Yong Suk Daley opened her first clothing-alteration shop in 2000. By 2006, however, growth had stalled. So she moved to a busy shopping center in Centerville, Ohio and added the retailing of special occasion women’s apparel to her alteration business. She named her revamped company Young’s Special Occasion Apparel.

In August 2006, Ms. Yong contacted Dayton SCORE for mentoring, and mentor Roger Doty began working with her. Ms. Yong wanted to expand her alteration business, outsourcing some work to independent contractors to free her time for retail store management. 

Yong has since pivoted her business again, and offers both alterations and high-end bridal consignment as Young's Twice Blessed Bridal. The shop also offers prom and wedding party gowns.

How SCORE Helped: 

Doty and Yong's initial focus of their mentoring sessions was developing a business plan, preparing an application for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loan to take over credit-card debt, improving marketing for the business, and strengthening recordkeeping and financial management. 

Following Doty's advice, Yong focused her retailing on the wedding market, including brides, bridesmaids and mothers’ gowns and accessories, and the prom market. Doty guided her in preparing marketing fliers, attending wedding expositions where she handed out her fliers, advertising in wedding planning publications, developing networking contacts in the local wedding industry, and arranging with her bank to accept credit cards.

My Successes: 

Doty helped Yong transition from a recordkeeping system appropriate for the original alterations business to one that accommodates her retail business as well, and helped her improve her relationship with an accountant for tax preparation purposes. Finally, he is helping her develop a sewing lessons service, and to shift the legal structure of her business from sole proprietorship to limited liability company. 

In less than a year, Ms. Yong’s business was transformed from a simple service operation to a specialty retail shop offering several revenue streams and growth opportunities.

What's Great About My Mentor?: 

Yong says, “Mr. Roger has helped me build my business and provided answers to the many questions that came up. I thank Roger and SCORE.”