SIFE group mentors business owner nearing grand opening

PLAINVIEW – When Tammy Frazier opens her business formally on May 3, she’ll realize a dream of many. She’ll also represent another success on the part of Wayland Baptist University’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team.

The team has mentored Frazier during the entire process of opening her business, called Aahhh Spa, in Plainview. Frazier has run the business since 2000 but was located in Hereford. When she and husband James moved to Plainview recently for his new coaching job at Plainview High School, she opted to bring the spa with her.

“I like to work on people and with people I have a connection with, so I wanted to bring it here,” she said.

Frazier knew the technical aspects of her business, which offers traditional and Thai massages, Alexandria body sugaring, sunless airbrush tanning, nails and personal training, but never had any formal training in the nitty gritty of running a business. That’s where the SIFE group stepped in.

“They seemed to be able to offer more organizational skills than what I’d had,” Frazier said. “Plus, when you’ve done something so long, you become content with things and don’t try to make it better. I wanted to get input from up-and-coming businesspeople.”

The SIFE group has worked extensively with the Small Business Development Center out of Lubbock and even opened a “branch office” on the Wayland campus to see clients in the Plainview area once monthly. They’ve also got a multitude of resources on hand for businesses, including faculty members with expertise in marketing and accounting as well as other areas of business ownership. The goal was for the team to be able to mentor a business owner and help out in any area of entrepreneurship they might be able to provide assistance.

Frazier’s situation provided a perfect learning opportunity.

“We were involved with just about every aspect of getting the business launched here,” said Stephanie Clements, SIFE president and Frazier’s neighbor. “Since this was the first real hands-on, creative work we’d gotten to do, it was really interesting.”

Frazier not only worked with the team to develop marketing campaigns and promotional ideas, she also got assistance with planning the financial management side of the business, budgeting and accounting. SIFE sponsor Sam Van Hoose, assistant professor of business, turned part of Frazier’s case over to his entrepreneurship class. The group interviewed her and will be writing up a review, offering her some constructive ideas and valuable feedback for her business.

Frazier ultimately benefits from having the help and going into her new Plainview business with a solid foundation. But the SIFE team benefited just as much.

“It did make me pay more attention to the business aspect of this, and it made me feel good to tell people I was working with SIFE. They have such a great reputation around here,” she said. “It makes me feel more responsible from a business aspect.”

“I think it’s given everyone a good perspective on what a small business owner has to go through to get started,” Clements said.

Though Frazier is ready to formally open and get the ball rolling on her business here, she feels the relationship with SIFE will continue as she goes.

“I still have some questions and needs, like how to start a Web site,” she said. “They were willing to help out in whatever way, and I know I just need to ask and they’ll be there.”

Frazier will hold a formal grand opening on May 3 for the Aahhh Spa, located at 10th and Canyon Streets, featuring door prizes and special offers beginning at 3 p.m. She currently rents booth space to Shelly Bull, a nail technician, and Susan Hurt, a teacher who is a certified personal trainer. The public is welcome to visit the spa opening.

The business can be reached at 296-5600 and is located at 2910 W. 10th.