Camden Music School
Janet Zahn started a second career for something different from her video production career. She did not get a loan for her business until she had been in business five years. She used her own savings to keep things rolling for the first years. At year five, she decided to make some strategic business investments in order to grow and achieve a more sustainable business model. It was then she went to the banks -- and they were not interested in helping her. WomenVenture of St. Paul was and she applied for a loan and received the funds she needed in about 10 weeks. She started the business to satisfy a dream rather than of necessity.
Her Mission: "Is to bring people of all ages together to hear and learn about music; to experience the inspiration and joy music brings to the mind and soul, and to strengthen the sense of community in the neighborhoods we serve."
Zahn says her business startup was not overwhelming difficult but took perseverance. She states, "It took a good year to become self-sustaining, but nothing stopped me." The Star Tribune featured her in a March 23, 2012 article. The article dealt with the number of women-owned businesses from a study by American Express. That study showed there were 142,000 women owned businesses in Minnesota and 96,000 in the Twin Cities that employ 142,000 people. The American Express study stated that the key motivation for these women was to make more money and to do something different.
While not cited specifically in the Star Tribune article, SCORE and her counselor have been on deck to help anytime she needed a mentor. Much of the counseling involved financial reviews and advice, but also included human resource issues. She also draws on the SCORE Roundtable peers and help from other small business owners.
The business was started in 2005 as Camden Music School. SCORE became involved around 2008 and was counseled consistently into 2012.