Boutique owner credits SBDC for success
The third time might just be a charm for Tahnee Shuck, proud owner of Miss Behavin Boutique at 307 Grand Ave. in Spencer, with a second location in Arnolds Park. After three years in business, Shuck’s third Miss Behavin location is set to open in Storm Lake this year.
Shuck is quick to credit Kelly McCarty, regional director of the Small Business Development Center at Iowa Lakes Community College’s Spencer campus, for getting her on the right track to small business ownership.
Shuck says, “Kelly (McCarty) was absolutely awesome. He guided me through the process of deciding which loans to pursue and how much to ask for. He helped me see what my actual need was.”
Now Shuck’s Miss Behavin boutiques feature the newest styles in clothing, plus a variety of accessories including jewelry and purses.
When she first decided to open Miss Behavin, Shuck and her husband, Dan Wood, were already business owners, having operated Accurate Appliance for 11 years. Accurate Appliance offers used and reconditioned appliances at 211 11th Street SE along U.S. Highway 18 at the south end of Spencer.
“When I decided to open my own boutique, I realized I needed more stock so I went to Kelly,” Shuck said.
McCarty advised her about small business loans and interest-free loans available to her.
Shuck used the first profits from the original boutique to open a second Miss Behavin location in The Emporium in Arnolds Park, which is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. She also opened Okoboji Canning Company in the Emporium, featuring hot sauces, meat rubs and more.
SBDC’s help continued after Shuck’s businesses were operational.
“Kelly kept me up on what was going on in the community, about other opportunities in town,” she said. “You, as an owner, have to be able to change in order to stay open. That is important.”
The entrepreneur advised that anyone contemplating starting their own business contact SBDC.
“That’s the first place to start,” Shuck said. “They help you come up with a business plan to help you figure out where you are at completely. And Kelly is good for referrals too.”
She had other suggestions for hopeful entrepreneurs.
“Spend the minimal amount you can to open. If you have a huge overhead, you will be behind from the start,” Shuck said. “And have faith in yourself.”
Shuck also credits good, loyal employees with her success.
Terry Hintz has been employed by the couple for 10 years at Accurate Appliance. Melissa Grote has worked for Shuck for three years at the boutique. Bodie Wood makes appliance runs and does the trucking for Accurate.
“Good, loyal employees are the key to making it all work successfully,” Shuck said.
Miss Behavin now has two full-time and four part-time employees, and the boutique is open Monday through Saturday.
Shuck and Wood also plan to open an Accurate Appliance location in Storm Lake, along with her third Miss Behavin Boutique.
Anyone interested in starting up a business is urged to contact the SBDC office on the Iowa Lakes Spencer campus at 712-262-4213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Story courtesy of Iowa Lakes Community College.)