Greater Phoenix SCORE client Luckyleo Dancewear, a small business start-up company that specializes in making custom handmade dancewear, was named a winner of The American Small Business Championship based on the company’s dedication and willingness to make its business successful in the marketplace.
SCORE, a national nonprofit dedicated to mentoring small business owners, and Sam’s Club partnered to create the award. A total of 104 winners, out of approximately 400 entries, was chosen from across the United States based on written, video and photo entries. Winners were determined by online voting and a panel of judges comprised of small business experts. Luckyleo Dancewear’s video entry received more than 7,000 votes.
“We are so thrilled to have been chosen and are truly grateful for the honor of being selected as a national champion,” said Chelsea Early, owner and designer for Luckyleo Dancewear. “This is just the beginning for Luckyleo Dancewear. We don’t plan to stop here. We’re in the running for the grand prize of $25,000 at the SCORE Awards Gala in the fall, and are shooting for the big win.”
In the fall of 2015, Early and her sister Heather Walker turned to SCORE who partners with small business owners and entrepreneurs to provide free mentoring. They were teamed-up with Doug Whitney, SCORE mentor and former owner of several afterschool tutoring centers in Arizona and New Mexico.
“I have been meeting monthly with Chelsea and Heather to serve as a resource and provide guidance with human resources, accounting and marketing components of their business,” said Whitney. “I am very impressed with their company and the sound business decisions they continue to make. I am so happy they have been selected to be honored as small business owners with the American Small Business Championship award.”
In a little over a year Luckyleo Dancewear has had a 900 percent increase in gross revenues. The family-owned workshop in Central Phoenix is committed to keeping the design and manufacturing of their garments in the U.S. They create each custom leotard by hand and buy supplies locally whenever possible, supporting small Phoenix fabric shops.
“Doug has been so helpful to our growth as a business, guiding us through the transition from being just a small start-up to realizing our dream of becoming employers and running a successful business in Arizona,” said Early. “We continue to look forward to each meeting with excitement, knowing that he will be there to help us understand the ins and outs of being an entrepreneur. SCORE has been the missing key that we were looking for, the one-stop resource we needed to help us understand how to run our small business in Arizona.”
Luckyleo Dancewear received a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, an all-expense-paid trip to one of three SCORE training events, SCORE mentorship for one year, and promotion throughout the year to showcase the company’s story from a grant from Sam’s Club. One of the winners will be awarded a grand prize of $25,000 and receive national recognition at the SCORE Awards Gala in Washington D.C. on September 16, 2016.
To view the full list of the winning businesses, visit www.championship.score.org.
About Greater Phoenix SCORE
Greater Phoenix SCORE provides free mentoring to small business owners and entrepreneurs, along with classes, seminars, and special events to benefit small businesses across the Valley. In 2015, SCORE helped 647 new businesses start and created a total of 1,017 new jobs. Overall, the Greater Phoenix SCORE chapter delivered mentoring and classes to 7,288 people. SCORE has over 70 mentors, each with extensive business experience, ready to help individuals start up a business, grow a business, or work through difficult business management issues. Experts in all functional areas and many different businesses are available as a resource for business owners. For more information, visit www.scorephoenix.org.
About Luckyleo Dancewear
Luckyleo Dancewear makes custom handmade dancewear created by former professional ballet dancers and sisters, Chelsea Early and Heather Walker. The family-owned company offers small quantities of hand-selected prints to keep their products creative and new and to encourage individuality within the art of ballet itself all the way down to every classroom where dance is taught. With sizes for all age ranges and a large offering of styles and fabrics, Luckyleo Dancewear has flourished since opening just over a year ago by hand-crafting one-of-a-kind dancewear for ballet dancers in 29 countries across the world.For more information visit www.luckyleodancewear.com.