Turning a passion project into a full-time business with help from Miami-Dade Business Navigator.

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Turning a passion project into a full-time business with help from Miami-Dade Business Navigator.

After years in corporate America, Priscilla Reyes was eager for a change that could help her fulfill her family’s needs as well as her own passions.

“I lost interest in the corporate world only because I felt it limited not only my ability, my personality, it also limited my time with my family,” said Reyes, previously a manager at Univision Interactive Media.

Today she’s the owner of Earthy Chic Boutique, a clothing and accessory store in the Miami Design District. As she learned the ropes of operating her own business, Reyes turned to Miami-Dade Business Navigator (MDBN) for support. It’s a local initiative funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and led by the Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at FIU Business to help underserved entrepreneurs in Miami launch, grow and revitalize their businesses.

“The MDBN program supported my goals in introducing me to Ascendus where they gave me the confidence and the know-how to navigate loans,” said Reyes. An MDBN partner, Ascendus is a nonprofit small business lender that provides access to capital and business support.

Earthy Chic began as a hobby but as demand grew, Reyes transformed the weekend pop-up event into a full-time store. After the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to close the store, she credits Ascendus with helping her navigate the loan process and turn her business around.

“The moment I knew it was worth it, opening up my own brick and mortar shop, was when we got through the pandemic and we were still in business and there were people looking for us and looking to come to the store, missing us while we were closed,” said Reyes.

The journey to becoming an entrepreneur had its sacrifices, including giving up a steady paycheck and having to become a jack of all trades; but family was a strong motivator. “The reason I wanted to start Earthy Chic Boutique was to have more time for my family, more control over my work,” Reyes added.

Now, with her second location opening fall of 2023, she’s ready to do whatever it takes to keep her business and her dream going.

“It’s very satisfying being my own boss, having my own business,” said Reyes. “I make the calls and there's no one above me and the more I do it, the more I realize that it’s what I want to do for the long run.”