Success Stories

Picture of Beulah Hester, Owner, Custom Officials Wear, LLC

Beulah Hester has an unusual story of personal and business triumph over unbelievable challenges. At the age of seven, she was badly burned on her back and right arm, so she began throwing a ball with her father as therapy for the burns. She later became very good at softball and was a star athlete in recreational leagues in high school. After high school, she had a job at a local sewing factory. Ms. Hester rapidly progressed in the business and became a supervisor at the factory, learning skills from an Italian tailor.

At the age of 37, Ms. Hester was married and had three young children at the time.  The youngest child was born with severe health problems, so to better care for her family she decided to leave the factory and open an alterations business in 1985. The business grew rapidly and did very well. In 1994, Ms. Hester did work for the owner of the National Softball Association (NSA), which led to an opportunity to patent a ball bag and produce that item for the NSA... Read More

Photo of Margy Taylor, owner of Clay and Cotton

     Clay & Cotton, an independent apparel and home boutique, received an SBA 504 loan to provide long-term, fixed financing to purchase a new building. The business was relocating a second store to a “live-work” planned community known as Norton Commons on the eastern edge of Louisville, KY. The original store has been located for 10 years in an eclectic area of central Louisville known as The Highlands, where many other small, independent businesses are located.

     This venture, including the SBA 504 loan, involved extensive discussion about how to structure the financing and shows collaboration between First National Bank of Carrollton, KY, a small community bank, which provided 50% of the SBA project funds, an SBA Certified Development Company (CDC), and SBA.

     It all started with a random conversation with Ralph Ross, SBA Kentucky District Director, and Margaret “Margy” Taylor, owner of Clay & Cotton, at a small business function in 2012. During the... Read More

Photo of Tommy Ray Cornett, Owner of Bleed Blue Tattoo & Piercing, Inc.

Brief description of the business:  Tommy Ray Cornett has been an artist his entire life. Whether drawing temporary tattoos on children in elementary school or sketching while stationed in Germany during his U.S. Army career, he has always been passionate about art. Tommy began his professional tattooing career in his hometown of Cincinnati in 1998 while attending the University of Cincinnati, where he majored in Design. Eight years later, he opened Bleed Blue Tattoo & Piercing Inc. in Lexington, KY and home of the University of Kentucky (UK).

Bleed Blue, a name reflecting the passion for UK’s “Big Blue Nation,” is the premier professional studio in the Lexington area in central Kentucky. The business was established there in January 2008 by Mr. Cornett, another artist and partner at the time, and Cornett’s future spouse, Jessica. The company’s mission, in addition to providing superb tattoos and piercings, is to educate the public on the appropriate safety and technical... Read More

Shannon and Scott Clements started C&C Roofing, Inc., a woman-owned business in 2007. They provide on-site manufacturing of roof panels and rolling, and all of the flashing for projects is manufactured at their facility in Morganfield, KY. The company focuses on commercial and government work and is a frequent contractor at the Ft. Campbell Army Base in southern KY/northern TN.

Scott Clements is nationally renowned for his expertise in the roofing industry, and he is often called upon for his knowledge by other industry leaders. He first focuses on building trust and respect. “I’ve been in the business for 13 years prior to going out on my own, so the experience as well as the contacts I made in the industry prepared me well for not just commercial roofing work but also for government contracting opportunities,” said Scott, who understands the value of developing long-term relationships and a solid reputation. In fact, the company motto is “no laps, no leaks,” and they... Read More