Here at IncubatorWorks, we have the fortune of meeting many talented and inspiring people. Better yet, we get to work with them to help them on their small business journey. Our region is full of incredibly talented individuals pursuing their dreams and enriching our communities with their craft, services, and entrepreneurial spirit and this series aims to celebrate them and their business.
We hope our Small Business, Big Thinkers series inspires you on your own journey. And if you are looking for support in doing so, please be sure to reach out to our IncubatorWorks team. We can help!
Our first Small Business, Big Thinkers feature is 23-year-old Chloe McNaney, owner and talent behind Honeysuckle Skin, which she launched in October of 2020. Chloe has been an esthetician for 4 years and also currently teaches Esthetics at the New York Beauty & Barber Academy (NYBBA) in Elmira.
IncubatorWorks: Tell us about your business.
Chloe McNaney: I started Honeysuckle Skin when I was 21 in the smack dab middle of COVID. Esthetician and skincare was something new when I started. I had been working for a local spa in the area and had always known that a long-term goal of mine was to become a business owner. The opportunity practically fell in my lap when a friend of mine knew of a space that was going to be available for rent. I’ve had other people in the past come to me wanting me to rent space but I felt that I was either too young, my clientele wasn’t at the place I wanted it to be in, or that I wouldn’t have been able to swing it financially. Since making this decision I’ve never been happier with the huge leap I took, and never looked back!
IW: At what stage in your business did you connect with IncubatorWorks?
CM: At my 6-month point exactly, my stepdad had heard of the program many times while at a meeting for his work and pointed me in the right direction.
IW: What were you looking for when you signed up for the Co.Starters program?
CM: When I signed up for Co.Starters I was looking for how to target my audience and the general odds and ends of how to be the best at running a business.
IW: Can you tell us a bit about your experience?
CM: I felt I had an amazing experience. Ashleigh, Greg, and Nancy were great at giving a helping hand and I really appreciated the one-on-one time that was available because it helped to break down numbers and how to truly value my time as a business owner. Most impactful for me was getting other small business owners’ ideas instead of asking friends and family who are usually like-minded people and finding out, down to the detail, about my perfect client and how to advertise to those people. Also, I become aware of resources I would have no idea were available unless in the class.
IW: Have you continued your relationship with IW?
I will always continue to support IW and the Co-Starters class to the point of sending my own students their way. The class has continued opportunities and is up to date with new resources available to business owners.
IW: What advice would you give a small business owner considering IncubatorWorks business development program?
CM: Worth the time put into it, and the networking and relationships I have built throughout the community because of it. I had a great class that was ONLY women and it was such an invigorating experience to have 6 women constantly helping and uplifting each other.
IW: What lessons have you learned in running a small business during the pandemic? What advice would you give another doing the same?
CM: Do not let the pandemic scare you from opening your own business. I think it truly helped as more people realize to support small businesses. Great things never come from comfort zones, step outside your box.
IW: How has being a small business owner impacted your life?
CM: Being a small business owner is the best decision I have EVER made. I was told by many people- family, friends, that I wouldn’t make it as an esthetician. But my health has never been better. I genuinely look forward to every single day of work with whatever it brings me as every day is totally different from the next.
Our next business development cohort kicks off on January 12, 2022!
To learn more please click here.