UACES Facebook Arkansas Business Navigator Success Story: Hadley's Haven
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Arkansas Business Navigator Success Story: Hadley's Haven

by Brandon L. Mathews - December 19, 2023

Haley Childers featured with her two golden retrievers

Haley Childers has a deep love for animals, and for the last eight years she has worked as a veterinary technician caring for them big and small. For as long as she could remember, she had dreamt about starting a pet supply store and running her own business.

After seeing an link to an Arkansas Business Navigator event about financing small businesses in Mammoth Spring, Childers decided it was time to take the next step to learn about funding opportunities to make her dream a reality. Childers wasn't able to attend the event co-hosted the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture (UADA) and Ozark Small Business Incubator. But she reached out to Brandon L. Mathews, a UADA program associate and Arkansas Business Navigator consultant, to have a one-on-one meeting in January 2023 to create a personalized plan.

Mathews shared several resources, including a list of local SBA lenders, Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center’s "License, Permit, and Tax Requirement toolkit," and the organization's  "To the Point Business Plan Outline."

Childers used these resources to strengthen her business plan and vision, and together, she and Mathews outlined next steps towards making a complete funding proposal to a SBA lender. Mathews was able to provide specific market research for Childers' service area, including competitors, average startup costs, and the potential market size and growth opportunities for the future. The two also created financial projections and secured quotes for purchases such as equipment, supplies, land, and construction costs. After several meetings finessing her proposal, Childers was ready to submit it to the lender. After several months of waiting, Childers was ecstatic to hear that the lender had approved her proposal.

“I can honestly say I don't think I would be this far without his help,” - Hayley Childers

“From the business plan to projections and all my business questions etc., he has been very helpful and insightful. The future of the business is very bright thanks to all the help and information I have received from this program and Brandon," Childers said.

As of November 2023, Childers was in the process of purchasing and renovating the business site with plans of opening Hadley’s Haven in early 2024. The name "Hadley’s Haven" has a special meaning to Childers, a self-proclaimed and proud DINKWAD (dual income no kids with a dog). It's the name of one of her golden retrievers, Hadley, and "haven" is a safe place or retreat that goes along with the ambiance Childers hopes to achieve with her store for all pets and owners who step foot through her doors.

Photo: Courtesy of Haley Childers