Let’s Lift Up Female Entrepreneurs in Omaha, says Jenifer Holmquist, owner of Coco & Charlie’s

April 1, 2021 – The Daily Record – As we begin to turn the corner on the pandemic, I’m reminded of how far our small businesses have come in the past year. Omaha’s small business community is the backbone of our economy, and while it seems there’s a light at the end of this long COVID-19 tunnel, local businesses need continued support if they are going to make it through to the other side. And with March concluding Women’s History Month, there’s no better time to lift-up female entrepreneurs in Nebraska and beyond.

As a business owner, I know first-hand the struggles women entrepreneurs face. My journey to opening Coco & Charlie’s, a children’s clothing store in Omaha, NE, was far from conventional and littered with obstacles, but that only makes success sweeter.

The decision to take a leap of faith was the first big obstacle I overcame, followed by delaying the initial grand opening of my store after testing positive for COVID-19. When Coco & Charlie’s was finally able to open its doors a month later, I faced my biggest challenge yet: I had to find a way to get people to support my new business at a time when no one was shopping in person. That’s when I turned to social media for help.

Thanks to online platforms like Facebook and Instagram, I have been able to build an online presence and find customers. Starting a business is expensive, but having these free tools at my disposal, especially during COVID, has been a game changer. Before long, my business had grown to over 900 followers between the two platforms, and I started to see that online support transfer into sales.

With social distancing guidelines in place, navigating these safety regulations and my desire to keep my customers safe was another hurdle. Again, I got creative and started hosting private shopping events where a customer can invite up to 10 friends to come in and shop safely after hours. This has allowed me to build personal connections with my customers, which has proved to be extremely valuable. 

Read more at The Daily Record.