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BUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES

Lacey's Lingerie

Larissa “Lacey” Ashwell has been a creative and entrepreneurial spirit for as long as she can remember. From lemonade stands as a child to studying apparel design/development at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Ashwell is no stranger to following her dreams. “My dad has built multiple businesses from the ground up. He instilled the importance of small business in a community in me at a young age,” she said.

Ashwell had dreamed of owning a lingerie boutique since high school. Before this would come to fruition, she worked in a range of industries, mainly retail, customer service and healthcare. But after losing her aunt to Stage 4 breast cancer and, several months later, her mother-in-law to Endometrial/Cervical cancer, that she found her calling. Ashwell’s business, Lacey’s Lingerie, is dedicated to empowering women to love the skin they are in by providing classy, timeless pieces of lingerie for all body types, from XS-5X. As a Mastectomy Fitter, Ashwell is also committed to bringing beautiful, pocketed lingerie garments and quality prosthetic options to Breast Cancer survivors. “I’m serving these ladies needs during the most trying time in their lives. I want them to never feel alone,” Ashwell said.

But having spent three years as a stay-at-home mother, Ashwell ran into trouble trying to find funding. “Most banks couldn’t work with me since I did not have an income to show. I worked with Karman at Western Dairyland to produce the financial projections that were lacking from my business plan. She made the intimidating world of pro-forma spreadsheets easy to tackle together, and really helped me pinpoint some key costs to budget for. I so appreciate her taking the time to work with me. Her help with my financials secured me a $30,000 loan from a local bank to get my inventory ordered and building remodeled!” Ashwell said.

“All of my unique talents and quirks seem to have finally come full circle in making me the best small business owner I can be. I love learning. I’m always striving to continue my education and learn from other business owners,” Ashwell said. In terms of where she’d like to see Lacey’s Lingerie go in the future, she said, “I still need to secure more financing to grow into the destination boutique I see it becoming, but I am close. I hope to grow my inventory for breast cancer survivors and become a go-to spot for these ladies to comfortably shop. I plan on lots of continued community involvement, and spreading awareness of important topics that impact everyday women. I have high hopes to eventually franchise and grow my business nationally, but for now, I am focused on perfecting all aspects of making my new business and brand the best it can be!”

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