When Couryei Cobb was working on her senior project at the Academy of Massage and Body Work in 2017, she thought that putting together a business plan for a beauty business was a great exercise that she enjoyed working through. It didn’t occur to her right away that she had actually designed her future!
The plan was on point, and after graduation as a licensed aesthetician, she referred to it often as she created Bliss By Couryei, a beauty station in Newark, Delaware that offers waxing, facials, lashes and other personal services.
Couryei’s road to business ownership in the health and beauty industry, also included, obtaining a BS in Mass Communication in 2016 from Delaware State University, working ten months for a local waxing center, a stint at Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa, and running several health and beauty blogs.
“I was inspired to open my own business,” said Couryei. “I wanted to create a lifestyle that offered me freedom – creative freedom as well as freedom of time.”
When it was time to actually launch Blyss by Couryei, she knew that she needed a little more business mentoring, and she turned to the Small Business Development Center at the University of Delaware for help fine tuning her business plan. When the business plan was complete, she approached a traditional bank for funding, but they couldn’t help her, but instead, referred her to True Access Capital (TAC). At TAC, she was paired with Senior Community Lending Officer, Phyllis McCollum, who helped her through the business loan application process.
“I had to have so much documentation!” she said. But Couryei was determined to make her plan a reality. In the meantime, she found a building that could be customized to meet the specific needs of a beauty business.
In 2020, Couryei’s was approved for a loan by TAC that enabled her to tailor the space as she wanted it, from the framing and flooring, all the way to choosing the paint, furniture and equipment. Blyss has six private beauty rooms that accommodate two shifts of skin specialists each day.
“The business is great!” says Couryei. “We have a lot of repeat clientele, and even more new clients coming every week.”
Couryei anticipates that in the next few years she will have a solid, full team of dependable employees and contractors. Not one to stop growing, Couryei says she may consider opening a second location or branching out to another field of business. But whatever it is, she’ll maintain her freedom to be creative and live the lifestyle she wants.