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Successful Entrepreneurs

JOSEPHINE JOINER: JUICY J JUICE BAR

Josephine Joiner

Barely a year and a half ago, Josephine Joiner was in a bad place. She’d been laid off from a job she loved, working in marketing with a popular fast-casual food chain. That job had allowed her to do many things that made her feel fulfilled—working in different stores, restructuring their takeout procedures and training employees to deliver exceptional customer service. She enjoyed that job and she was good at it, but then it was gone. “Losing that job was a defining moment for me,” she said, “A major depression set in.”

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BONNIE BARROW - BALANCING BODIES

Bonnie Barrow (center), Alexia Bonillo (left) and Letisha Matias (right)At an age when some look to retire, Bonnie Barrow launched a brand new venture. She has always had an eclectic assortment of talents and passions. She spent the first part of her career in mortgage banking, where she built a foundation of knowledge about real estate, finance, and business management, but she was keen to do something more. One day, her husband gave her a gift certificate for a few massages at a nearby massage school. When she went for the first one, she had a thought, “Wouldn’t this be fun to do?”

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Rodney Matthews - Exclusive Linez

 Rodney Matthews worked with the University of Hartford's Entrepreneurial Center to improve the success of his small business, Exclusive Linez, located in Hartford, CT.After a devastating accident, Rodney Matthews met with his doctor, "He said the damage was permanent and I would never use my left arm again. 'Make your peace with it', he said. Then he slid the disability papers and pen for me to sign with across his desk.“

The choices were tough. Should Matthews sign the disability papers, never work again, and collect what some would call his due "benefit", or take a chance at living life on his own terms? “I decided right then and there that my injury would not be the determining factor."

Read Rodney Matthews story of entrepreneurial success here.

It's amazing what can inspire people. For some, it may be the works of a master artist or poet, a majestic landscape, or the rising and setting of the sun. For Shana Sureck, it was a small advertisement in a New York theater playbill that changed her life.

SHANA SURECK - SHANA SURECK PHOTOGRAPHY

It's amazing what can inspire people. For some, it may be the works of a master artist or poet, a majestic landscape, or the rising and setting of the sun. For Shana Sureck, it was a small advertisement in a New York theatre playbill that changed her life. 

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JOYCE & JERADO REYNOLDS - REYNOLDS WELDING & FABRICATION

Jerado and Joyce Reynolds own Reynolds Welding and Fabrication

The now 10-year-old five-employee business, born out of a passion for binding and bending steel to obey Jerado's creative demands, was frequently busy yet barely yielding a profit. Several long introspective conversations with Joyce, his wife of 25 years, led them to consider a change in operations and yet another bold but calculated risk. Under their new plan, she would leave her full-time job as an assistant nursing director and join him full-time in the daily operation of the business.

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