Learn one woman’s story of a steeper climb. Dr. Nekita Sullivan opened Butterfly Eco Beauty Bar in downtown Clemson, South Carolina on Valentine’s Day 2020. In March, the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Clemson University sent students home, and the State of South Carolina mandated closure of the Butterfly Eco Beauty Bar. It never re-opened, but the rent kept accruing.
A Sept 2020 Greenville News Article said:
“As a Clemson University student in the 90s, Nekita Sullivan and her friends had to pile in a car and drive to Greenville, Seneca or Anderson for Black beauty products and hair care. The inconvenience of traveling two or three towns over gave Sullivan an idea: a multi-ethnic beauty bar where students and university employees of all races and hair textures could go in the heart of downtown Clemson. Sullivan finally realized that dream after 20 years, but she didn’t know how difficult it would be…
… For Sullivan, it took nearly one year after signing a lease … to upfit her salon and open it. It took months to find a salon manager, hair stylists and nail technicians, and estheticians who were capable of working with all types of hair.”
After Butterfly Eco Beauty Bar’s failure, Sullivan pivoted back to her area of expertise, pulled out most of the upfit, and reopened in January 2021 as Yoga Therapy Bar, a holistic yoga physical therapy studio. Sullivan’s specialty of yoga and physical therapy is focused on improving physical and mental health and wellness of the mind and body. She is an expert in targeting physical and mental stressors for holistic stress management and self-care.
Despite multiple pivots, it is still unclear whether Yoga Therapy Bar will survive, but Sullivan is still going more than two years after the state shut her down.
To quote Dr. Sullivan –
“It was an extremely tough time for me. I was not prepared for the sudden change. I was not ready for the multiple roles. It was extremely painful. It was physically and mentally exhausting, stressful, and over-whelming. I struggled, I cried, I screamed, I hurt, and I lost over and over again. I used most of my personal finances. I lost major time with my family and friends. I sold my home and most of my possessions. I lost most of my personal self care time (sleep, exercise, and eating were scarce). Some of my family, advisors, and friends told me to let my business go. But I just couldn’t talk myself into giving it up. I tried… I went back and forth trying to convince myself to let it go but I just couldn’t do it. So I started working on my ability to change, redefine, and pivot to fulfill the many roles I needed to play as a solo business owner. However, I also realized that I needed help so I broke out of my introvertedness and comfort and contacted the Small Business Development Center, Community Works, the department of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and various resources for HELP! I am most grateful to still be open.
“My parents enrolled me in speaking lessons at the age of 5. Never would I have thought that I would return to public speaking to share my story about my struggles as a first-time brick and mortar business owner during a pandemic. My journey has been overwhelming, painful, tearful, heart-breaking as well as joyful, rewarding, inspirational, and educational. I have suffered great losses but also made some precious gains.”
Participants must register by Noon on July 13th to receive details on joining the discussion. The Zoom link will be sent out 24 hours before the event.
Please note that no refunds will be issued.
Founder, Yoga Therapy Bar
Nekita Sullivan was born and educated in South Carolina. She received a BS in Health Science from Clemson, a BS in Physical Therapy, Masters in Health Science, a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the Medical University of South Carolina, and an MBA from American Intercontinental University. She is a certified health education specialist, licensed physical therapist, certified hand therapist, certified yoga teacher, and yoga alliance certified yoga continuing education provider. She has 20 years of experience as a health and wellness professional assisting seniors, kids, adults, athletes, and those with special needs.
Board Chair - Federation for Children with Special Needs
Mr. Reichenbach, an engineer by training, has been CEO or CFO of six venture capital backed technology companies. He has raised $80mm in venture capital for these companies. The two biggest exits were e-Travel, which was sold to Oracle, and is now owned by Amadeus, and Amicas which was sold to a public company that assumed the Amicas name, and was eventually sold to IBM for $1 BB. He has also worked at United Technologies, Continental Airlines, and Becker Paribas at senior levels in nearly every function. He is an inventor on three issued US patents related to speech technology.
John led the relaunch of HBS Angels of Boston, which had been dormant for seven years. Since the February 2020 relaunch, HBS Angels of Boston has held eight pitch events and over a dozen educational events. 40 companies have presented, and Boston angels have made investments in 12 of them. HBS Angels of Boston has also teed up Smoodi, Beckon Ice Cream, BLDUP, Lupii and Moxie Scrubs for successful global syndication through HBS Angels.
In addition to his Harvard MBA, John holds a BS from Yale. He has been on the board of the Federation for Children with Special Needs since 2008, and currently serves as chair.
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