Small Business Spotlight

Small Business Spotlight: Sheer Faces, A Story of Perseverance

Single mother, small business owner, and Nearside customer LaShondra shares the inspiring story of her lash extension boutique, Sheer Faces in Eastpointe, MI.

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Starting a small business is never easy, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Single mother, entrepreneur, and Nearside customer LaShondra White knows this experience all too well. 

LaShondra worked for many years at a big box retailer, 8 hours a day on her feet with a 2-hour commute home just to live paycheck to paycheck.

As a single mom to 4 boys and 2 girls, supporting them meant everything to her. 

“My youngest is 15. I knew I couldn't give up because if I gave up, they lost. So I went in for my review for a raise”

At her review, LaShondra’s boss didn’t say anything to her.  She just slid a piece of paper across the desk. It was just a mere 26 cents increase per hour. All of her hard work had just amounted to a 26 cent raise. 

“That was when I knew I had to start my own business. I felt like everything had to be perfect. Like I had to have this type of money. I had to have this type of credit. But when COVID hit, there was none of that.”

LaShondra made the bold decision to leave that job and pursue her dream of owning a lash studio. She used every single resource that was available to her and budgeted every single penny. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic creating extreme barriers for business owners, LaShondra worked tirelessly to open her studio, Sheer Faces.

LaShondra went to her bank of almost 10 years and tried to get enough credit to give her business the platform it needed, but she got denied. Big banks make it feel like you need perfect credit for a loan to start your business. Nearside operates on a different philosophy. We want to support small businesses in any way possible: and perfect credit isn’t always the reality for small business owners

“Nearside was the only one who said, okay, we're gonna take a chance on you. They extended enough credit to where I can get the supplies I need. Nearside doesn’t treat me like just another number.

With Nearside's help, LaShondra was able to give her business the leg up it needed to grow and thrive during COVID-10. LaShondra lives by the philosophy of providing her clients with a relaxing and meditative environment and provides her services at an affordable rate because she knows how important it is to be able to express your identity without pushing pennies.

“The clients that work in health care because they're wearing a mask, their eyes are what most people are seeing every single day. So I feel like lash extensions in that respect, give them a little bit of their own identity back.”

Owning her own business has reset and grounded LaShondra. Her mental health has improved. She comes home more mellow, happy, and she feels in charge of her own destiny. This has brought her closer to her family, her children, and herself.

“My health is much better since I started to focus on my business because I control that destiny. When I'm working for somebody else, they have control of it. “

Running a business is not easy, it’s not romantic, and it’s an uphill battle to run a business. But resilient business owners like LaShondra make it work and pursue their dreams. Are you a small business owner looking to grow? LaShondra has one piece of advice: “Don’t quit. Don’t quit.”

Watch the video above to learn more about LaShondra and her inspiring journey to becoming the entrepreneur she has always wanted to be. Her story is a story of perseverance, passion, and working with a financial institution that believed in her vision.

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