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Success Stories

Virginia's Minority Small Business Person of the Year

James B. Hart, President of Arriba Corporation of Norfolk, Va. has been selected the 2006 Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Richmond District Office.

SBA Richmond District Director Ronald Bew presented the award to Hart on October 12 at the SBA’s MEDWeek luncheon held in conjunction with the National Association of Government Contractor’s (NACGBE) 2006 Industry Day at the Peninsula Workforce Development Center in Hampton, Va. MED Week is a national celebration recognizing contributions of minority business to the nation’s economy.

“Jim Hart is an excellent example of someone who has pursued the American dream through entrepreneurship,” said Ron Bew, District director of the Richmond office. “The success of
Arriba Corporation demonstrates what happens when strategy, hard work, and commitment come together.”

Hart, a Hispanic American and service-disabled veteran, started Arriba Corporation... Read More

Beacon of Entrepreneurial Spirit: Fudge Shop Owner Flourishes

Doing her homework paid off for businesswoman Kathleen Wilcox of Kathleen's Fudge and Fun Stuff. A former tennis director and accomplished biathlon, triathlon and marathon athlete, Wilcox faced a devastating diagnosis in 1996. She had multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease of the central nervous system.

Facing this mind-boggling change of life event, Wilcox's survival response was to search within for a career change. Thus, she began to research and set the foundation for starting her own business.

"My passion is fun," says Wilcox. Her homework was to study her passion: developing and owning a fudge shop. Subsequently, for two years she immersed herself in different phases of running such a business. Kathleen traveled to Kitty Hawk, N.C., to observe how sweet shops cater to tourists. She traveled to Hawaii to see how cocoa beans grow and are processed. She enrolled in an eight-week, business plan course at the Greater Richmond Small Business Development... Read More

Diva’s Hair & Day Spa:  Transformation Wizardry

Step into Diva’s Day Spa and be transformed. Tall, elegant Jane Moates, the owner and operator of Diva’s Hair and Day Spa is all about transformation. Diva’s is a busy and flourishing 8-year old-day spa in the center of the universe, Ashland, Va.

Moates comments about her title, “I want the world to know that even as an owner, I am an operator and work in my business.” And work she does, in a business that transforms its clients from the stressed and the ordinary into the pampered and well-groomed. Whether it is hair treatment, a manicure or pedicure, facial, full body spa, or all of these wrapped into one special package, the business caters to the well-being of its clients. Jane’s busy calendar shows that clients find that their time at the spa is a day worth remembering.

Jane Moates converted a former Golden Skillet restaurant building into her day spa by using the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Certified Development Company, 504 Loan Program. She... Read More

Appomattox Tile Art located in Petersburg, Virginia has grown since their startup in 1999 to become one of the larger and more successful privately owned national custom mosaic tile manufacturers. Cindy and Sean Haynie, both professional artists, founded the company on the belief that they could offer good artistic design and service to the tile business. Through the leadership of this husband and wife team, Appomattox Tile Art has grown from being a small three-person business to employ 25 people and service 67 high end tile showrooms throughout the United States.

Cindy and Sean’s early interest in the arts led them to Radford University where they both earned Bachelors of Fine Arts degrees. After graduation, they worked in the graphics and advertising industry and saw the market potential which helped to foster their business concept: providing the tile industry with unique custom designs and attentive customer service. During the famous Virginia holiday ice storm of... Read More