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We Mean Business: Update from Berry Elegance

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Note from Kara: Amy Stipa is the owner of Berry Elegance, the business from the first episode of We Mean Business. Below is an update from her about what happened after filming wrapped and how the show changed her business. If you have any comments for Amy, feel free to leave them below.

My store, Berry Elegance, was in serious financial trouble. So when I heard about the opportunity that We Mean Business presented, that was to give business owners help and insight into how to successfully run a small business, I jumped at the chance. Nothing to lose…right?!?

Well, I would like to say this. It was because of Dell and A&E that Berry Elegance has a new breath of life with a beautiful new look to the store and amazing new technology making things much more streamlined! My primary reason for agreeing to do the A&E series was to benefit from the business and marketing knowledge of a business expert. While there were many good business practices suggested and implemented, they were pretty much left on the editing room floor. I love editing!!

There were several very true things that did make it into the show. Our computer system was completely outdated, we did have some “dysfunctional personalities” brewing about, and I do cut my dedicated time at the store short so I can have a good family balance with my son. What didn’t come across was that I have a strong and successful background in sales, so I am more than capable of making a sales call and really do have a good head on my shoulders. With all that being said, I am new to some of the aspects of owning a business and have encountered some issues not apparent on the show. Bottom line is that Berry Elegance has a great feel to it, a beautiful new look and we do have amazing hand dipped berries and other yummy treats (which you can find in the store and at www.BerryElegance.com).

Since the taping, Shelley and Lindsey have moved on and Todd has left to focus 100% of his time on his real estate career. So now, it’s just me (said with a bittersweet sigh). I have hired some new people and they are doing well, but let’s just say it has been a challenging summer. I am currently working on a new, updated look for my Web site. It’s a slow and expensive process, but look for the new site by October 1st, YAY!

Since the show aired, not even a week ago, I’ve had many comments and emails from people saying how positive and inspirational my story is and how my struggles can help others learn to avoid some of the same mistakes. Furthermore, I have had A TON of interest in franchising opportunities. So America –look out for a highly functional and ever so sweet Berry Elegance to pop up in a neighborhood near you in the very near future!!!

So thank you to DELL and A&E for providing the springboard to Berry Elegance’s success!

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