PCC SBDC Success Stories – Corte’ Studio: Beyond the Fringe

Pam Sornson, JD

Jennifer Kalil owns Corté Studio in Pasadena, which specializes in cutting kids’ hair.



Jennifer knew she had a solid business idea but wasn’t sure how to go from concept to creation. She knew she needed a plan, a marketing strategy, a financial system, and guidance to secure a suitable location. She first went to her credit union for advice, who referred her to the Small Business Development Center. Her initial challenges?

No Prior Business Experience
Lease Negotiation
Financial & Accounting Set-Up
Limited Marketing Budget



Jennifer initially met with Don Loewel, a Business Advisor at the SBDC hosted by Pasadena City College. Don helped her develop a business plan, which included startup expenses, projected sales, and on-going cost. Don also advised Jennifer on which questions to ask when securing the lease.

To establish the financial and accounting system, SBDC Business Advisor Astrid Galvez helped Jennifer set up a DBA, obtain a tax ID, set up Quickbooks, and hire a bookkeeper. She also helped her to open a business banking account and choose a Point of Sale system.

SBDC Business Advisor Lindsey Heisser assisted Jennifer with a marketing plan and helped her build a strong social media presence that organically drew in new customers. What were her next steps?

Created a Business & Marketing Plan
Guidance During Lease Negotiation
Implemented Accounting Processes Point of Sale System
Created a Social Media Marketing Strategy




Corté Studio’s customer base has grown steadily month after month. Since launching the business in 2016, Jennifer has moved into a larger salon space, hired an assistant, and plans to hire additional stylists. How has her business grown?

Steady Growth Each Month
Hired 1 Full-time Assistant with Plans to Hire 2-3 Additional Stylists
Moved to Expand Capacity


As her clientele expands and she looks to the future, Jennifer continues to seek business advice from the SBDC at Pasadena City College.


Entrepreneurs: Foundational. Inspirational.
Entrepreneurs: Innovative. Creative. Increasingly Female.
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