Building on a Dream

Shauniece Wallace launched The Elleven LLC in 2018 as a creative co-working space for barbers, nail technicians, and tattoo and makeup artists. As her business grew, so did her dreams. Focused on creating a bigger footprint, Wallace saw a blank canvas opportunity in 2019 at a new location on Bishop Street. After securing the property, she had to navigate the challenges of 2020. Wallace took inspiration from female entrepreneurs – including the first Black female millionaire Annie Malone – who ignited a passion to grow her business and impact on local entrepreneurs but needed help making it a reality.

After hearing about Invest Atlanta as a resource from friends and her realtor, Wallace attended a few Invest Atlanta seminars on loan assistance to better understand available loan programs. Thanks to the Atlanta Recovery Loan Program, a low-interest loan through the Atlanta Open for Business Fund, she is expanding – including adding an event space.

The Atlanta Open for Business Fund is designed to help small business owners in Atlanta build wealth by investing in assets such as commercial space, equipment and technology. It is supported by a donation of $20 million from Wells Fargo to help Atlanta businesses impacted by the pandemic recover.

“This loan program has really saved my life,” Wallace explains. “I went through some personal hardships and it placed a bad cloud over my mental health. It was hard for me to balance being a mom and a business owner to many different entities here that are connected to other families; keeping everything afloat was very difficult.”

The funds will also assist with fixing the parking lot, securing signage and ensuring suites are in excellent operational shape for the 12 entrepreneurs who share their talents in her space. Wallace says the client entrepreneurs are like family, making the need for additional funding a priority.

With funds now in place, she is focused on taking her business to the next level. Wallace is planning for growth with the addition of new fixtures, additional bars and more flexible floor plan layouts. From weddings to mitzvahs, many milestone events are being celebrated at the Elleven LLC. And all the suites are full.

The future looks bright for Wallace and the Elleven LLC. She gives much credit to the support received from the Atlanta Recovery Loan Fund for her evolving success.

“It's taking the time to get to know me as an individual and not just see me as a name on paperwork. Because sometimes people go through hardships… but when you actually get a chance to meet them, feel their energy and be around the aura of their business, you can get a better feel for who they are. Thank you Open For Business, United Way and Wells Fargo for supporting me and my city.”

To learn more about Elleven LLC follow Wallace on Instagram @ellevenbeautyandbarberlofts.

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