My name is Melissa Samantha Olsen. I started an online store called Isabella Blake Creations (named after my children Isabella and Blake) after difficulty finding a job in the difficult South African job market. I have been running the business for 5 months with funds that I make doing side jobs and on the sales of merchandise. I would like to expand my business and also do more advertising to bring more customers into my store.
My store started out as a drop shipping company, but now I work with suppliers all over the world to bring unique items of clothing into South Africa. I am also using my store as a platform for new South African designers to show case their work and get their clothing brands sold. I have worked very hard to create a strong social media presence and a healthy sales database. My goal is to create a store that offers more than just clothing. I would like to create a lifestyle brand.
My other goals are to help young girls in need and I have already started this by creating the Isabella Blake Creations Female Initiative. Our first project was to provide young girls with Matric Dance gowns and shoes for their end of school dance. These girls live a very poor community and I wanted to give each of them the chance to feel like a princess for at least one night. I have used social media as my main goal to reach people and have successfully collected enough dresses and shoes for these girls. I am also launching a program through my company to help these young women get ready to apply for jobs next year if they cannot go to University, which is a reality in our country.
Why do I need funding? Well I have run my company on limited funds for 5 months. This cannot continue as it will not be sustainable. I have applied for funding through government aided funds, but I need to show that I have invested some money into the company in order to be funded. I work 7 days a week for this business and I am passionate about making it a success. I have spent countless hours on a business plan that will incorporate both my passion for this business and helping people, but the only way that I can make it work is if I have a cash injection of some sort.
I cannot get a loan because I am not permanently employed and I do not know anyone who would be able to fund me. I have tried every avenue and this seems to be the only step. This is my dream and my passion.
Please visit www.isabellablakecreations.com or our fb page Isabella Blake Creations for more information.
Thank you in advance,