Mississippi Small Business
Development Center
Helping to Transform Mississippi One Small Business at a Time.

Success Stories

Kaleidoscope of Learning, LLC

Kaleidoscope of Learning, LLC is a minority-woman-owned business founded in June 2003 by Glen and Patrina Dace. The main purpose of the business is to provide affordable childcare services to an increasingly diverse population in the Byram/South Jackson area. Kaleidoscope provides quality care and academic instruction to children six weeks to twelve years of age and is a Christian based school in which the business owners take pride in their Christian faith. 

The inspiration for Kaleidoscope of Learning initially began when Glen and Patrina Dace had to transport their children from the suburbs to the city. They decided that instead of making the families in their community drive for quality care, they would step up and provide it. 

When the center opened its doors in 2003, the initial enrollment was three children at 3032 Magnolia Bluff Drive in Byram, MS. Enrollment grew to a license capacity of 49 children. Prior to the expanding of the business, we began with planning. We reached out to Jackson State University - Small Business Development Center. JSU-SBDC came to our center and proved to be the most valuable use of our time and advancement of our business. Through JSU-SBDC, we completed financial projections and a sound business plan. Our counselor at the time was Sydney Brown. Mr. Brown was extremely helpful and provided detailed and concise assistance. 

The center eventually outgrew its beginning phase and is now located at 335 Byram Drive in Byram, MS. Today our enrollment has grown to 150 children. 

"Our advice to future/current business owners is to do proper planning before opening a business. We were fortunate to know about the services offered at the JSU-SBDC center. 

The technical assistance offered at the center has been invaluable. Our current counselor, Ms. Aletha Washington, has been very involved and meticulous in the planning process of our expansion. The services offered at the center are paid with taxpayer dollars, and we cannot be more pleased to know that our tax dollars are making such a vital investment in our communities.

Having a counselor on your side provides the partnership needed to be a successful business owner. Also, as business owners, it is important to have courage, effective communication, and alliances. We are proud members of The City of Jackson Chambers of Commerce and Byram Business Association."

Glen and Patrina Dace
Kaleidoscope of Learning LLC

Rock U 2

Rock U 2, the Ocean Springs Academy of Popular Music started operations in 2011 by Barbara and Tim Alamsha. The company’s primary mission is to teach children to play and perform popular music and provide them with regular opportunities to perform in local communities. Services offered include private lessons (guitar, piano, bass, drums, voice, saxophone, flute, clarinet & violin), Rock U 2 Band Programs, Vocal Performance Group, Vocal and Guitar Jam Sessions, First Steps in Music Discovery - music for infants and toddlers, and Summer Music Camps designed for 5 – 18 years olds to learn to play and perform in a band.

Barbara and Tim Alamsha
Rock U 2


Now completing their third year in business, JavaWerks continues to delight their regular clientele and warmly welcome NEW students and customers to their unique coffee house. As confident and community-integrated favorites, the Potenzas take much-deserved pride in the 7-day-a-week total family commitment their business requires.

Cesar Potenza

Salad Days LLC

James and Leigh Redmond believed that locally grown food is fresher, better tasting, more nutritious and provides a healthier diet than factory farmed foods that are picked green, doused with chemicals and transported thousands of miles.  They called on HCC MSBDC/ITC for help with their concept of owning and operating a hydroponic greenhouse for the purpose of growing tomatoes.   

James and Leigh Redmond
Salad Days

Everything Kayak

When you're ready to get out on the water head over to Everything Kayak and take a test spin.  The Gulf Coast MSBDC has had the pleasure of working with Michael Pornovets over the past 5 years as his business grew from inception to flourishing success.  Here he shares some of the areas he received assistance with as he navigated his growth.

Michael Pornovets
Everything Kayak

Medlin Chiropractic

Just locating a business on Main Street does not replace hard work, a well thought out advertising plan, and a budget.  Most entrepreneurs underestimate the power of social media and advertising.  Dr. Medlin understands, "It takes constant effort to keep people thinking about you".  His work with Tupelo Business Counselor, Dana Cawthon, resulted in his creation of an advertising plan which is affordable and measurable for his business, Medlin Chiropractic in New Albany.

Dr. Greg Medlin
Medlin Chiropractic

The Learning Express

Learning Express Toys, located in Ridgeland, MS, has a great selection and dozens of categories to choose from, including educational and skill building toys and games. James Bennett, Counselor at the HCC MSBDC assisted Sarah Collado with not only her initial purchase of the business but also worked on ways to improve business performance. Below Ms. Collado shares a few words about here experience with the MSBDC.

Sarah Collado
The Learning Express

The Shop Around the Corner

With many years of monogramming experience, Laura Lewis decided to open her own store in Ridgeland, MS. To help her in this endeavor, she contacted the HCC MSBDC and was assisted by James Bennett, HCC MSBDC Counselor, on the opening stages of her business. Together they worked on her business plan, financial needs and business structure to make sure everything was on the right track. Today, The Shop Around the Corner specializes in monograming services, home decor, and boy's apparel.

Laura Lewis
The Shop Around the Corner

Ann's Organic Market

Margaret Hudson turned a twenty year passion for health and wellbeing into a business when she opened Ann's Organic Market in April of 2011. The company sells a variety of meats and produce that are all USDA certified organic, and supplements. Ann's Organic Market also carries a line of food products that are gluten and casein free. Military and seniors receive a 10% discount on supplements. Special orders are available and are placed on the 3rd Thursday every month.

Margaret Hudson
Ann's Organic Market

State Farm Bank

When I decided to open my business, I had limited knowledge about running a small business.  Ronnie Westbrook sat down with me and went through my market analysis, projected cash flow, and seed capital needs.   We also discussed potential road blocks in getting the business up and running along with financing options.  Ronnie helped identify sources for financing and provided valuable resources for additional financing opportunities.  Ronnie's industry kowledge and expertise was greatly appreciated and has helped contribute to the success of my business.

Mattie Hudson - Owner
State Farm, LLC

Client Evaluations

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*Client comments appear unedited from their own hand-written evaluations.

The Mississippi Small Business Development Center is an accredited member of America's Small Business Development Centers and is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration through The University of Mississippi. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or The University of Mississippi.