Success stories

Sky Iris

Sky Iris

Petoskey, Michigan

Inspired by motherhood and intent on owning her own small business and determined to do so in “her own way”, Leslie Burke found the perfect outlet for her talents- Sky Iris a children’s furnishing retailer!

The storefront, named for her daughter has helped Leslie serve a niche market for interesting, innovative, and unique furniture targeted for children, young adults and expecting mothers.

Seeking financing to launch her business, Leslie turned to Northern Initiatives and secured an IRP loan that provided the needed start-up capital required to open Sky Iris and get the business off the ground. Leslie was quick to take advantage of NI’s business development services, including financial coaching focused on the running of a new small business. The coaching gave Leslie the skills to better manage expectations and plan for the future of her business.

Once established Leslie sought to expand Sky Iris’ brand awareness and customer reach. Northern Initiative’s Business Advancement Center teamed with Sky Iris to develop and create a Facebook campaign that would engage fans and prospective customers while helping promote the business. Increased business, gained in part from the businesses improved online presence and social media campaign, has allowed Leslie to begin moving away from ordering some product lines, to designing and selling more of her own products.

Sky Iris Impacts

  • Jobs Created and Retained

More Success Stories

Kaila and Daniel Ball, newly married during the pandemic, had dreams of something fresh, away from metro Detroit. “We had plans to move to Oregon,”…
Mary Doyen and Peg Lippens have made some pretty savvy decisions for a couple of new business owners. “We had students who were completing school…
The early days of the pandemic were tough on Carlton Briggs and his Emmanuel Barbershop. They were really tough on his customers. "This culture –…