Success stories

Sky Iris

Harbor Springs, 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 business’s 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.

More Success Stories

‘A TimberPro on Every 40’ Hiawatha Log Homes saves energy and customers benefit Joe Esbrook’s log home was built by his dad the year Joe…
Start Garden Demo Day is legendary. The Grand Rapids-based business incubator holds an annual pitch contest, beginning with a 100-second video pitch and ending with…
Luis Chen-Aguilera turns compost at Wormie's Luis Chen-Aguilera is turning Kent County’s food and yard waste into fertile soil, with the…