EDWARDSVILLE - The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville has helped another entrepreneur transform her dream into reality.

Jamie Nixon, owner of Strait Laced Boutique, is a passionate entrepreneur who successfully launched her e-commerce women’s fashion store in March 2018, with the help of the SBDC.

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SBDC Director and Small Business Specialist Jo Ann May offered expertise on creating a viable business plan and provided additional tools on entrepreneurship and guidance. May also provided assistance with marketing and shared information on other helpful resources.

“Jo Ann always has my back,” Nixon said. “I know I can go to her for guidance and support for anything.”

The SBDC aided in Strait Laced Boutique’s success through Nixon’s participation in the Metro East Start-Up Challenge in 2017. Through the process, Nixon grew in her passion and realized her business idea could flourish. She made it to the competition’s final round where mentors and judges offered comments and recommendations to enhance her business idea and elevate her confidence.

With an eye for style, Nixon knew she was meant to be a fashion entrepreneur. At a young age, Nixon designed clothes for her dolls and herself. She was hesitant to go to fashion school, so she completed a bachelor’s of psychology and master’s in healthcare administration. But, fashion remained her calling.

Nixon’s long-term goal is to reach customers across the world. She would like to eventually open up a brick and mortar store and sees franchise potential.

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“I have enjoyed watching Jamie blossom into a true business owner,” May said. “She is working hard to build brand awareness and ensure quality fashion and service. I look forward to assisting her further as Strait Laced Boutique grows.”

Strait Laced Boutique’s fashion styles cater to women ages 18-50 and range from casual wear, special occasion looks, and business casual attire for women of any shape or size.

It offers new fashion styles weekly and free shipping. Customers receive a 10 percent discount on their first order.

For more information, visit https://straitlacedboutique.com/ or call 314-301-8971. For the latest social media updates, visit Facebook and Instagram.

The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East assists start-up ventures like Strait Laced Boutique as well as existing businesses headquartered in the nine-county region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIUE as a service to Illinois small businesses.

By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively impacts the Metro East by strengthening the business community, creating and retaining new jobs and encouraging new investment. It enhances the region’s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large.

For more information on the IL SBDC for the Metro East at SIUE, call (618) 650-2929.

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