located in the heart of the shopping district on Magazine Street. Sales have grown steadily over the past few years since the acquisition of Total Woman in April 2009. The staff strives each day to develop new strategies to build on their client base by identifying and targeting similar client profiles. Total Woman improved those efforts significantly with social media through Facebook and Twitter, internal email marketing with promotional offers, with its website presence as well as with print marketing in local magazines such as the New Orleans Magazine and the St. Charles Avenue Magazine.
Giving back through Community Service is also important to Total Woman. The company partners with various non-profit organizations throughout the New Orleans and with various fundraisers such as the New Orleans Mission, Children’s Hospital, NDF, SPCA, The Children’s Museum, NOCCA, and more.
“The role of the Small Business Administration and the significance and impact it has had in my life over the last few years is enormous. Without the instruction, guidance and training it offered me through the local Urban League of New Orleans Office and the funding facilitated through First NBC Bank for my acquisition of Total Woman, I would not have been afforded the opportunity for entrepreneurship.” said Conde.
After almost three and a half Total Woman is continuing to see growth and progress and Conde plans to build the company’s brand and expand operations into other markets.