NEWCO - Getting the Money Was No Stretch

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"">Margot BroomNEW HAVEN — Margot Broom has a background "//#there">there interior design. That helped when it "/files/> to putting together the look of her business.

Her father is a builder specializing in restoration. " /">buy valium came in handy for structural needs.

But when it came ""> funding Breathing Room, her yoga studio, Broom ventured outside her immediate family.

“When I started, I had Peerbackers,” says Broom, referring to an online funding vehicle that allows family members, friends, acquaintances and strangers to help finance ventures started by individual entrepreneurs. Donors who give within different designated levels receive a variety of incentives.

Broom calculated that she needed $10,000. She surpassed her goal, raising $10,180 to launch her business. Many of her backers gave small amounts, in the $10, $15 or $50 range. But many also contributed larger sums. Eleven backers gave between $125 and $500. Eight donated between $300 and $1,000.

Social media helped publicize the fundraising effort, informing friends about the project and updating them on its progress.

“I stayed really on top of it through Facebook,” says Broom, adding that many of her donors are and were clients. “It’s so cool.”

Broom used the money she raised primarily for equipment and renovations to her 817 Chapel Street site. Her business, which had its grand opening this January, previously had been housed in the English Building Market. The 800-square-foot space rapidly became too small.

“We did almost everything ourselves,” says Broom if herself and her father, who ripped walls down and devised new floor plans for the studio. Her father is owner of the restoration business H.P. Broom Housewright in Lyme.

While some budding entrepreneurs might be reluctant to take to the Web for initial financing, Broom embraced the idea from the beginning. She studied business at Quinnipiac University’s business school, concentrating in entrepreneurship and small-business management.

That her business is yoga is also a natural development for Broom, who’s been practicing it since age 13.

“It’s sort of like a huge part of my life,” she says. A friend’s mother introduced her to the various techniques involved. “I loved it, the stretching and the prep work. There’s something so freeing about the practice of yoga.”

Today Broom supervises seven independent contractors and ten volunteers who help clients with various forms of yoga and yoga-related exercises and services.

Broom says the help she received from peers lays the groundwork to pay it forward. She says she enjoys being situated New Haven and being “an active part of the Ninth Square.

“It’s so cool, just a blessing to give back,” she says. “I feel really blessed that I can contribute to it.”


— Felicia Hunter

Should Connecticut Give Special Incentives to Individual Companies?

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