A lot of prayer and hard work, brings Echelon Studio to life

Being back on West 52nd Street is a homecoming for Shannon McAdams of Echelon Studio & Boutique. She began her career in the same storefront when it was Chris’ Coiffures as a shampoo girl. Miss Chris encouraged Shannon to pursue her cosmetology degree and use her natural talent for hair and welcoming personality to make the ‘after school job’ a career.

How in the world did she end up with the same shop 22 years and a career later? Serendipity and hard work. The passing of a long-time friend and mentor brought Shannon to a family gathering where she found out the building was going to be sold. “It was just too good to be true. I prayed first, then headed over to my bank to figure out what my options were. Angie Moore at Wells Fargo directed me to the SBAC and Debra Simmons.” Shannon stated. “I knew I’d need to put up money. Even with my savings, there was still some extra cash that would be needed. I asked myself, ‘how important is this to you, Shannon?’ I had a Jaguar that I’d saved up for and purchased a while back. Once I made the decision this was going to happen, I sold the Jag. No second thoughts.”

Within three weeks of applying for a City of Savannah MLK Revolving Loan through the Small Business Assistance Corporation, Shannon was approved and Echelon Studio & Boutique was on its way. “Shannon came in the office with a plan and a confidence in her abilities that is catching. Any obstacle – large or small – she overcame quickly and with a depth of knowledge most first-time business owners develop over years.” says Debra Simmons, Community Development Officer with the SBAC. “I’d describe her as tenacious with the experience, the resources and the knowledge to accomplish most anything.”

A few months after being approved and an entire building renovation later, Echelon Studio & Boutique opened its doors on February 7, 2011. Several clients from Shannon’s early days have returned to the new studio. After this amazing journey Shannon has some sage advice for those other aspiring business owners: think about the future; know how to do everything in your business yourself, if you turn management over to someone else then expect someone else’s results; no client belongs to you, so don’t be mad if they go – figure out why and do your best to remedy the problem.