"Opportunity Fund believed in me and in my dreams.”
— Alejandra, Ale’s Bissu Makeup Store
With the help of Opportunity Fund, Alejandra fulfilled her dreams of building a business and giving back to her community.
A Beautiful Dream of Business Ownership
Alejandra was focused on taking care of her family, but she had another ambition: to own her own business. “I was a normal housewife who was completely dependent on my husband’s income. I wanted to be independent and succeed in life,” Alejandra said.
A talented makeup artist, Alejandra wanted to start a cosmetics store. With a Wells Fargo credit card with a limit of $1,500 and her husband’s help, Alejandra opened Ale’s Bissu Makeup Store in Corona in 2016. Despite living her dream, Alejandra struggled when she needed a working capital loan to help grow her business.
After being denied for traditional funding, Alejandra reached out to AMPAC Tri State CDC in the Inland Empire. As one of Opportunity Fund’s community partners, AMPAC Tri State CDC referred Alejandra to Opportunity Fund to help her find the funding she needed. Opportunity Fund provided Alejandra with a $10,000 loan at a reduced rate, thanks to our partnership with the Tory Burch Foundation to support women entrepreneurs.
“I had been denied for credit with banks and credit unions, but Opportunity Fund believed in me and in my dreams,” she said.
Helping Her Community
The loan from Opportunity Fund allowed Alejandra to purchase more products for her store and helped her expand the business. With a stable business, Ale now offers free makeup tutorial workshops for clients in her Corona neighborhood. “We noticed some clients may not be able to afford classes,” Alejandra, said. “I’m excited to help people in my community.”
With the success of her first store, Alejandra decided to expand and rented a kiosk at a local mall. Together with her staff—her husband Jorge and two other employees—Alejandra operates two locations in Corona and keeps up with her pledge to help the community with better access to cosmetics and tutorials.
As Alejandra’s business grows, so do her goals. “I want to provide employment to my community,” she said. “I came to this country from Mexico to stand out and be a successful person. My business has helped me understand my passion of being a businesswoman and helping people. Opportunity Fund will be part of my team for success.”