In 2004, Christy Curtis approached Raleigh SCORE to discuss buying her employer’s dance studio. Working with Jack Barto, a Raleigh SCORE volunteer, they worked through the pros and cons of buying the existing business or beginning her own studio. Creating a business plan and working through projections, Christy decided to open her own studio. Jack was with her every step of the way. The How to Start and Stay in Business workshop provided Christy with a good foundation in running a successful business.
Silent financial backers provided her start-up capital. Christy worked hard, built her business and was able to repay the loans quickly. She has never had any commercial debt with the business. In 7 years, Christy’s business has out-grown 3 locations as it’s added 900 students. She employs 5 full-time people and 18 part-time people. 25% growth per year. Amazing, particularly in view of the current economy.
Through the years and with Jack’s help, Christy has been able to recognize her strengths and weaknesses. She’s found talented, like-minded people to work with her to build the business. She brought Karen Talarico on board as business manager to help with receivables and streamline infrastructure. Karen has been a great asset in keeping the day-to-day business going, thereby freeing up Christy’s time to promote and strengthen the business.
Annually, Christy’s company makes donations to “Make a Wish” and the “Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation”. Dancers from C C & Co. have participated in “So You Think You Can Dance”, and made it to the finals. “Dancing With The Stars” used C C & Co. facilities to train Kristi Yamaguchi during season 6. Kristi was the overall winner with her partner Mark Ballas.
Christy’s business continues to grow. She’s looking at another expansion in the near future. With Christy’s boundless energy and continued SCORE mentoring from Jack Barto, C C & Co has grown from an idea to a solid small business success.